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COMM 287
Sut Jhally

Lecture 1 How ads work - Older strategy – USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Known as the hard sell. Made famous by Rosser Reeves. - Newer Strategy – Consumer based rather than production based. Tony Schwartz and “resonance” theory of communication - Info about audience and gear ads towards them so the ads resonate (recognize) - Tony Schwartz produced LBJ’s commercial with the nuclear bombs. - Ad doesn’t mention competition or who has nuclear weapons. Goes for soft sell to deep sell. - Finds out what is in consumers minds and how ads can envoke them. Partipulation – audience participates in their own manipulation. Semiology – study of sign/meaning. How is meaning made? How do ads work? A sign is anything that has a meaning. A sign is made up of two things: 1. signifier – the carrier of the meaning 2. signified – the meaning “A Diamond is Forever” The signifier in this case has nothing, however what is signified is everlasting love. How do ads work? 1. Transfer of meaning. 2. Requires us to do more 3. We need to access to reference systems to complete the means. (code of popular culture. Lecture 2 Advertising is a challenge of propaganda. - Must decipher a code from an advertisement. Create meaning for a product. Must know what the symbols in an ad mean or it will make no sense. Some ads can not be shown because their message can remind us of devastating or unfortunate past events. - Some ads will use messages that change your self-image so you get the product. Levitra and Viagra use “upper class” individuals so people using the product will feel important. You can change the nature of the product. - A product can go from being tough to being a comedy to a lifestyle depending on the message the ad portrays. Some ads don’t even say what they do because of the nature of the product. - Miller lite got tough athletes to endorse lite beer because lite beer was once considered a “girly” drink. Change the connotation from weak to manly. 4 FORMATS THAT OPERATE IN ADVERTISING 1. The product information format – product equals information, focus on what the product does. Question? What does the product do? 2. The product image format – the product is a symbol and is portrayed through a setting/ different context Question? What does it mean to use this product? 3. The personalized format – product equals the person. Direct relationship and person is changed by the product. Question? How can I become happy through consumption? 4. The lifestyle format – person, product and setting are linked by some lifestyle setting. Group identity and lifestyle setting Question? Who is the person I become in the process of consumption? Who are the other consumers like me? Lecture 3 If you have control of the media you can tell your story even if it has no reality. Changes in business – GLOBALIZATION. A product has a different meaning in different segments of the world. BRANDING – making the logo mean something. Nike’s meaning is sports. MEDIA – now operating on a global scale. MTV and ESPN are examples. The media needs to be as large as the business companies they deal with. Audiences can become split more and more when there are too many choices. Audiences are seen as resistive to advertisements (young people). They have cynical thoughts about the world and they believe they’re ad savvy (not affected by ads). Response to problems with audience. - Benetone clothing creates a new ad campaign - Shock advertising (makes people view crazy images) - No use of clothes in the actual ads. - They use ads that portray the news not the products. 1. Emotional impact – generating huge amount of controversy through questionable ads. Lure you toward the ads through emotion. Using the power of the media to get points across. This makes you affected whether you want to be or not. They get you to not change the channel and usually tell you nothing about the product. 2. Self-Referential – the world of ads are referenced in the ads. Discussion about ads with the ads itself. Mocks ads in an ad and uses other lifestyle ads. 3. Unusual/Unexpected/Surprise- drawn in by a crazy or controversial ad and unexpected transformation occur. 4. Technique – difficulty in making ads, being attracted by a radically computerized ad. Also you marvel at the technique. 5. Humor (cruel) – using crude humor to get attention. Lecture 4 Stages of advertising: 1. Idolatry (Utility) 2. Iconology (product symbols) 3. Narcissism (personalization) 5. 4. Totenism (lifestyle) th 5 stage of advertising? - “saturnalia” - Anchrend – Roman festival - Unrestricted celebration – focus on sensual experiences switching roles, mashs, playfulness Since the 1980s the pharmaceutical industry has consistently ranked as the mot profitable industry in the US. Yearly sales $200 billion nationally, $500 billion globally. Profits are 18% of income, highest of any industry. Has coincidence with the rise of Direct to Customer (DTC) advertising Changes in advertising rules in late 1990s made possible new kinds of television advertising for pharmaceutical drugs. Changing the relationship between patients and doctors Emotional relationship between consumer and drugs. Side effects have to be mentioned,. th Adverse drug reactions 5 leading cause of death in US. 100,000 die every year, 1 million injured. More drugs are not better. “New” drugs are the result of bigger corporate profits, NOT concerns with patient health and keeping costs down. When patents run out, and drugs can become available generically- Have to transition patents and doctors to a new drug. Influence of the industry in redefining what constitutes a disease. Creating new diseases for old drugs as their patent is expiring. Giving a market answer to a social problem. (Medicating kids). Over a million kids are on anti depressants. Increase in diagnosis of ADHD. In first three years of 21 century 50% rise in number of kids on drugs for ADHD. What happens to public health when a profit driven industry controls how we think about it and when advertising becomes the main voice of education? Today over $15 billion a year spent on marketing to children. Was not always the case. Kids have not always been the targets of marketing in the way they are today. Obesity rates for children have tripled since 1980, youth obesity at 25%. 1 in 3 five year olds will develop diabetes. 21% of 9-17 year olds suffer from a mental or addictive disorder. Average young person has anxiety levels equal to child psychiatric in patients in 1957. What is the relationship between the marketing activities and these emotional and physical trends? More research into toys and
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