The Commercial (Discussion)
The Polysemy of Commodities
- Luxury, leisure and conspicuous consumption
- The natural
- Folk culture and tradition
- Novelty and progress
- Sexuality and romance
- Alleviation of pain, fear/anxiety and guilt
- Utopia and escape from dystopia
The Persuasive Style of Commercials
- Utopian style
- Product differentiation and superiority
- Repetition and redundancy
- Extraordinary and excessive style: “televisuality” and counter television
- Graphics and animation
- Violating reality (special effects)
- Reflexivity and intertextuality
Groups will analyze a commercial from a 2013 episode of The Simpsons. You should first identify the meanings or polysemy attached to the advertised commodity and then you should identify the persuasive style used to present that polysemy.
Alternative commercial analysis
From The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006).
- Jeremy G. Butler, Television: Critical Methods and Applications (New York: Routledge, 2012).