Presentation on theme: "Fonctions symboliques de l'image dans le paradigme de la communication organisationnelle Fonctions symboliques de l'image dans le paradigme de la communication."— Presentation transcript:
Fonctions symboliques de l'image dans le paradigme de la communication organisationnelle Fonctions symboliques de l'image dans le paradigme de la communication organisationnelle PhD. Oana BARBU Faculté des Sciences Politiques, Philosophie et Sciences de la Communication L'Université de l'Ouest, Timisoara, Roumanie www.oanabarbu.com
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Changing the representation Changing the context Changing the public to whom you address to Changing the Communication strategy Changing the methodology of communication and interpretation
Same identity, different image? What happens at an organizational level?
The image does not open but delimitates a frame of interpretation for the beholder, interpretation which itself is symbolically mediated within a practiced context Starting with Cassirer’s theorizations (1997, 1975) we have tried to define the symbolic functions of the organizational image reporting to its components (identity, desirable image, received image);
What has changed? Expressive function – symbols of identity Representational function (putting expressions into action) Significant function (both function are interpreted by the public and media) the same organizational identity!
Significant function of an image 1.Representational for an image 2.Expressive for an identity Characteristics: Symbolical function – multiple interpretations but in a delimited context Indicative function– indicates a way of reading an image/identity Informative function – it informs about an organizational identity
How can we analyze the symbolic function of a perceived organizational image? Methodology?
“There is a huge gap in the current Communication Sciences literature concerning the balance between an assumed identity and a received image of an organization. To little is discussed upon the premises and symbolic implication in identity transfer process to a targeted public, and a certain amount of corporate communication strategies are concerned more about “how it should be done” (the event or the campaign), than about “why it should be done” in this particular manner.” This paper will try to emphasis on the advertising’s commercials analysis focusing on the models offered by the critical thinking tests, from which we will resume only to the LSAT tests perspective. Organizational images will be approached in the ‘advertising discourse’, and the advertising discourse will be seen as ‘public discourse’. We will resume in our presentation the three most important LSAT perspectives on advertising discursive analysis (the comprehensive analysis, the informational analysis and the logical-argumentative analysis).
Critical Analysis of Information in the Organizational image Discourse PhD. Gheorghe CLITAN PhD. Oana BARBU Faculté des Sciences Politiques, Philosophie et Sciences de la Communication L'Université de l'Ouest, Timisoara, Roumanie
informational analysis We will then briefly present you the perspective offered by the models of critical thinking tests for advertising, focusing on informational analysis and how can it be applied to the interpretation of images in an advertising poster. Our presentation will also include a practical example of decoding an organizational image discourse using typical questions of informational analysis.
Critical thinking is at the same time an attitude, a philosophy, and an instrument. In this study, it concerns us as an instrument. As an instrument, it helps us evaluate reasons and arguments, to detect intentional or unintentional messages, to remove propaganda and manipulation by image usage. Critical thinking teaches us how to understand and how to use different information available in a communicated organizational image.
Advertising is an imago-text discourse where critical thinking can occur both as: practical reasoning in the everyday as an institutional evaluation methodology necessary to build and deconstruct a discourse. For this reason, advertising discourse can be addressed as public speech.
Previous attempts in standardizing the advertising speech as a public speech can be mentioned. One of them, the so called SPAM model (Rozakis, L., How to talk in public, 2007, p. 59) can be set as a premise for our analysis. The name of the model is an acronym starting from the questions to which any public speech has to answer: – A) What is the situation (context)? – B) What is our purpose (stake)? – C) Who is the audience (public)? – D) Which is the method (the way, the steps)?
Answering these questions implies an analysis of different aspects of organizational image production, such as: a) The context in which the advertisement was created and launched; (social, cultural, particular behavioural aspects) b) The perspective from which the public can understand the advertisement; (representations) c) The state of fact of what the object of the advertisement is; (expressions of the organizational identity) d) The disturbing or the favourable factors of the advertisement; (filters of image representations) e) The personality of the different categories of public to whom the advertisement is addressed; (various interpretations of image representation) f) The purpose of the advertisement; (desired image representation) g) Strategies, techniques and instruments used for sending the message; (means of interpretation and filters of an identity)
Informational analysis of the advertising discourse Analytical Reasoning Questions (organization, grouping, structuring information in a discourse), communication of symbolic functions Logical Reasoning Questions (structuring and de-structuring an argumentative discourse), used between image-text rhetorical construction Reading Comprehension Questions (understanding long discourses by comprehensive thinking), understanding a communicated identity
Methodology For the informational analysis of the advertising discourse from a critical thinking perspective we will retain only how skills were used to analyze the information in the LAST test. This test consists of multiple choice questions, some of which concern the use of information skills in reasoning or thinking
We shall limit ourselves below only to underline the vision of an analytical approach to advertising’s discourse, focusing on the questions from which we can identify the course of an organizational image communication. We will elaborate the specifics of critical thinking perspectives of analysis by giving answers to the main types of questions that underlie the three components of critical thinking: Analytical Reasoning Questions, Logical Reasoning Questions and Reading Comprehension Questions.
