Beer - Michael Green Eng 101 sec 074 Joe Fletcher Project 3...

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Michael Green Eng 101 sec 074 Joe Fletcher Project 3 November 9, 2006 Beer commercials Jack Solomon is a professor of English at the University Of California as well as a semiotician. A semiotician is one who interprets and finds meaning through symbols. Solomon believes that through symbols we can control the way advertisements control our lives. In “Masters of Desire” we are shown an in-depth look into how and why advertisements work. Solomon says that all Americans want to better themselves while moving up in society as well as work for the common good. Solomon helps us to see the ways advertisement plays a part in our day to day lives. Rising above the crowd, status symbols, fantasy, and sex appeal are some of Solomon’s theories that play a role in my three commercials. As I watched television one night I saw about ten beer ads in less than an hour. This led me to choose three beer commercials that I found on the internet. The first commercial is a Budwiser commercial entitled the “American Dream” the main characters are horses that truly embody the American dream. The second is a Tooheys commercial set in a bar and uses the fantasy of sex to hook the viewers. The third is a Hahm Premium Light commercial. This commercial uses sex appeal along with fantasy to get the viewers attention. Solomon’s theories help us understand why a simple thirty second beer commercial can lead to the want and desire for that particular product.
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The American dream is shared by all Americans and is hoped for by many around the world. However, Solomon states, “Yet walking quickly and cleaving a way is precisely what Americans dream of. We Americans dream of rising above the crowd, of attaining a social summit beyond the reach of ordinary citizens.”(402) Solomon also says that all Americans strive for the common good. Here lies the problem; Americans are communally egalitarian as well as competitive elitist. We must now promote the community as well as work to stand out above the rest. Solomon says that even though the crowd at a football game is rooting its team on, that each individual wishes he had the starting spot. As Americans we all share the dream of being the star. However, because America is such a diverse country advertisement must focus one group. Solomon states, “By semiotically reading the signs the advertising agencies manufacture to stimulate consumption, we can plot the precise state of desire in the audiences to which they are addressed.” (402). In campaigns to promote a product that serve different purposes for different groups an advertisement must appeal to each group using different commercials. Solomon talks about GM’s push for two cars, a Cadillac and a Chevrolet, and how they were geared to reach different consumers. The Cadillac was an upper class status symbol, its price, look, and advertising said, “Look at me I’m better”. The Chevrolet however, was a much more affordable car as well as the heart beat of America; appealing
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This note was uploaded on 05/16/2008 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Cornett during the Fall '08 term at N.C. State.

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Beer - Michael Green Eng 101 sec 074 Joe Fletcher Project 3...

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