Advertising is more ingrained in our culture than ever before. From billboards to bathroom stalls, ads are appearing everywhere and it's getting harder to come up with new ideas that catch the eye of the consumer. Many advertisement's these days have become less about giving the public product information and more about entertaining them. In the article "Advertisements", Jonathan Bignell writes, "many contemporary ads do not directly ask us to buy products at all. Ads often seem more concerned with amusing us, setting a puzzle for us to work out, or demonstrating their own sophistication."
The ad featured below for hush puppies shoes does not directly tell us to buy hush puppies. In fact, it doesn't even feature the product in the ad at all.
Instead, the ad showcases a pair of feet without a body attached. The feet are lying on a carpet in a nondescript room. Both feet appear to be hollow inside, with one foot revealing a white inner sole with the words "Hush Puppies" written on it. The connotation of this ad is pretty clear- hush puppies are so comfortable and so well fitted that they will feel just like your own feet. This is shown by using the feet as a stand in for the actual product (shoes) they are selling. By not showing the actual product, hush puppies are also appealing to the (less popular) cultural value that comfort matters more than fashion.
The use of feet as shoes also works to get the audience's attention as it is taking something natural that we see every day (our feet) and putting it in a new context ( not being attached to our bodies). The shock of seeing this in a new context makes the viewer look harder at the ad to figure out what is going on.