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The Irony of “Postmates”

In the world of advertising, marketers tend to resort to the overused fallback phrase “sex sells.” Today’s society, largely influenced by the porn industry, seems to target the masses with media that is seductive, and which spurs curiosity.

New York’s subway system is bombarded with advertisements from “Postmate.” With colorful, eye-catching advertisements of tight camera shots of men and women of all races devouring various types of food, the message is notoriously memorable, but strangely ambiguous. The “Postmate” advertisements denote men and women who look as if they are incapable of restraining their appetite. The irony in Postmate’s advertising, or perhaps their deliberate strategy, is to avoid expressing the denotative meaning, or the factual definition of the advertisement’s product, so audiences and consumers are forced to further discover what exactly the company is.

This tactic worked for me, at least, in my research of advertising. Upon simple Internet searches, I discovered that the company is a food-service delivery company, similar to “Uber eats,” which will deliver any food order to a customer within an hour after the order is placed.  The connotative meaning and significance of this ad is influenced by the consumer’s appetite. The dichotomy and parallels used by “Postmates” illicit the notion that their product is relevant when you can’t seem to control your appetite, and they lure the consumer in by suggesting a sexual desire, or appetite, with the food.

The image itself is colorful, glossy, eery, and focused. The irony of the ad I found was that if a consumer were to use Postmate’s food-delivery services, in no way would a popsicle be found frozen and intact following an hour food delivery to your work or home.

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