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Sociology 2172A/B
Terry Biggs

I Can’t See Clearly Now Subliminal message James Vicary had placed a projector to show the words “drink Coca-Cola and eat popcorn” onscreen for duration of 1/3000 sec every 5 seconds during showing the movie. Subliminal advertising – visual, auditory, or any other sensory messages that register just below our level of conscious perception and can be detected only by the subconscious mind 18.1% increase in coca-cola sales and 57.8% popcorn purchases Exposed this psychologically methods of advertising American banned subliminal ads in June of 1958 off the TV because consumer worries about the government might use this to brainwash members 1962- Vicary admitted that his experiment was not true However, the belief in the power of subliminal messaging had been firmly planted in the American public’s mind American psychological association pronounced subliminal advertising: Confused, ambiguous and not as effective as traditional advertising 1947-subliminal techniques were contrary to the public interest, therefore nay station using them was in danger of losing its broadcast license no explicit bans against subliminal advertising subliminal messages are selling sex “Laid by the Best” yellow page, tip the image over, it’s an image of a woman masturbating “Cool Pepsi Can” when stuck 3 cans together, you can puzzled out SEX stores play tapes of jazz or Latino music have hidden messages saying “Don’t worry about the $”, “Don’t take it, you’ll get caught”  15% increase of sale  58% decrease of thefts primes/ visual drumbeats: split second impressions work subliminal suggestions could affect people’s behaviour smiling faces can subconsciously get us to buy more stuff subliminal ads has little to do with the product, but it lies in our brains the human brain is capable of recalling images before those images register in our consciousness when consumers were exposed to those red Ferraris and racer jumpsuits, they subconsciously linked those associations to the brand if you see the logo, you’ll raise your guard, knowing that smoking is bad for you health, but once the logo vanishes, your brain is no longer on high alert Silk Cut, when the logo is banned to show on advertisement, they used purple silk as background on their ads without the logo, customer automatically can identify them “red sports car or an aura of romantic solitude against a backdrop of the American Rockies” is more effective than cigarette logo with images associated wit smoking what we thought had the least to do with scary to find out that what we thought had the least to do with smoking is actually the most effective in making us want to smoke, and that the logo in fact works the least well James Vicary 1957 – Originator of the term Subliminal seduction Media sexploitation Use of subliminal sexual symbols or object 4 subliminal perception: 1. sub-threshold stimuli: “Eat popcorn and drink Coke” 2. masked stimuli: bright light covers the message that you don’t notice it 3. unattended stimuli: hidden words 4. figurally transformed stimuli: message in voice women are pieced up as objects Kiddie Porn? - children underwear line - to capture the same warmth & spontaneity that you find a family snapshot - general public disagreed high definition, sexualized images of young children - THIS MUST BE THE PLACE Product placement Can’t recall, no recollection of the 3 man who landed on the moon, or the 4 th Age 66- 2 million commercials 2007- phone survey found out that average person could name 2.21 commercials try to remember the commercial American Idol has 3 sponsors – AT&A, Ford Motor, Coca-Cola Product integration and commercials are becoming harder to separate Coca-Cola is present approx. 60% of the time on American Idol Ford plays advertising during commercial breaks, 30s ads spot. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial: M&M rejected, Reese’s Pieces take over and tripled the sales Ray-Ban sunglasses – Risky Business  over 50% sales - Top gun  additional 40% and also leather aviator jackets, air force and navy recruitment Men in Black II  were now extrememly retro shades (sunglasses) sales tripled American Idol: Coca-Cola and Wireless had more memory than Ford, in fact, Ford had negative result. This is b/c CC and Wireless is actually involved in the show, but Ford didn’t. (we have no memory of brands that don’t play an integral part in the storyline of a program), they are not only increase our memory of the product, but they also weaken our ability to remember the other brands. For product placement to work, it has to be essential part of the storyline. It has to make sense within the story Advertising and Product Placement And now, the Star of the Show! Place their product in movies b/c 1. Movie involves high attention, some might fall on product 2. Movies produce large audience, and TV audience are decreasing. 3. Natural placement is better than in your face ads. The easier for the customer to skip the ads, the more creative at ways to make sure the message slips in. 75% TV audiences skips commercials PRODUCT PLACEMENT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE IN TODAY’S MEDIA ENVIRONMENT Product placement is an important option for advertisers b/c 1. Increasing popularity. 2. Historical foundations. 3. Many benefits for advertisers In the early days, radio and TV were sponsored by businesses that had a great deal of control over the content, so that their products can be involved in the storyline ( 1920s – 1950s) Benefits to advertisers: 1. compensate for advertising skipping technologies found in DVRS 2. deliver message when many of the receivers’ filters are off 3. allow the development of a brand image 4. less obtrusive for the viewer (allow the message to reach consumers in their daily lives w/o seeming like a hard sell) 5. more realistic 6. use in media other than TV and feature films (music, music video, books, video games, made for the web movies, board games) 7. use in traditional media of TV and film, but in new ways MORE THAN ENTERTAINMENT: PRODUCT PLACEMENT IN AMERCIAN MEDIA CHANNELS Media audience should be wary of 1. Ppl who do know have the knowledge of these cannot avoid the content(reluctant or naïve audience). 