The Commercial (Discussion)

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The Polysemy of Commodities

  1. Luxury, leisure and conspicuous consumption
  2. Individualism
  3. The natural
  4. Folk culture and tradition
  5. Novelty and progress
  6. Sexuality and romance
  7. Alleviation of pain, fear/anxiety and guilt
  8. Utopia and escape from dystopia

The Persuasive Style of Commercials

  1. Metaphor
  2. Utopian style
  3. Product differentiation and superiority
  4. Repetition and redundancy
  5. Extraordinary and excessive style: “televisuality” and counter television
  6. Graphics and animation
  7. Violating reality (special effects)
  8. Reflexivity and intertextuality

Commercial analysis

Commercials from a rerun broadcast of Maine Cabin Masters on September 10, 2020.

First identify the meanings or polysemy attached to the advertised commodity and then identify the persuasive style used to present that polysemy.

On Blackboard, LG Cord Zero is in Commercial Break #1 and the rest are in Commercial Break #2. Caution: the audio is a bit high in these videos! View more screenshots from the commercials.

2013 commercial analysis

Commercials from a 2013 episode of The Simpsons (2/10/2013).

2006 commercial analysis

From The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006).


  1. Jeremy G. Butler, Television: Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture (New York: Routledge, 2018).

External links