A man in a grey suit is the primary object in an advertisement for Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is holding the lowest part of the lapels of his jacket as he would if he was looking at his outfit in the mirror with confident, deserved, self-adoration. The light blue bow-tie and the material of the suit suggests this is not a work suit. This is the suit of a man who is going to have the night of his life. In fact, one would likely call this suit a tuxedo, but the image is so tightly centered on him, it is difficult to discern.
There are two hands in the picture straightening the bow tie that do not belong to the man, who has his hands on his jacket. The red, manicured tips of her delicate fingers are performing the words on the advertisement: “Bow tie Concierge.” This is followed by the words, “this is how we vegas.” The elements of this ad target the adult, male, heterosexual audience and appeal to their underlying need for sexuality. It takes the consumer out of the routine and puts him in the shoes of this man with the beautiful woman catering to his every need. He is free to check out of his life of mundane mediocrity to enter a world where nothing but his own desire will dictate his future.
The target audience often feels the social confinements of life created by relationships, careers, and other responsibilities. Most Americans feel this confinement, but it is obvious that this ad targets heterosexual males because of the woman with the red fingernails. There is a sexual tension in the simple setting that begs for more to be seen. She is obviously a sex symbol because of the color of her nails but also because of her actions with the man. She is straightening his tie, possibly one of the sexiest things a woman could do to a man still wearing his tuxedo. This ad appeals to adult males of all ages because if they are young or middle-aged, they are feeling the confinement, but if they are elderly and retired, they still want that woman straightening their tie.
Many would suppose that the need to escape from anything would not involve wearing a tie, but in today’s world, escape is not always synonymous with running from civilization to join the Marlboro man in a life filled with the harsh freedoms of the wild. Escape can be leaving the confines of social order, such as your class, position, or possibly familial status. Aria’s ad suggests that a trip to their resort puts a person in the upper echelon of society where there is no boss to tell you what to do or wife or family to worry about. Because this tie is a bowtie, it is not a work tie, and this speaks volumes about a stay at Aria. Never has a man wanted to wear a tie so badly. This tie conflicts with subliminal messages typically set through advertising, as an ad suggesting freedom would possibly show a woman removing this man’s tie, but the tie remaining a positive element in the ad is the technique the advertisers used to create that wedge in the mind that separates their ad from the hundreds of other ads seen by the consumer that day. It is a different approach to freedom, possibly a less threatening approach to the tie being removed, which could suggest amorality. Straightening the tie is morally safe sexuality.
Sexuality is also a star in this ad, as it is in most ads, and it is the red fingernails that provide that sexual sensation that wets the consumer’s appetite. Red fingernails awaken desire in droning lives of repetitiveness. The woman and the man are faceless, but those red fingernails imply that she is beautiful and sexy, and the man could be the consumer. The color red is classic sexuality, and it is no mistake that it only appears on the woman. While she touches his tie, she also touches his lapels, and this stirs the primitive sexual instincts of the male heterosexual viewer. Sexuality is included in the appeal to escape, as it is predicted that the yearnings of heterosexual men cannot include successful escape from reality without bringing a little sexiness with it.
This advertisement is successful in its attempt to appeal to the heterosexual man by appealing to the need to escape because it focuses on taking on the life of a man who enjoys what his tie represents, for instance the party he is about to attend, and it includes sexuality, which is the biggest part of successful advertising. However, the larger implications of this ad are that this is not the only demographic that feels the harsh confinements of reality and the need to escape. Mothers stereotypically feel the need to escape the confines of the family. Students feel the need to escape confines of school or monetary class. Other sexual demographics feel similar sexual needs represented by their sexuality. Everybody wants to escape, as the grass is always greener when a person can throw away their responsibilities, at least for a short time. As buyers become resistant to the litany of ads they see every day, the ads that focus on escape will be more successful. As demographics age, it will be interesting to see how escape is portrayed. Today, it is at a luxury resort advertising parties with beautiful women. The resort of the future may have to advertise technology or virtual reality to successfully appeal to the public’s need to escape.