book review part 1 - Summary of Critiques of...

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Unformatted text preview: Summary of Critiques of Advertising: 1. Pervasive  Ubiquitous ads  Product placement in films 2. Repetitive  Priming: the activation of ideas through recent, frequent, and relevant stimuli. Stimuli: key words, catch ­phrases, images, jingles. Like priming a gas pump. Useful with inattentive audiences. 3. Professionally developed 4. Anomic: delivered to audience increasingly cynical and detached from traditional sources of cultural influence (families, churches, schools). Values that advertising reinforces: 1. Materialism 2. Cynicism 3. Irrationality 4. Selfishness 5. Anxiety 6. Social competitiveness 7. Powerlessness 8. Loss of self ­respect Holbrook’s Defense: 1. Mass vs. Segmented Audiences (98) • Not a monolithic institution. • Acknowledges diversity of audience segments: – Demographics & psychographics • Appeals to unique and new values and identities. 2. Popular vs. High Culture (99) • Do ads debase high culture? • Renaissance Hotels • Are ads unique artforms? 3. Manipulation vs. Reflection of Values • Do ads create demand or respond to it? 4. Pernicious vs. Wholesome Values • Consumerist values: selfishness, envy, competitiveness, materialism • Wholesome values: altruism, unity, kindness, family love, justice, social responsibility, sharing, “reaching out” 5. Reliance on Emotions vs. Reason • Animale symbolicum vs. Animal rationale • But what’s wrong with persuading through emotional appeals? 6. Debilitating vs. Healthy Emotions • Debilitating: sadness, fear, anxiety, envy • Healthy: anticipation, acceptance, joyfulness, worldly confidence Schools of thought hostile to advertising 1. Marxist Social Criticism  False consciousness, oppression of workers.  Wealthy capitalists and corporations care only about profits.  No concern for public good.  Advertising creates envy.  Unrealistic desires to emulate wealthy and glamorous. 2. The Mass Society Critique  Isolated, “anomic,” alienated, and atomized public.  Pursuit of private pleasures degrades public good.  Society controlled by powerful political, economic, and media elites.  Mass media as “culture industry.” 3. The Consumer Culture Critique  Reduction of all social relations to buying and selling.  Consumerism replaces traditional values. • Family, friends, neighbors • Workplace • Church • School 4. The High Culture Critique • Corruption of our intelligence & cultural tastes • Max Horkheimer & Theodor Adorno, “The Culture Industry” Sut Jhally: how does advertising “colonize” the culture and the media system? 1. What does he say about advertising and… • its influence over our lives? • the culture? • the economy? • the history of capitalism? • the mass media? 2. Ubiquity of Advertising • 417: colonization of culture & media system • 418: Cultural Role of Advertising: “discourse through and about objects” (cf. SCA, pp. 4, 19) • 419: The Story: “The way to happiness and satisfaction is through the consumption of objects through the marketplace.” • 420: The Cruel Illusion: “We want love and friendship and sexuality—and advertising points the way to it through objects.” • Advertising = dream life, drug pusher, colonizer Raymond Williams: Advertising, the Magic System 1. History: advertising was originally informational, “classified” ads in trade news and newspapers. Later became more visual, less textual. 2. Mostly pseudo ­medical and toiletry ads. 3. Historical Roots of Consumer Culture 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. • Patent Medicines • Toiletry & Soap Advertising 20: The System: • Media Support (SCA): “the source of finance for a whole range of general communication” • “the official art of modern capitalist society” • Non ­materialism: “the material object being sold is never enough” 20 ­21: Advertising as Magic: • “A cultural pattern in which the objects are not enough but must be validated, if only in fantasy, by association with social and personal meanings which in a different cultural pattern might be more directly available.” • “Strangely coexistent with a highly developed scientific technology.” 21 ­22: People as Consumers: • Metaphor from the stomach and the furnace. 22: Consumer culture “reduces” other parts of society into versions of itself: • Political parties and favorable brand image • Education for producing workers • Culture for profit 23 ­24: The Language of Attack: • “Impact” is a violent way of describing the effect of communications. • Advertisers use advances in psychology, sociology, and communication against people. Susan Strasser: the new social values of consumerism 1. The new social values of consumerism: • Efficiency  Older, “householding” habits and rhythms of life had to adjust to the new schedule of industrial society.  Efficiency benefits employer, not worker. • Convenience  “Modern products offered release from the responsibility of caring for material goods…”  Products help save time (like servants).  Work means “drudgery.”  Convenience = Rescuing you from work • Obsolescence  Technology: “newer and better” radios, computers.  Principle of Fashion: obsolescence on the basis of style.  Repositioning products.  Encouraging consumers to replace goods by giving them more and more options. • Repositioning & More Options • Fashion and Obsolescence • Fashion and Obsolescence ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/16/2012 for the course ADV 865 taught by Professor Dr.thomashove during the Spring '11 term at Michigan State University.

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