“The truth is that our way of celebrating the Christmas season does spring from myriad cultures and sources, from St. Nicholas to Coca-Cola advertising campaigns.” –Richard Roeper [BrainyQuote]
“Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century.” –Marshall McLuhan
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REMEMBER THIS (Review this): Words have no meanings in themselves. People have meanings for words. Meanings change in time, in place, in cultures.
Some basics: a FACT is an event, observation, or bit of information, objectively verified (or verifiable), asserted as certain, having real demonstrable existence, past or present.
A REPORT is a (written or oral) statement of fact.
An INFERENCE is a statement about the UNKNOWN, made on the basis of the KNOWN; a “maybe” even.
A JUDGMENT is a statement of OPINION, or an expression of approval or disapproval; an EVALUATION: a CONFIDENT CONCLUSION.
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Advertising is any VERBAL and/or VISUAL statement of communication, which a) ATTRACTS ATTENTION; b) CREATES A NEED; c), PRESENTS A PRODUCT (to satisfy the need or needs).
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Analyzing the “language” of advertising is a learned process, a three-part exercise that takes place sometimes in an instant 30-second commercial, or with the turn of the page of a magazine.
e. e. cummings writes “since feeling is first…” Intensely experience: see, hear, touch, taste, smell, AND kinesis [motion or non-motion] of the words, pictures, visuals, sounds; the connotation and/or denotation; the sensual (sexual) or/and the sensuous (sensory)–as the Cool Water cascades, or the Land Rover plows through the mountain snows…
Is there any/enough time to EXAMINE the language? Figures of speech? “Herding cats”? “Every kiss begins with…” Metaphor, paradox, tone (What am I stupid?), bias, irony, simile (“like a rolling stone”), “Things go better with…”; “Real heroes don’t wear capes, they wear…” Point of view? What is really being promoted?
Finally, in the last 15 seconds of the commercial for the dog food or the cold medicine or the right tequila or perfume, DECIDE THE VALUE, if you wish, weighing the importance of the mini-argument, the persuasive speech, to have you BUY-BUY-BUY, or to consider the importance of what is being spoken/written, the shingles vaccine or the flu shot, or hand-washing.
ARE YOU A RESPONSIBLE VIEWER/CONSUMER?
Next time you scratch and sniff that perfume sample in the magazine, see those TV kids spill that milk on the clean kitchen floor, smell that litter box through your 52″ 1080p HD LCD television, hear that KIA commercial one more time on the radio, or page through a two-month old issue of People while waiting for your annual doctor’s visit, pause for a moment. Be a critic:
DISCOVER PURPOSE…CRITICIZE TECHNIQUE…JUDGE ITS WORTH