Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Creative Catch

Nothing ruins a vacation faster than blisters and bad shoes.  This article in the New York Times called “Shoes the Pros Wear” is about footwear and travel.  This article starts off with vivid imagery.  The first sentence unlike most of the rest of the article, hooks people with scenes of tourists casually strolling the streets of European Cities.  Once the reader is hooked the article becomes more informative and has another agenda. The links embedded into the article along with information on different brands of shoes, make it easy for the reader to be persuaded by the information in the article.

“It sounds idyllic: strolling the streets and byways of Europe, across cobblestones, up castle steps, along riverbanks.”  The interested reader can easily picture themselves in the scenic vistas.  This sentence also uses assonance with the “S” in strolling streets.  While this sentence hooks with many examples of the creative style, the rest of the article is much like a giant advertisement.  The creative style and advertisement often go hand in hand. Although the article starts off in a creative style, it quickly becomes informative about what brands of shoes are best are to wear while traveling.  The article then has links to shoe brands it mentions.  The article has interviews with various travel guides and provides links to their websites. is one of the links listed for shoes.  The website has comfortable yet stylish shoes; however, they are relatively high priced.  The Think! shoes are described in this way,  “This gorgeous shoe is the perfect combination of style and comfort. Made in Europe with high quality leather, this shoe is 100% free of harmful substances. Featuring a removable liner, a Velcro belt that provides a secure grip and a rubber sole that attenuates every step, this shoe exposes craftsmanship at its best. Available in two beautiful colors, add a personal and original touch to any outfit with the sassy Think!”  The use of the creative style is evident is the description of this shoe.  By describing the leather, Velcro, the sole and different colors this description uses creative style.  

There are also links to travel agencies embedded in the article.  This one, from Cox and Kings, describes their website as “Exotic places. Romantic getaways. Insider access. Cultural wonders. Intimate wildlife encounters. We specialize in experiential travel — from Discovery and Luxury Group Journeys to Family, Private and Custom Designed adventures.  We're passionate about making exceptional moments real for you.”  This too has elements of the creative style.  The vivid imagery in the first couple phrases creates a longing for adventure and makes me want to travel.  
Both the links for shoes and the travel agencies use the creative style to engage the readers.  When people read about the exotic places described using the creative style, they want to know more.  The reader may think, “I would really like to go there.”  If the reader is engaged enough to want to go to these exotic locations they will click on the conveniently placed link.  The creative style and advertisement are a perfect fit to lure interested customers to websites where they can get more information and make purchases.  Use of the Creative Style, whether it be playing with tropes or schemes, the reader becomes more aware of what they are reading.  A creative rhyme could be stuck in his or her head.  A description could be so vivid that it causes the reader to want more information and eventually buy the product.  These are all techniques on how the Creative Style is used to make readers buy product.

However, I have noticed that these shoes and travel agencies are pretty expensive.  This is obviously an article for people who have money to spend on new shoes on trips to Europe.  The readers of New York Times are an average age of forty-four and have an average income of $74,151.  The shoes mentioned above are $340 and a week-long trip to England would be $6,854.  The readers of The New York Times travel section have the money to spend on expensive shoes and vacations, yet this article does not have a snobbish tone.  This article presents the information as if anyone could buy these shoes or go on these vacations.  There are not any words that make the article seem as if they are catering to people with a higher income. Yet the article is obviously for a specific type of person, no one I know would look for travel advice in the New York Times.  Even with the pricey shoes and expensive vacations this article sounds open and friendly and has a laid back tone.  It leaves us with a friendly word of advice from and old British Army trick, “turn a pair of socks inside out and rub them with a dry bar of plain soap, paying special attention to the areas where your feet are likely to rub. Then turn the socks right side out again and put them on. The soap should help prevent chafing (and perhaps keep your socks smelling nice, too).”

The elements of the creative style are most noticeably present in the beginning to draw the reader in and then are scattered throughout the article to describe the products.  The descriptive words of the creative style combined with obvious vacation images are effective to keep the reader interested.  The creative style in the advertisements is a key element used help sell the information in the article.  Which shoes are the most comfy yet stylish?  The links embedded in the article are also full of creative style.  Finally, while obviously intended for a wealthy audience the article has a down-to-earth, friendly tone that appeals to a wide range of readers. 

By Sarah Lechner

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