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From Naturalisation to Sacralisation: Changing Paradigms for Analysing Visual Advertising
Unformatted Document Text:  17 17 In each of these juxtaposed worlds, the handbag is present. It is both in the embedded advertisement (the ad within the ad) and in the street. Its structural meaning is that it can bridge or travel between the worlds of advertising and the real world of the street phone booth. The bag can travel between the semi-sacred world of the ad in the ad and the ordinary world of the street. This after all, is entirely appropriate for travel ware. As there is in an advertisement inside the advertisement, (mise-en-abyme), by analogy, we can imagine that the handbag can also bridge the gap between the “real world” viewer who reads the magazines and the larger ad in the context of the magazine. 8E.Correspondence between parts There is a correspondence at an abstract level between the foreground and the background. The background contrasts a vertical immobile element (the building) with a moving horizontal element (the taxi). The foreground contrasts a media and a street space. De Certeau’s famous distinction between space and place may be useful here. Space is defined by the mobile objects that move within it and place is defined by the immobile objects that stand in it. Space is associated with movement and the connotations of freedom and the virtual. The media space of the ad implies permanence compared to the transience of the woman in the phone booth. The distinction between media and ordinary worlds in the foreground is mapped on to that of space and place in the background. The media world is immobile whereas the ordinary world is as temporary as is the girl’s occupancy of the phone booth. Paradoxically the advertising media world inside the overall ad seems more real or believable. It is interesting to note how the ad still proposes two versions of glamour discussed above; the Berger idea of a fantasised self (presented by the naked figure with bag in the embedded ad) as well as the postmodern indifference to glamour which is a type of cool street glamour. This “cool” version is present in the clothed model in the phone booth who seems indifferent to her own mediatisation in the billboard, invisible to her but visible to us. She is “cool” because she is able to cross between media and ordinary worlds. 8F.Integration of Parts/Synthesis. This advertisement comes together as a whole by the relationship between its various parts but principally by its relation through the embedded ad to the whole. The bag and hence the brand are agents of mediation, something that can move between worlds. The brand englobes both the act of communication of the advertisement and is marked on the bag. Both brand and bag are in the world of advertising, of virtual space, of almost sacred media images but also in the profane ordinary world of the street. In fact, as we shall see later the ad gives the brand the almost sacred status of the media world. By analogy, it is implied that the bag can also mediate between the world of the ad and the world of the spectator. Its sacralised function is to act as an agent of mediation between the media world and the ordinary world. It should be noted that the telephone booth and the embedded ad occupy only half of the advertising space. The other half of the space is the cityscape with the yellow blur of a taxi. This blur indicates the speed and transience of urban life versus the permanence of buildings and the arresting moments of traffic lights. Hence the brand becomes a moment of pause in

Authors: Doyle, Waddick.
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In each of these juxtaposed worlds, the handbag is present. It is both in the embedded
advertisement (the ad within the ad) and in the street. Its structural meaning is that it can
bridge or travel between the worlds of advertising and the real world of the street phone
booth. The bag can travel between the semi-sacred world of the ad in the ad and the ordinary
world of the street. This after all, is entirely appropriate for travel ware. As there is in an
advertisement inside the advertisement, (mise-en-abyme), by analogy, we can imagine that
the handbag can also bridge the gap between the “real world” viewer who reads the
magazines and the larger ad in the context of the magazine.

8E.Correspondence between parts

There is a correspondence at an abstract level between the foreground and the background.
The background contrasts a vertical immobile element (the building) with a moving
horizontal element (the taxi). The foreground contrasts a media and a street space. De
Certeau’s famous distinction between space and place may be useful here. Space is defined
by the mobile objects that move within it and place is defined by the immobile objects that
stand in it. Space is associated with movement and the connotations of freedom and the
virtual. The media space of the ad implies permanence compared to the transience of the
woman in the phone booth. The distinction between media and ordinary worlds in the
foreground is mapped on to that of space and place in the background. The media world is
immobile whereas the ordinary world is as temporary as is the girl’s occupancy of the phone
booth.

Paradoxically the advertising media world inside the overall ad seems more real or believable.
It is interesting to note how the ad still proposes two versions of glamour discussed above;
the Berger idea of a fantasised self (presented by the naked figure with bag in the embedded
ad) as well as the postmodern indifference to glamour which is a type of cool street glamour.
This “cool” version is present in the clothed model in the phone booth who seems indifferent
to her own mediatisation in the billboard, invisible to her but visible to us. She is “cool”
because she is able to cross between media and ordinary worlds.
8F.Integration of Parts/Synthesis.

This advertisement comes together as a whole by the relationship between its various parts
but principally by its relation through the embedded ad to the whole. The bag and hence the
brand are agents of mediation, something that can move between worlds. The brand
englobes both the act of communication of the advertisement and is marked on the bag. Both
brand and bag are in the world of advertising, of virtual space, of almost sacred media images
but also in the profane ordinary world of the street. In fact, as we shall see later the ad gives
the brand the almost sacred status of the media world. By analogy, it is implied that the bag
can also mediate between the world of the ad and the world of the spectator. Its sacralised
function is to act as an agent of mediation between the media world and the ordinary world.

It should be noted that the telephone booth and the embedded ad occupy only half of the
advertising space. The other half of the space is the cityscape with the yellow blur of a taxi.
This blur indicates the speed and transience of urban life versus the permanence of buildings
and the arresting moments of traffic lights. Hence the brand becomes a moment of pause in


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