I found this advertisement in BBC Good Food magazine and chose it because it’s not a typical ‘good food’ item.  The mere nature of using BBC good food magazine for this product is suggestive of a good quality food product.


This particular product (not the brand) has a caveat of advertising restrictions due to the governments promotion of breastmilk for newborn babies.  Currently in the Uk the guidelines for advertising formula milk are:

The UK Law prohibits advertising and promotion of infant formula only (marketed for use from birth). Follow-on formula (marketed for use from 6 months of age) and milks for older babies can be advertised and promoted – BUT this must not cross-promote infant formula through similar branding or by it not being obvious the product is for older babies.

Despite this law I can see a less obvious sign of promoting formula for newborns within the photograph.

A neutral background was used which is typical of the colour choice of expectant parents who don’t know the gender of their unborn baby.  This is a contradiction to the product on offer ‘follow on’ milk’.  The colour of the room suggests a product in readiness for a newborn baby.  As subtle as this suggestion is, it’s still there.  We can see small print at the bottom of the page in line with the UK Law of ensuring it’s clear that the advertisement is strictly for older babies.  What do you see first?  The neutral suggestive colours or the small print?

When deconstructing the elements of the photograph in greater detail I noted the following:

  • Although the background is neutral, the baby is suggestive of a girl.  This image isn’t very clear but she’s actually wearing pink, the ballerina is pink and also the netting on the cot is pink.  This is consistent with the story and could be in danger of creating a female brand.  To counteract this blue items have been added, and are more prominent so they’re noticed,  and there seems to be a gender balance.
  • The story is about a little baby girl who starts to dance like a ballerina and with the help of ‘Aptamil’ her health and good start in life she will fulfil her dreams.
  • The babies head an hand are pointing to the sky suggesting ‘the sky is the limit’.
  • The adult ballerina is a picture of health (thanks to aptamil), physically fit, very happy, successful.
  • The story is strengthened by making the adult ballerina opaque suggesting she’s not real but a representation of the future meaning the baby has aspirations.
  • In case were not clear on whats making the baby so healthy and lively, her toes are pointing to the product in the advertisement.

Theres a lot going on in that advert but ultimately it’s promoting a good quality product for babies to make them healthy and turn them into fit, happy and successful adults.


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