Seeing Nature

1955 Words8 Pages
Seeing Nature In the economical market, competition is harsh. There are a myriad of companies that have one common purpose: to sell to the public their products, commoditites or services. Attracting the largest number of customers is their common goal. Advertisements are extensively used as a persuasive means of making their products appeal to a targeted population of consumers. Effective techniques are therefore employed in the creation of these advertisements. Such a technique, one might argue, is the use of nature, of a connection between the products and "natural" elements. These advertisements draw on our attitudes about nature, attitudes that are largely shaped by the history and culture we are a part of. Such an advertisement, in which nature is used to elicit feelings and past experiences within people that would lead them to desire to consume a specific product, is the Milano one. Through this advertisement, the Milano company wishes to sell wheel hubcaps for automobiles. In the picture, the shiny hubcap reflects a beautiful scenery of an Italian countryside. The reference domain includes the presentation of nature as beautiful, sunny, healthy, productive, comforting, relaxing, uplifting, clean, accessible to man, passive, and welcoming. The absent elements are pain, mud, clouds, wilderness, potential of harm, danger. The offer that is held out to the reader if they purchase the product is to be taken to a quiet, peaceful place in the countryside, away from the hectic urban life their company name (Milano) implies, a place where they can live in harmony with nature. The link between the reference domain and the offer is visible. The hubcap represents a "window" to nature, through which we can observe it and make contact with. The hubcap is the technological device that is able to accurately reflect nature, to blend in with it in a "homogenous" way, without disturbing or destroying it. Man and nature coexist harmoniously. The ad implies that people do not need to conquer nature, but instead, they should allow technology - the hubcap - to take them to nature and submerge them within it. Therefore, this technological device represents the bridge between nature and man, a way through which man can reach nature. Because man is not perceived as required to conquer nature, this ad expresses a biocentric view in which nature is romanticized and admired just for what it is and for how it can make us feel. Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson share this view in their writings, and they believe that nature exists "in and for itself".
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