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Natalie VanDerMolen

Mr. Lareau

English 1010

2 April 2019

Palm Promises Peace

“Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you

make” (Bill Bernbach). A favorable impression is the key goal of an advertisement. Advertising

generates millions of dollars, and it is all based on the perception that the advertiser is able to

embed in the viewer’s mind. Advertisements imply and suggest reasons why a product should be

bought. They either paint the picture of how wonderful and more fulfilling life would be with the

product, or in comparison, ads allude to what the viewer is missing without the product.

Promotions can only imply because if they declare actual promises or facts, the company will

face lawsuits about the product’s failure to meet the expectations. This meticulous planning and

combination of elements to portray an image can be illustrated in an advertisement for a

handheld personal digital assistant, named the Palm. The advertisement suggests through

wording, images, and colors that with a Palm all stress and pressure can change, and whoever

owns a Palm will have a stress-free, relaxed, organized, and more professional life.

The ad for the Palm consists of two main sides with additional information across the

bottom. On the left side the word, “Chaos” extends across the top of a blurry, fuzzy background

of skyscrapers in a city with a traffic jam clogging the streets. An arm appears in focus in front of

the city. The fingers, palm, and forearm are all filled with scribbles. Looking closer, the reader

sees phone numbers on the fingers, a to-do list on the palm, and a grocery list on the forearm.

On the bottom of the arm is a note, “BUY PALM”. The other side of the ad with the word
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“Order” displays a black Palm, looking like a phone but smaller, in the middle of a white pristine

background. It has a slight shadow so the device looks like it is floating. To add to that, the

information at the bottom of the ad is simple. It only contains four Palms in different colors

ordered in a line with the slogan, “Organize your life with Palm.” In small print above the pink,

yellow, green and purple Palms, the words “Introducing the all-new Centro2” suggests that the

buyer can choose a color that fits them for their new organizational device that will lead to a

better life.

Using the images and color, the ad implies that the Palm will change a stressful life into

tranquility. The ad suggests distress by having a hand on the chaotic side reaching for help while

covered with scattered and multiple to-do lists. On the side with the Palm, there is order

suggesting that the Palm brings calmness and relaxation. Additionally, the writing on the hand is

all over the place, signifying that information or duties may be missed. It implies that time will

be lost looking for the right note or list because the information is haphazardly arranged on the

arm. On the other half of the ad, the Palm appears to have all the information neatly organized,

inferring that the owner of a Palm will not miss appointments, dates, family times, or items from

the grocery list. The white background versus the blurry traffic jam seems to indicate that with

this device the slate is wiped clean with new beginnings. This implies that life can be more

manageable with a Palm. Also the white represents an innocent and refreshing environment. All

of these parts of the ad insinuate that a person who owns a Palm can live in a stress-free

environment with the only choice being what color Palm to buy.

As part of a stress-free environment, the ad portrays organization as necessary to life, and

that organization can be acquired through a Palm. The ad draws from the fact that life for the

majority of Americans is busy, out of control, and stressful. This is especially true as workers
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compete for jobs and job security amidst the pressures of performance and efficiency. The

American Institute of Stress notes that forty-six percent of Americans’ stress comes from the

workplace (“Workplace”). Slogans are designed to catch the buyer’s attention and leave an

impression with the buyer, influencing their decision. This is true even if the slogan does not

actually guarantee anything concrete or factual. Using the slogan “Organize your life with

Palm,” the ad signifies that this device can help organize a chaotic life.

