CMN 2173: Chapter 4 March 4th 2014
Chapter 4: The codes of the audience.
Chapter 3 involved a very detailed analysis of the specific political economy of commercial media.
In this chapter I will start to let out a more concrete and more specific conceptual framework for an
understanding of commercial messages that emerges from the issues examined in the last chapter at the
end of this chapter I will develop some hypotheses concerning advertising’s form and content.
Without the production of commodities in general there would be no opportunity of commodities in general
there would be no opportunity for audiences to work for anybody, either advertisers or media.
Without the need to market goods, there would be no buyers for audience time and thus no reason for its
creation as a commodity.
The most important if these strategies is what has been termed as market segmentation which Wendell
Smith (1972) defines as consisting of viewing a heterogeneous marker ( one characterized by divergent
demand) as a number of smaller homogenous markets in response to differing product preferences among
important market segments.
Instead of trying to differentiate a brand from its competitors for the entire marker, segmentation
concentrates on trying to reach a specific market within the mass market.
Advertising and the domain of meaning:
Product focused advertising dominated the industry from approximately 1900 to 1950 and was based on
the strategy of showing through the device known as the Unique Selling Proposition, that one brand was
superior to another.
In SCA we are able to show this shift to usercentered (o situation centered) advertising in our historical
study of magazine advertising.
Tony Schwartz (1974): resonance theory of communication whereby the critical task is to design our
package of stimuli ads so that it resonates with information already stored within an individual and thereby
induces the desired learning or behavioural effect.
Judith Williamson: her central point is that meaning is created through the audience, rather than meaning
being directed at audiences.
Schwartz partipulation whereby the advertisement does not manipulate the audience but invites their
participation in the construction of meaning. These systems of meaning from which we draw the told to complete the transfer are referred to by
Williamson as referent systems.
Audience properly to decode the message (transfer meaning