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From Naturalisation to Sacralisation: Changing Paradigms for Analysing Visual Advertising
Unformatted Document Text:  13 13 shows and by magazine editors and by the advertiser. Hence Fowles would argue that a frame is above all a textual practice for defining meaning for brands, goods and the subjective uses people make of them. It is not simply a reflection of a cultural context. It contributes to the construction of a brand which is one context of meaning for an advertisement. This emphasis on the similarity of reading advertisements and making them reminds us of Austin’s speech act theory and Wittgenstein’s notion of language games. Contemporary advertising has become a means of producing its own language games. It acts with words and images, producing a game which interpolates the consumer. In this game, reference is first and foremost to the language game of advertising and the brand world. The advertisement and the product are no longer conceived of as representing the product but as of creating a language game around it. An excellent example of this was the Wazup campaign for Budweiser beer in the US in 1999 which had a whole population saying Wazup as a greeting rather than What’s up.? or how’s life? The association of the product to the values of this commercial was secondary to language game it set up. The advertisement showed people watching television and speaking on the telephone. The phone rings and they say Wazup? To each other and eventually reply “nothing , having a Bud , watching the game”. Initially the phrase “wazup” would be a classic case of what Jakobson calls phatic communication, 7 .but then goes through a series of permutations. including asking for mustard (wasabe) in a Japanese restaurant. and transforming it into watzupbee. The Budweiser watzup campaign is an excellent case of how an advertising text gets taken up and influences the context of communication in which it is broadcast. The advertisement is interesting as well in that it shows people watching television and hence it simulates the conditions of reception, again the text mirrors the context. Myers’ theory hence allows us to consider how advertisements create “ ad worlds” where reference to an outside world or qualities of the product become less important than creating a language game around the brand. Part 6: American Approaches: Visual Dictionaries and Cultural History North American approaches to advertising have in general differed from British one in that they tended to come from a mixture of sociological theory of consumerism and media history. Stuart Ewen( 1976 and 1988) provided a social history of the rise of consumerism from a advertising point of view. Some important other social theorists of advertising have been Schudson and Jhally. Schudson’s analysis of advertising has been from the position of cultural history and how advertising encourages certain tendencies and ignores others and above all produces a consumer way of life. Leis, Kline and Jhally (1997)’s analysis of advertising links it as a discourse with a social practice, an integral part of modern culture, that it provides the discourses about objects which structure social experience and culture. They analyse the cultural history of advertising in a framework which moves from the cultural frame of idolatry(1890-1914) to iconology ( 1920 to 1940) to narcissism (1950 to 1970) to 7 Aform of comunication which simplyreassures both parties that they are communicating to each other. For example saying hello in eEglish

Authors: Doyle, Waddick.
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shows and by magazine editors and by the advertiser. Hence Fowles would argue that a frame
is above all a textual practice for defining meaning for brands, goods and the subjective uses
people make of them. It is not simply a reflection of a cultural context. It contributes to the
construction of a brand which is one context of meaning for an advertisement.

This emphasis on the similarity of reading advertisements and making them reminds us of
Austin’s speech act theory and Wittgenstein’s notion of language games. Contemporary
advertising has become a means of producing its own language games. It acts with words and
images, producing a game which interpolates the consumer. In this game, reference is first
and foremost to the language game of advertising and the brand world. The advertisement
and the product are no longer conceived of as representing the product but as of creating a
language game around it.

An excellent example of this was the Wazup campaign for Budweiser beer in the US in
1999 which had a whole population saying Wazup as a greeting rather than What’s up.? or
how’s life? The association of the product to the values of this commercial was secondary to
language game it set up. The advertisement showed people watching television and speaking
on the telephone. The phone rings and they say Wazup? To each other and eventually reply
nothing , having a Bud , watching the game”. Initially the phrase “wazup” would be a
classic case of what Jakobson calls phatic communication,
7
.but then goes through a series of
permutations. including asking for mustard (wasabe) in a Japanese restaurant. and
transforming it into watzupbee. The Budweiser watzup campaign is an excellent case of
how an advertising text gets taken up and influences the context of communication in which
it is broadcast. The advertisement is interesting as well in that it shows people watching
television and hence it simulates the conditions of reception, again the text mirrors the
context. Myers’ theory hence allows us to consider how advertisements create “ ad worlds”
where reference to an outside world or qualities of the product become less important than
creating a language game around the brand.
Part 6: American Approaches: Visual Dictionaries and Cultural History

North American approaches to advertising have in general differed from British one in that
they tended to come from a mixture of sociological theory of consumerism and media history.
Stuart Ewen( 1976 and 1988) provided a social history of the rise of consumerism from a
advertising point of view. Some important other social theorists of advertising have been
Schudson and Jhally. Schudson’s analysis of advertising has been from the position of
cultural history and how advertising encourages certain tendencies and ignores others and
above all produces a consumer way of life. Leis, Kline and Jhally (1997)’s analysis of
advertising links it as a discourse with a social practice, an integral part of modern culture,
that it provides the discourses about objects which structure social experience and culture.
They analyse the cultural history of advertising in a framework which moves from the cultural
frame of idolatry(1890-1914) to iconology ( 1920 to 1940) to narcissism (1950 to 1970) to
7
Aform of comunication which simplyreassures both parties that they
are communicating to each other. For example saying hello in
eEglish


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