Thursday, 19 May 2011

Truth In Advertising

It is very important to be truthful when advertising. If you are not, then people wil be misled into buying or doing something they didn't really want or understand.
Many of the Canada West posters (including mine) made immigrants think that Canada West was an easy place to live. The immigrants would come, thinking they could start a farm quickly and get rich, only to come to Canada and nearly starve to death in the harsh winters.
It was unfair for the Canadian government to bring in immigrants by misleading them into thinking that settling in Canada was easy.
Immigrants would have been better prepared if they were warned about the cold winters and hot, dry summers, the hail, the soddies, and many other things. Less people would have come to the prairies, but at least then they would know what they were getting into.

My Poster

On my immigration to Canada West poster, I used elements of colour, images and symbols, slogans, and textual information. The words "Canada West" are in large, bright red letters. They stand out on the page, and catch the viewer's attention.
I coloured the sky bright blue, to show good weather.
The grass is very green. This also makes the viewer think of good weather for growing things, because the grass looks very healthy. If it was brown and dry, it would make it seem like it never rains in the prairies.
The wheat is sparkly and golden, because it makes the farm look very prosperous. It looks like the wheat is always good and easy to grow.
This poster also makes use of images in advertising. The cows in the foreground are fat. There is plenty of grass for them to eat. There is also a calf, a symbol which shows that the prairies are a good place to build up a farm with lots of animals.
The houses are fairly close together, so the viewer thinks that there is a community of people near by.
The train going over the hill also illustrates civilization and culture in the prairies, as well as easy access to Canada East.
The slogan "Canada West: Living Your Dream" portrays the prairies as a place where all your dreams will come true; you will be rich within a year or two, you will have a big family, lots of friends, and a beautiful home.
In the bottom corner is "160 Acres Free!" which advertises a farm absolutely for free- 160 acres of land!
This poster is an advertisement for Canada West- but is this really what Canada West was like?

Monday, 9 May 2011

Analysis- Slogans and Textual Information

On this poster is the slogan "Canada- The New Homeland"
Slogans are used to capture the viewer's attention and promise something about whatever is being advertised. This slogan, "The New Homeland," promises to be a good place to raise a family; a home. It promises that Canada will be as good, or better, than Britain.
There is not much other information on this poster.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Analysis- Images

This poster depicts a happy, idyllic scene on a tidy, flourishing farm. The weather is beautiful, the harvest is full and good, and there are animals and barns and a house. All of the animals are healthy.There are fences and a few trees. The house and barn are painted a bright, cheery red. In reality, it would take years and years of hard labour to establish a farm like the one on the poster.
The young woman would probably be hard at work inside, or in the barn. In the picture, she outside, relaxed with no work to do. She is waving, probably at a neighbour or her husband or her other young children at play. This makes the viewer think that in the prairies neighbours are close and that the work is not relentless or hard.
The picture on this poster shows the viewer an easy, joyful life on the Canadian West farms.

Analysis- Symbols

Also used in advertising are symbols.
In this Last Best West poster, the wheat sheaves symbolize prosperity. Wheat was the main crop grown in the prairies, and the golden wheat stacked in piles suggested that riches were easy to come by, with a little farming work.
The baby that the young woman is holding is also a symbol. The baby, healthy and happy, is meant to portray the Canadian West as an excellent place to raise a family. If you settled there, you would be happy and have a large, healthy family, according to the poster.

Analysis- Colour

The element of colour is very important in advertising, and the Canadian government recognized this. They took full advantage of the ideas certain colours would bring across. For example, in the poster previously posted, the letters spelling "Canada West" are large and bright orange. They stand out and grab the eye, so that someone walking by would take notice of the poster.
The sky in the poster is a nice shade of blue, which indicates warm, mild weather- good for growing crops.
The crops themselves are golden. This would make the viewer think of riches.
All of the colours on this poster are bright, so that the viewer would see Canada West as a prosperous, cheery place (as opposed to a frozen wasteland, as it was earlier reputed to be).
This poster makes full use of colour to promote Canada West.

The Canadian West

The government was looking to attract settlers to Canada West during Laurier's time as president. During his era, acquiring more money and more people was important in Canada.
The world depression had just ended and there was a great demand for wheat. In the States, the free homestead period had ended. This increased Canada's appeal to immigrants. It was often hard however, to get people to settle in the hard, barren land of the prairies. Many people who did go there ended up travelling down to the States because of the harsh climate.
The government made posters that advertised Canada West's attributes. Clifford Sifton was in charge of the Immigration Department. They made thousands of posters, pamphlets, newspaper ads, and lectures to encourage immigration. Agents were hired to distribute the posters and pamphlets. A very common slogan was "The Last Best West".  All depictions of snow and ice were banned for the promotional posters, so that the prairies would lose their reputation as a frozen wasteland. Sifton, as a westerner, was very committed to populating the area.
 Government officials were even given a bonus if they convinced someone to settle in Canada West!
The posters were very effective, with their bright colors and promising slogans. But did they always tell the truth? Or did the Canadian government exaggerate?