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Chapter 8
Key Points:
Everything in a text such as a commercial is important
The more you know, the more you can see in a text
This because texts store a tremendous amount of information
in themselves and are a great deal more complicated than we
might imagine
The idea is also that print ads and TV spots can be seen as
popular or commercial art
The notion is that, like other art such as paintings, music,
sculptures, and poems, you can see, notice, even appreciate,
new things in more complex commercials and ads
Such ads are often rich in symbolism and interesting material
for those who have the keys- that is, the theories and
conceptual framework- to unlock their meaning
Ads and cxs are richer in meaning than we might think
And it takes a good deal of work to understand how they
communicate ideas and meaning and, to the extent that they
are successful, shape our behavior
Pages 138-140 in our book lists 15 possible topics
to consider in analyzing a print ad
 The example given is a photograph of a man and
woman with some textual material
 For homework use the Bono and wife Louis
Vuitton full color ad (handout and posted on our
class website) to thoroughly analyze its content,
messages, design, style and other factors
 This questions will direct your attention to
various matters that might be considered when
interpreting a typical print advertisement found
in a newspaper or magazine
 The
more critics know, the more they can
find in commercials or any kind of artistic or
literary text
 Book’s author uses a six different theories to
analyze this Fidji “Woman with the Snake”
perfume ad
Semiotic Analysis- What
ad or cx is part of a campaign,
what is the campaign like?
Where and how does this text
fit into campaign?
signs, symbols, and codes are
found in the text?
Psychoanalytic TheoryHow does the text make use of
the basic elements of the
human psyche to sell goods and
services? Id, ego, superego?
Sociological AnalysisWhat does the text contain
that is relevant to such
matters as socioeconomic
class, gender, race, status, and
Detailed Analysis of this ad:
Historical Analysis-If the
Political Analysis-What
role does the ad or cx have in
the political process? What
techniques used, what appeals
are made?
Myth/Ritual Analysis-
What mythical or ritualistic
aspects of the texts are of
interest? How does it relate to
ancient myths?
Pages 141-150