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Lecture #4

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Romin Tafarodi

PSY427H1: Lecture #4 04/10/2011 12:11:00 1. INCLUSION AND LEGITIMATION OF META-NARRATIVES • What representations of a collective/groups are a good one? • The issue for how that group has been represented is that there has been an injustice done to some sort of reality: reality is an unpalatable reality ← -“That many of us—marginalized and oftentimes invisible Americans of African, Asian, Latino and Native descent, as well as women and the working poor—never quite melted and metamorphosized according to this traditional prescription for social progress hardly mattered. The great distance between the Dream and our actual lives was not due to any fault in the Dream: the defect was in us. The Dream thus survived intact, its seductive power sustained by America’s stubborn refusal to look too closely at the hidden but terrible costs of the “good life” and at who actually could—much less wanted to---afford it”-Riggs (1992) -Riggs: many of us marginalized and oftentimes invisible Americans of African etc • The crux of the critique for many people is a political one • Fear is that if you try to transmute a social problem that is distinctive to a particular group into something that can be resolved —you trivialize the problem o Implicit message: they can do it, what’s your problem (i.e. your living in the inner-city, immersed in drugs, get up and deal with) o Show had problems of ADVERTISING: advertising did not translate into a lot of sales o The show succumbed by pull of advertisers to change where it was set: got rid of husband, characters went their own ways, and they went up in terms of social mobility (jobs, neighborhood) • Shows NOT just made for you; you are one stakeholder in the entertainment you consume; there are other stakeholders o This is intensified by reality that most shows don’t work; most shows don’t fly—only small percentage of shows go on for seasons o Complexity: try to satisfy multiple constituency • Riggs: the role of good times (TV show) NOT to galvanize white ppl in political action—it’s to defame black problems and transform them into entertainment • TV is a great medium to bind people around certain narratives but it’s not good at brining 2 viewers the fractures, frictions the tensions that characterize the fact that one group may not relate to another group in such a clean manner ← ← 2. ADVERTISING ← -Advertising is ubiquitous and is the crux of how contemporary media supports itself ← -Newspapers: don’t cost money to buy at newsstand but so much money goes into production of an issue • Advertising costs 80% of budgetary cost of producing the globe and mail • What’s wrong with advertising is when the power of advertiser starts to interact with journalistic decisions/choices o I.E. Advertising contract put in jeopardy when newspaper wants to write an article regarding the advertisement corporation ← -Ad agency product of 19 century: strategize about how other players can effectively market/advertise their product BUT advertisements existed for a long time ← -Broadcasters realize that we can make more money by not limiting ourselves to the sponsor—over time more strategic use about small amounts of time to more and more players • Tension: how much can viewers/listeners tolerate? ← -We pay for advertising: by paying for the product (includes marketing/production cost) ← -“By 1990, publishers of mass circulation daily newspapers will finally stop kidding themselves that they are in the newspaper business and admit they are primarily in the business of carrying advertising messages”- Roy Megarry (1982) • Too much newspaper production goes into how to sell advertising space • Shrinkage in what used to be called news bureaus (b/c money going in other directions b/c there has been a fragmented market) • Advertisers have lost of areas they can infiltrate and colonize ← -Mechanics of Advertising (Butler): what goes into performative advertising? • McLuhan: the artist can best understand the effects of media b/c the artist self consciously plays with these concepts • Contemporary advertising has changed since 1950s ← 2.1 Selling Soap ← - Audiences and Markets: advertising through media as advertiser trying to attract us and sell us something; Inverse: media outlets selling YOU to advertiser both of these are true ← -Broadcasting and narrowcasting: both advertisers and media producers (producers of content) are recognizing that they’re competing with smaller and smaller slivers of the population b/c of proliferation of TV— advertisers want to get the RIGHT people (people who are inclined to be predisposed to like those things/more willing to buy) • New strategy: how can we attract the RIGHT people • Ads pitched to a specific audience—in narrowcasting want those specific people to be higher than other ppl ← -What do you do in age of proliferation in terms of advertisement? • 1. Hailing: Get their attention o Subtle: Make the transition seamless so person feels like still watching program o Overt: Various ways camera/sound can be used to AMLIFY transition b/w programming and commercial content  Has to be pleasantly amusing/engrossing to keep you tuned in o More expensive to produce ads per second as it is to produce a TV show o Signaled by playing around with a perspective (color, character, perspective) that violate implicit norms of programming that preceded it • 2. Holding: have to entertain o Novelty: unique selling proposition: diminished in importance  Not new things to pitch o How do you hold their attention without novelty?  Entertain o Ad during superbowl: 2.8 million for 30 second slot o Entertainment: discourses utilized (discursive formations: ways of talking about things that relate to different power relations): how individual is related to society in a moral and institutional sense; reconcile individual with community needs and other belonging -Researcher shift focus to who watches ads to what are people doing with ads • New methods: what do people do with ads? How to get people tp participate in the ad: it empowers the audience ← -Advertising NOT a reflection of who we are but WHO WE WANT TO BE • Lost in the funhouse: the way to understand media representations is the same way you understand your reflection in a funhouse mirror o Any medium is a funhouse: it distorts who we are in ways that are more entertaining, or frightening then we are in and of ourselves o Media not designed to carry images of ourselves—distorted (including the news) ← ← 3. PARITY PRODUCTS AND USPs ← -Unique Selling Point/Proposition is of declining importance for parity products (i.e. toothpaste) • 99 parity products, which one do I buyadvertisers recognize this reality so don’t try to sell you anything novel about the product; know that not enough substantive quality that distinguish one product from another ← -Advertisers become ASSOCIATIVE (get people to engage in the world they depict) instead of PERSUSAIVE • 15 year old boy watching an ad for Nike sneakers (don’t persuade them to buy shoes b/c they’re skeptical about it—can’t say anything pedantic to 15 year old boys) o FAMILIARITY and LIKING: Create an image: an existential possibility: a way of being that cannot be rhetorically a dictate or demand for viewer to adopt that way of being BUT it’s a GENTLE WAY OF BEING: exemplify; get someone who embodies it; create an image  Social position relative others: defines itself in part through that position: it puts you in a particular position vis a vis other people  Implicit in the ad: ethical position: emphasis of what is good or what is bad (sense you get in narrative)  Implicit in the ad: identity: call out to you to become a certain kind of person. Identity=realm of branding (Characterizes late modern advertising) ← -There’s an ambivalence for BRANDING • On one side we know too many people define themselves too strongly through
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