Case study: Carlsberg advertising poster Communicating an image by using the significance function
1. Informational analysis reasoning first step: the interpretation using the SPAM model or another functional analysis model (“The Toulmin model”, for example). standardizing information from a given image Due to the lack of space and protection of the research, we will use the data of a laborious documentation, but we'll give only general guidelines on how you should follow the analysis:
Situation Awareness campaign poster for a beer brand Branding communication and identification of a target Promoting a product through a visual impact discourse Purpose The Image/awareness campaign requests a quality differentiation on a competitive market Generating a positive attitude towards the product Audience Specific targeted public: +18/ +21 beer drinkers with high living standards Selective lifestyle and specific consumer habits (appreciate an expensive beer because of its high standards) A public that appreciates quality and themselves above anything else
Method Visual impact: strong easy to recognise colours; easy logo identification; the use of symbols and analogies: 1.The beer caps shape, as they may have never seen it before 2.The drop of beer in the shape of a pearl Persuasive methods: The droplet of beer In the form of a shell (symbolic representation) This certain brand of beer seen as treasure. (metaphorical representation) This brand of beer is rare and should be cherished. (value representations) The bottle-caps shaped as an opened oyster don’t have a direct tie to the brand or the product, the meaning has to be extracted and deduced by its audience. abstractization and interpretation of image expressions Strong textual persuasion: the slogan, left at a probabilistic phase: “Probably the best beer in the world” reinforces the idea suggested by the image, inviting the public to adherence. (representational interpretation)
2. Analytical reasoning Questions When analysing an advertising poster from a critical thinking perspective, the first step can be summarised by the use of deductive reasoning skills, borrowed from the Analytical Reasoning perspective: Organizing, grouping and structuring the information from an advertising poster Organizing, grouping and structuring the information from an advertising poster – The image is simplistic organized, almost intuitive placed for the eye of the beholder. – The green background offers a strong suggestion on the brand’s corporate identity (logo and design colors), make it easily to identify. (use of image expressions) – The lack of elements does not weaken the strong impact of the poster, it organizes the “reading” and the interpretation of the presented elements. (use of representational function) – logo in the upper right corner: directs the gaze of the observer, leading to brand identification. – The central point of the ad is the metaphor of the beer caps: symbolic visual construction functions as a catalyst between the logo and the probabilistic form of the slogan “Probably the best beer in the world”.
2. Analytical reasoning Questions Expressing and ordering the premises and the implicit conclusions At a visual level, the association between beer and a pearl is used to validate the information provided in the slogan. The argumentation is based on the association between its components exactly like in an entimema: (call for action ant interpretation) A pearl is like a treasure; a drop of Carlsberg beer resembles to a golden pearl, therefore, a drop of this beer is like a treasure! The visual message is constructed so that the beholder gets a clear idea about the high quality of the beer and also identifies the brand! If X was the droplet of beer and it would be replaced with something else, an ice-cube for example, the message would change from the beer being a treasure, to the fact that the product should always be served cold!
Comprehending the basic structure of a set of relationship by generating a complete solution to a posed problem By trying to answer to the question „Which of the affirmations regarding X should be true?” we can easily conclude that the slogan “Probably the best beer in the world” is grounded in the concept of probability, leaving the interpretation of the validation of the information for the public. (use o significant function) The public is invited to associate the elements “that resides in the mind”; networking between informational elements is left at a symbolic interpretation level, a metaphorical one, without being supported by a solid argumentation. Negative outcome: the pubic might not agree with the idea of the ad’s product as being a “treasure”, without them having tried it beforehand! As stated in the slogan, the value of its product excels the value of other similar products. It can, however, backfire by the act of using hyperbole, and not be taken seriously. call for public’s confirmation public’s confirmation used as significant function
2. Analytical reasoning Questions Recognizing when two statements are logically equivalent in context by identifying a condition or rule that could replace one of the original conditions while still resulting in the same possible outcomes; the discourse is not based on verifiable statements. According to the validation questions, all that may be true of this poster is the probability of the statements. Link between the lingvistic level (“probably the best”) ant the visual level questions regarding understanding the request The ad poster presents data of the informational structure with the purpose of attending public’s accession : Carlsberg is, as a pearl, a treasure, therefore it is “Probably the best beer in the world”. The informational structure has an extremely simple structure; the information is stated and supported by a visual comparison that neither can be denied, nor can be confirmed.
