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Chapter 4 (aka “Running It Up a Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes”)

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 (aka “Running It Up a Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes”)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4 (aka “Running It Up a Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes”)

2 Chapter 4 Keys Brands we use everyday– the “Lisa Greatgal” example “Lisa Greatgal” and “Johnny Q. Public’s” Daily Media Diet The contention that “media dominate our lives” based on hours per year spent using various media (p. 63) That we may spend close to twice the amount of hours per year consuming media (3649 hours) than we do if we work 40 hours a week for 50 weeks (2000 hours) The price we pay for “free” television is being exposed to countless commercials

3 Advertising Pressures? Exposure to so many commercials (and advertising in general)– does it put pressure on us to purchase things? Researchers contend that advertising has a much more profound impact than we imagine on our consciousness, our identities, our belief systems, our private lives, and our societies and culture in general What are the cultural consequences of the commercial and of the advertising industry in general?

4 Unconscious Influences Psychologists such as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud believed that things can be in our minds without our being aware of them That the unconscious determines many of our actions, even though we are unaware that it is doing so We have repressed much of the material in our unconscious and thus find ourselves doing things at the “command,” so to speak, of forces in our unconscious Advertising agencies, some contend, use subliminal means- means that we are not conscious of- to persuade us to buy the products and services they are peddling Such theories have never been proven- food for thought See examples of ads with perceived subliminal messages

5 Branding- buying the “right” stuff Ad agencies stress the importance of “branding”- which involves developing an emotional tie between some product or service and individuals (brand loyalty) More precisely, it involves an emotional tie between individuals and images they have of the product It can be said that branding- the process of differentiation- is at the core of advertising (Cortese, p. 73)- that what distinguishes similar products is not ingredients but packaging and brand names Would it surprise you to know that most major shampoos are made by two or three manufacturers? The major thrust of advertising is to remind shoppers to seek out and purchase a particular brand Branding seeks to nullify or compensate for the fact that products are otherwise fundamentally interchangeable

6 Which car is better? Tests have shown that consumers cannot distinguish between their own brand of soap, beer, cigarette, water, cola, shampoo, gasoline from others In a sense, advertising is like holding up two identical photographs and persuading you that they are different- in fact, that one is better than the other Becoming attached to certain brands help us form an identity We use brands to differentiate ourselves from other people and to generate images of ourselves to others that we think are positive We become, so to speak, the sum of our brands– it is the symbolic value of brands, not the functions of the products, that become most important

7 Selling/Masking Ourselves In a marketing society like the U.S., we learn to market ourselves, and using brand names gives anxiety-ridden people a sense of security that they believe will enhance the job of selling themselves that they feel they must do You could say personality is the product– the term “personality” has its root in the Latin word “persona” which means “mask” So our personalities are “masks” we wear to sell ourselves to others- to become popular, to market ourselves, to find a job or a mate Our personalities- and the products we purchase to shape them- help us fit in, get along and advance in the world But the products we use keep changing, which means our personas, to the extent that they are intimately connected to the products we use, keep changing also And, sadly perhaps, our sense of ourselves- whether we are successes or failures- is tied, we are taught by advertising, to what we can afford Our personalities, then, are to a considerable degree, products based on the material culture that we make part of our lives And so we are doomed to constant change as we sample different styles and identities to suit our whims The problem is that identity suggests some kind of coherence, and a constantly changing identity is a contradiction in terms


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