When undertaking my research for the discussion the death of the author and birth of the reader I decided that I would select adverts for a specific slice of adverting to explore allowing me to compare across the different images. Given my childhood passion for all things automotive (the result of a father who was actively involved in motorsport) car adverts felt like an appropriate place to source material for me to assess.
Looking at a range of different automotive adverts over the decades you can clearly see that early examples had a strong bias towards the male reader as the primary car owner. More recent car advertisements reflect changes in the buying population, appealing to both sexes and different age groups. The adverts I selected were all for vehicles initially introduced in the 1940s and 1950s.
As part of my broader research I looked at the adverts from a single manufacturer Porsche over multiple decades and I concluded that the company has developed a dominant reading for all their car adverts regardless of decade or geographical market. Porsche stress their racing heritage and pure driving experience of their cars.
The topic of automotive advertising and how it has evolved in parallel to the development of the car is worthy of research project of its own.