2. Ads can’t avoid the regulations of products that’s harmful or dangerous for some audiences 3. The too obvious product replacement will change the creativity of the storyline No-choice advertising: when the brand messages are within the script or lyric, it’s unavoidable Subtle Dangers: characters from the film smoke and discuss specific brand has negative impact on the children Advertainment: entertainment content that copys traditional media forms but is created solely as a vehicle to promote specific advertisers Overt placement can turn art into another commodity bought and sold for profit Writer have used products as specific props within novels and scripts for years as one way of quickly signaling insights about settings, characters, and eras. Sex and Money CNN used Paula Zahn to promote their news’ viewership 1850s – birth or modern ad, sexual imagery and promises of sexual fulfillment have been integrated into ads to attract people’s attention, build brand identities, and to sell products Ads turn up the heat: Advertisers associate sexual info with particular brand to increase sales, the purpose is to attract consumers closer to buying the brand Sex is fundamental to human existence, and the desire to be attractive and valued by others Companies link sexual info to the product because or biology that we can’t help but be drawn in to it. Companies associate their product with sexual needs and desires, so if you want to attract beautiful ppl, and have great sex, all the consumer have to do is buy the product To grab people’s attention to the ads, advertisers use identifiable symbols, story lines, and cultural signifiers, people and things that cause a common meaning for many people Stereotypes – enable viewers to quickly recognize categories of people and situations Sex in ads used to get the ad noticed and to tell a story, associated branded products w/ sexual thoughts and feelings, also convince consumer that certain brands can enhance sexual attractiveness, sexual performance, and sexual opportunity. Success with sex in advertising Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret 1850- ads used illustrations and photographs of buxom (丰满) women to attract attention 1900- bare ankles were considered racy 猥琐 Elliot Springs Maidenform (bra) – images of women with only bra, x3 the sale “Virginia is for lovers” – sexual appeared in tourism ads Jovan (fragrance) promises of sexual attraction, best commercial award, over 7 millions 1990- sexy and hip clothing for young people, ex: A&F What is sex in advertising? Characteristic in sex ads: attractive models undressed, displayed, posing, engaged in suggestive behaviour along or with other. Addition: subliminal sexual imagery, sex related promises to provoke consumer’s sexual interest, also to fell the romance Sexy clothing and revealing displays of the human body represent a fundamental type of sexual information Women: partially nude, suggestively dressed, open or low cut blouses shows cleavage, mini skirts, and tight fitting clothing to show body shape Men: show chests, six pack abs, well-defined biceps and quadriceps Underwear, intimates, lingerie, swimwear, bikinis Models are sexy to grab attention, and you’ll think good-looking people use the brand, therefore the brand will make you look good. Models make eye contact with the viewers, seductively poses, flirting with the viewer or someone else in the ads Closeness between a couples are commonly found in ads, images include touching, kissing, or other sexual behaviour. Ex: striptease, group sex, oral sex, intercourse. Production elements: suggestive photography, edits and pacing in commercials, sexy music, lighting effects, and romantic locations. Sexual language, words Sometimes, what’s not shown in an ad is considered sexual (Haagen-Dazs), Levi’s Sexual Promises 3 promises: a) sexual attractiveness for the consumer b) likely engagement in sexual behaviour c) feeling of being sexy or sensual Hidden sexual persuaders Subliminal sexual imagery The power of sexual embeds diminishes in relation to their conscious perceptibility because viewers are better able to resist their appeal Advertisers use the technique which they deny using b/c it sells product, ppl are scared to even consider the plausibility of its existence b/c it threatens their sense of free will Image-Based Culture Advertising and popular culture In the agrarian based society, family community, ethnicity, and religion were the dominant institution mediators and creators of the cultural forms Postwar period, the education was moved away from explaining the visual and toward appearing a “key” to the puzzle Our media are mainly by advertising images, public spaces with information about product, sporting and cultural events are accompanied by the name of the corporate sponsor Advertising and the good life: image and reality Advertising talks to us about how we can become happy by purchase of goods or services Truly, things will make us happy and having personal autonomy and control of one’s life is self esteem, happy family, loving relationship, relaxed and tension free leisure time, good friendships etc. and these things are not connected to goods Social life rather than material life Ads promotes images of what the audience conceives of “the good life” The marketplace cannot directly offer the real thing, but can offer visions that connected with the purchase of products Ads doesn't always mirror how ppl are acting but how they are dreaming, in a sense that we’re doing is wrapping up your emotions and selling tem back to you Ads partipulation  participating in its own manipulation Joyless economy Paradox of affluence The problem is with the institutional structure of a market society that proper definition of satisfaction through the image system An ensemble of satisfactions and dissatisfactions – leads to confusion The commodity image system provided a mode of self validation that connected with HAVING and BEING New religious system which people construct their identities through the commodity form, plays psychological, social and physical roles in its relations with people The spread of image-based influence 1. Gender identity - a lot of sexuality - we live in a culture that is more and more defined erotically through commodities 2. Electoral politics - George Bush won the 1988 presidential race because he ran a better ad and public relations campaign 3. Children’s play - Children’s imaginative lay has become the target of marketing strategy, allowing marketers to define the limits of children’s imaginations… - Boys and girls also experience difficulty in playing together with these toys 4. Area of Life - 1980s, popular music = records, tapes, compact discs. Now  Music videos - video maker are in the same position as the ads makers in terms of trying to get attention for their message and making it pleasure to watch st Speed and fragmentation: toward a 21 century consciousness 2 characteristics: 1. Reliance on visual modes of representation 2. increasing speed and rapidity of the images that constitute it ex: TV vignette approach: narrative reason-why: lifestyle images, selling feelings and emotions speed up has two consequences 1. it has the effect of drawing the viewer into the message, undivided attention 2. the speed up has repla
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