This predates Norman Rockwell. I've been looking at this since I was a small child. I only just looked at it from a memetic perspective. It is a brilliant memetic injection device. The visual iconography is established, then referenced textually (memetic pairing), which goes on to anchor the "well fed" meme, and then the product name (meme). And finally a "language of the other" reference, or "why do YOU think this is true?" Which is the most powerful part of this memeplex?
I have identified memetic pairing, eg, rational memes with irrational meme (memes are “alogical” or “arational” in that they don’t care about critical rigor as such), as a critical phenomenon, and have done some experiments demonstrating it, but I haven’t elaborated many governing principles about it.
One pairing that I had not specifically written about is demonstrated here, that is, pairing visual and textual memetic expression (here, with “overlap”). This happens all the time in propaganda and advertising (same thing), and here the textual reference explicitly makes a reference which visual memetic display has already made, repeating it, thus anchoring it, making the visual something textual, the visual overlapping, flowing directly into the textual.
It’s not just an eye-catching feel-good visual, followed by a force-fed big procedural message (buy my product, vote for my candidate, etc), but use the visual MIAO to evoke a flurry of memes (school, mother’s love, protective canine companion, healthy breakfast, little girl in state of total security and confidence, comfortable American home and so on) and then repeat one or two of these memes (school, good breakfast) textually to anchor the whole thing and make way for our new memetic cargo to be loaded.
Then we anchor our product. What does “there’s a reason” do? Justify the pairing? Enable the pairing? That’s an interesting and I think important question.
“There’s a reason” to me seems an example of “the language of the other” by which I mean a meme deployed without knowing or understanding the effect on the target except that it will have an impact, hopefully a strong one. I’m not telling you what the reason is, I’m leaving you to find one (a strong one). This final bit seems a bit weak, haphazard, but in fact it may be the most powerful and subtle component of this memeplex in terms of making it injectable and virile (“viral” is the popular term, but if a meme is not “viral” it is not a meme, but maybe I need to include this term).