Bose Knows

Bose is well-known for designing audio equipment. Recently, Bose has been extremely successful in selling their noise-canceling headphones. The company hopes to promote its brand and garner attention through their advertisements with the ultimate goal of consumers purchasing the headphones. The target audience of Bose’s advertisements are wealthier younger adults (late 20s or early 30s). The audience is wealthier because Bose’s products are expensive and they emphasize use while traveling.  Bose’s advertising campaign has been focused on two strategies: focusing on individual enjoyment of the product or uniquely showcasing the headphones’ noise-canceling ability.


Figure 1. Bose QuietComfort 15 advertisement in Southwest Airlines magazine in 2014.

As shown in figure 1, Bose’s first type of advertisement focuses on the individual’s enjoyment when using the product. These advertisements tend to show the close-up of the individual. He or she will appear to be either happy or relaxed (usually while traveling). These advertisements usually have more text than the other type of ads. The font appears to predominantly be sans-serif. Bose also endorses many high-profile athletes especially NFL players such as Russell Wilson and JJ Watt.  Advertisements depict these players using the headphones prior to a game. There is not much white space that is shown in these advertisements.

The other type of advertisement employed by Bose accentuates the noise-canceling ability of Bose headphones as seen in figures 2 and 3. These advertisements are very creative and exaggerate the noise-canceling effect of the headphones as shown by the increasingly hidden construction worker and the man who does not even hear the approaching train. These advertisements have a wider landscape and do not focus on the individuals or the product. In fact, the headphones do not even appear in several of the advertisements. Much more white space is utilized and these advertisements seem to have an even more powerful effect than the prior type of advertisements even though the headphones are not the focus of the advertisement. The advertisements are definitely more engaging with the audience. The colors schemes are very contrasting. For example, in figure 2, the plain background contrasts with the bright warm colors of the construction worker. Similarly, the dark-clothed man walking the train tracks varies greatly with the yellow train.


Figure 2. Bose “construction” advertisement released by DBB Singapore in 2010.

There are not necessarily design problems with Bose’s advertisements. However, the message that Bose sends out could be stronger. Bose focuses on either comfort with the headphones or blocking annoying noises (getting rid of a negative). Advertisements for Bose could be expanded to have a message that their headphones not only get rid of annoying noises but also have an amazing quality of sound. In conclusion, Bose’s advertisements should focus on both the headphones’ ability to get rid of negative sounds and its positive audio system.


Figure 3. Bose “train” advertisement released by Saatchi and Saatchi in 2006.

This entry was posted in Blog #2. Researching Print Advertisements. Bookmark the permalink.

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