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From Naturalisation to Sacralisation: Changing Paradigms for Analysing Visual Advertising
Unformatted Document Text:  2 2 of it as good information and increasing choice and those who criticised it did so because it was seen as manipulative, providing false information, and even secret subliminal messages. This is the thesis advanced by Vance Packard (1958) in “ The Hidden Persuaders” Berger pre-empted the postmodern notion that advertising provides values that the consumer identifies with, rather than simply giving information about the product. He argued that advertising solicits people to think about themselves differently, to identify with the product, to imagine how others think of them, and to think of how their lives could be with the product. For him, advertising is not so much about reporting the real world as creating a way of being a subject, of soliciting a certain notion of self. Berger pre-empted the main ideas of interpolation which Williamson would apply to advertising. His work in a simple naive manner also shares many of the ideas of the linguist Benveniste, about how the linguistic act enunciates and defines subject position as well as creating a sense of time and space. The reader is always placed in relation to time; a time produced by the text of the advertisement itself. Berger claimed that advertising was never about the present, always in the future tense. The reader is placed in a virtual world where the reader imagines a causal narrative. We could paraphrase Berger’s description of the reader’s reaction“ I will become lovable desirable and attractive if I am conjoined with the products. Others will want to be like this future self and hence it and I will gain value by being seen as being in a desired state.” Numerous contemporary advertisements seem to be the simple application of Berger’s analysis. Gucci's perfume Envy reads almost as a quotation of Berger as was the British campaign for Wonderbra with its slogan Envy, a terrible thing (Bignell 1997). Bignell argues that this campaign suggests that it is enviable not to seek or need the envy of others. It is a type of meta–envy which may be even . Another example is more seductive than the earlier incitation to desire. An example of the explicit use of envy as leitmotif is the advertising campaign for Patrick Cox “ Wannabe” shoes which shows women competing enviously for their shoes. Some advertisers may now no longer encourage readers to believe that they will be enviable when they have the product but nevertheless explicitly appropriate Berger’s notion of glamour being produced through envy. Some post-modern brands such as Diesel explicitly posit a state of being uninterested in the envy of others as being enviable. This is linked to the more recent concept of being cool which is not our subject here but that we would argue is a recent variation of glamour. Advertisement 1 for Louis Vuitton reads as an instantiation of Berger’s theory. Here we see not surprisingly the two redheads 1 (who in fact seem to be the same person), fighting over the same bag, presumably for some future where they will be more glamorous with the bag. Girl one struggles with girl two to get the bag, perhaps to become a more glamorous version of her. Both girls who are indeed the same girl are dressed in a similar manner but in different shades of green. Yet the girl on the right is pulling with all her might to wrest the handbag 1 not surprising if we remember the history of redheads always being portrayed as figures of jealousy and betrayal in western painting explained by Michel Pastoreau(1999)

Authors: Doyle, Waddick.
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of it as good information and increasing choice and those who criticised it did so because it
was seen as manipulative, providing false information, and even secret subliminal messages.
This is the thesis advanced by Vance Packard (1958) in “ The Hidden Persuaders”
Berger pre-empted the postmodern notion that advertising provides values that the consumer
identifies with, rather than simply giving information about the product. He argued that
advertising solicits people to think about themselves differently, to identify with the product,
to imagine how others think of them, and to think of how their lives could be with the
product. For him, advertising is not so much about reporting the real world as creating a way
of being a subject, of soliciting a certain notion of self.

Berger pre-empted the main ideas of interpolation which Williamson would apply to
advertising. His work in a simple naive manner also shares many of the ideas of the linguist
Benveniste, about how the linguistic act enunciates and defines subject position as well as
creating a sense of time and space. The reader is always placed in relation to time; a time
produced by the text of the advertisement itself. Berger claimed that advertising was never
about the present, always in the future tense. The reader is placed in a virtual world where the
reader imagines a causal narrative. We could paraphrase Berger’s description of the reader’s
reaction“ I will become lovable desirable and attractive if I am conjoined with the products.
Others will want to be like this future self and hence it and I will gain value by being seen as
being in a desired state.”

Numerous contemporary advertisements seem to be the simple application of Berger’s
analysis. Gucci's perfume Envy reads almost as a quotation of Berger as was the British
campaign for Wonderbra with its slogan Envy, a terrible thing (Bignell 1997). Bignell argues
that this campaign suggests that it is enviable not to seek or need the envy of others. It is a
type of meta–envy which may be even . Another example is more seductive than the earlier
incitation to desire. An example of the explicit use of envy as leitmotif is the advertising
campaign for Patrick Cox “ Wannabe” shoes which shows women competing enviously for
their shoes.

Some advertisers may now no longer encourage readers to believe that they will be enviable
when they have the product but nevertheless explicitly appropriate Berger’s notion of glamour
being produced through envy. Some post-modern brands such as Diesel explicitly posit a state
of being uninterested in the envy of others as being enviable. This is linked to the more
recent concept of being cool which is not our subject here but that we would argue is a recent
variation of glamour.

Advertisement 1 for Louis Vuitton reads as an instantiation of Berger’s theory. Here we see
not surprisingly the two redheads
1
(who in fact seem to be the same person), fighting over the
same bag, presumably for some future where they will be more glamorous with the bag. Girl
one struggles with girl two to get the bag, perhaps to become a more glamorous version of
her. Both girls who are indeed the same girl are dressed in a similar manner but in different
shades of green. Yet the girl on the right is pulling with all her might to wrest the handbag
1
not surprising if we remember the history of
redheads always being portrayed as figures of
jealousy and betrayal in western painting
explained by Michel Pastoreau(1999)


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