The purpose of this poster is to promote the Carlsberg beer and positioning it superior to the competition. In the eye of the public, the representation of a drop of beer in the shape of a pearl in a cap-shell, is structured as an „if … then” argument. The validation of the information has to take place under certain specified circumstances: the acquisition of the product. the proposed hypothesis in the slogan functions as a “call to action” factor that urges you to try the product in order to validate the statement and confirm the metaphorical comparison. Finding out new information about the product is possible by using a rhetorical figure “exigence”, a situation that compels someone to speak out, but only after gathering all the information, including product testing! the emergence of new information
3. Logical Reasoning Questions Logical Reasoning Skills are skills to analyze, critically evaluate, and complete arguments as their attendance in ordinary language. For the advertising image discourse analysis this equates to a widening in the interpretation of a poster. Questions are more succinct, more accurate, searching to identify an argumentative structure. Identifying a reasoning error is one of the main tasks that can be performed, as identifying the assumptions and presuppositions in an argument defines the way an argument is constructed.
3. Logical Reasoning Questions Identification of ideas, themes or key issues; Although vague in details, the ad taken as a whole tells its audience that “their product is a treasure” and that “it’s probably the best one in the world”. Mostly persuasive and metaphorical this ad poster leaves informing its audience as a tertiary objective. The poster is built like a still life painting, with emphasis on the symbolic visual element of the visual level. the brand can be identified by its name “Carlsberg”, logo, and slogan (“Probably the best beer in the world”) all together with the green color. When we look away from familiars, there are also the bottle-caps that are the same as the ones on the bottles and carry the logo/brand name on them.
the argumentative structure identification (explicit or tacit) The lack of clutter in the ad suggests that simplicity is taken as part of the brand + promoted as a value. – Luxury is always simple None of the information given supports generalization, but rather it invites the public to confirm generalization. The comparison between a beer and a pearl contained in a shell (formed by two beer caps) draws a strong bond between the contextual information (promoting a beer) and the background information (a superior quality product). Consequently, the informational facts can be only intuitively represented by the public in accordance to symbols, formal notations, and comparison representations.
4. Reading Comprehension Questions These type of questions do not stop at text elements, but take into account the visual discourse of the poster. Identifying points of view The “author” tries to point out the product’s superior quality by comparing a drop of beer with a pearl. The use of the oyster shell as a metaphor for treasure transmits the point of view supported by the author, leaving very little room for misinterpretation on the audiences’ end. The context in which the product is placed creates an idealized image of the brand. The beer is placed at the level of luxury products, not accessible to all. In this way the public’s desire is aroused: the construction of the “call to action argument” is significant.
4. Reading Comprehension Questions clarifying the meaning / significance / reference of expressions The comparison of a beer with a treasure is unsustainable outside of a metaphor; the quality of the product cannot be doubted as it is stated both visually and textually in the slogan. The fact that the background is green is far from a coincidence: This color is an integral part of Carlsberg’s logo. Possible attitudes generated by meaning clarifications: The underlying message raises a positive attitude in the mind of the consumer. (positive perception of an image) They take their product very seriously and do not risk tarnishing its reputation. (positive perception of a brand/company) Possible negative effects: in any “wow” factor campaign: The risk of going overboard is always present Some may think luxury doesn’t have to be exposed
Conclusion? 1.The advertisement poster is valid in terms of argumentative discourse; 2. Successfully meets a purpose of persuasion. 3. The informational purpose is not clearly observable and it raises questions about the presented facts. (symbolical functions!) 4.Its rhetorical visual discourse, is highly persuasive in terms of “call to action”. However, for an awareness branding discourse it is highly probable to find a dissonance between information and persuasion means. 1.Among the questions that are found in the structure, analytical reasoning questions are crucial for data analysis used in image communication strategy, but not sufficient! the analysis of organizational image, must be accompanied by questions aimed to all the information contained in a brand’s image, related to a specific context but also according to a fixed identity context.