The advertisement also combines specific elements to create the feeling and impression

of organization. Using a variety of blurry colors on the chaotic side and an unfocused

background, the ad presents a messy, fuzzy life. On the other side, the ad displays the Palm in a

clean, white, in focus, and uncluttered background, suggesting that life could also be in focus,

uncluttered, and organized with this device. This furthermore indicates that life is out of focus

without a personal device, and that can easily be changed by the acquisition of a Palm. The ad

also shows organization through the simple and bold titles, “Chaos” and “Order,” above the

pictures. Along with the clear titles, there is a period after each word, causing the reader to pause

and reflect on those titles. Once again, the clear words imply that life without a Palm is in

turmoil, and that life with this device is structured. Similarly, the Palm demonstrates how

everything is in one place unlike the writing all in disarray on the hand. Some of the writing is

even blurry on the arm, causing the reader to think about how it can be carelessly washed away

in the shower in minutes. On the other side, the information on the electronic device will not

wash away, signifying that information will not be lost. Finally, the word “Organize” is in orange

along with the logo of Palm, connecting the idea of organization and the Palm in the viewer’s

mind. Altogether, the ad without promising anything portrays the idea that a Palm device can

bring organization to a cluttered life.


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Along with improved organization, the ad develops the image of a simpler life when

normalized with a Palm. The ad uses one word text that is succinct, indicating a more focused

and manageable life. The simpler text subtly accents the perception that life with a Palm results

in a less scattered personality because the chaotic background with hodgepodge notes on the

hand appears busy and unsettled. The pristine white background versus the fuzzy images

communicates the idea of a serene, unspoiled, and uncomplicated life. In other words, the Palm

untangles messes. Writing on the hand versus the electronic device displays the concept that

technology is now being used more than ever and can simplify life as well as work. Unlike the

writing on the arm, the electronic device portrays less clutter. Instead of random notes in several

different places, all of the notations, reminders, lists, dates, etc. can be found in one small device.

In the same way that the arm is a part of life, the Palm would be the new inseparable companion

for a simpler, more manageable life.

The ad also suggests that with a Palm, the owner will be more in control of their life.

With the blurred images and background of a traffic jam, the viewers get the impression of life

out of control, not moving, and full of wasted time. Even the arm filled with things to do and

notes all over the place represents tension and lack of control. In contrast, the side with a Palm

has a single image with everything in order and under control on the device. Another element of

the sense of control is the small print at the bottom, “Introducing the all-new Centre2.” This text,

including the number one weasel word, “new”(Lutz), seeks to convince the potential buyer that

this device is better at keeping all information under control than any other past device.

Part of this image of control also has the ad suggesting efficiency and professionalism.

Writing on a real palm creates a messy and hard-to-read list, giving a nonbusiness-like

impression, whereas the side with a Palm suggests professionalism. To clarify, one device puts
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everything into order. With a Palm, life seems more efficient. This perception comes from the

two distinct sides of the ad. The image with the chaos and blurred colors presents an unskilled

and inefficient impression. Through the main color of white on the other side, perfection and

order are represented. In addition making the ad more professional, the ad uses the color orange

to capture the reader because it is energetic, vibrant, and optimistic. Orange signifies freedom

and fun. At the same time, orange portrays the image of a person who is dynamic and competent.

Notably, the colors white and orange focus the buyers on the positives of owning a Palm.

Through color and images, the buyer receives the impression that a Palm can turn incompetence

into professionalism.

This advertisement gives the “impression” of a simpler life when buying a Palm.

Through careful wording, images, and colors, the ad implies life can be stress-free, organized,

and more professional. Without making promises, the ad suggests organization and efficiency.

The most significant fact is that the ad was carefully constructed to imply two perspectives so the

product would be irresistible. Without Palm life is presented as busy, cluttered, and stressful. In

comparison, life with a Palm would be unstressed, organized, dynamic and carefree. Using a

deliberately constructed layout, the advertiser persuades buyers that a Palm will make their

existence less complicated. Overall, the ad for a new Palm implies wonderful changes for a life

that includes this device. Palm promises peace and structure in the midst of a lively, tangled,

contemporary life.
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Works Cited

Lutz, William. “Weasel Words: The Art of Saying Nothing at All.” Language Awareness:

Readings for College Writers, 12th Edition, Bedford Books, 2016, pp. 520-530.

“Workplace Stress.” The American Institute of Stress, www.stress.org/workplace-stress.