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From Naturalisation to Sacralisation: Changing Paradigms for Analysing Visual Advertising
Unformatted Document Text:  5 5 discusses advertising as an attempt to give individuals a role as consuming subjects, arguing that 2 the very act of establishing individuality is part of a process of social integration. Being connected can in fact come to mean that we singly come to mean the totemic identity…. We give it meaning by our individuality. (Williamson 47) She also points out how advertising constantly appropriates everything even it’s own critique. Williamson went further than Berger did in understanding that advertising creates a system of values and differences and that within this system the reader/ consumer has a space of identity carved out for him/her. Her thought viewed advertising as principally a system of generating and justifying an arbitrary and unfair system of social differences and of interpolating individuals within that system. Advertising was above all an element of a dominant ideology working to produce a social consensus. Part 3. Advertising analysis: Williamson Williamson continues to have considerable influence on the types of advertising analysis taught in Britain and indeed her ideas have been popularised in a series of Media Studies textbooks such as Dyer (1982) Cook (1982) Goldman (1992) Branxton and Stafford (1996), Bingell (1997), Hall (1997), Lacey (1998). There is a tendency in most of these works to continue in the Althusserian tradition and to link a notion of the constructed nature of language ( and the arbitrariness of the sign) with the arbitrary nature of the social system and of power within it. The analysis of advertising is linked to an analysis of power and of an ideology that interpolates and forms subjects. In all of these textbooks, students are taught to analyse advertisements in a series of steps. We can extract a model from these various attempts to teach visual analysis. As Bignell explains it, one begins with a distinction between denotation and connotations. Connotations are divided into binary oppositions. The text is divided into parts connections are drawn between parts. Finally one should integrate this with other knowledge we may have about the historical references in the images and consider how the advertisement develops or creates a social myth and interpolates within a specific ideological system. To summarise 1. Denotation 2. Connotation 3. Juxtaposition /Oppositions 4.Organisation into parts 5.Correspondence between parts 6.Integration of parts/Synthesis 7 Relationship to Social Myths and Ideology The first thing students are taught to do is to see advertisements as representation, as chemicals on paper or patterns on screens rather than pictures of the world. Hence the first step in any analysis is to describe what is visible. This includes frames, logos, brands, and any text, to see the advertisement as a whole.

Authors: Doyle, Waddick.
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background image
5
5
discusses advertising as an attempt to give individuals a role as consuming subjects, arguing
that
2
the very act of establishing individuality is part of a process of social integration.
Being connected can in fact come to mean that we singly come to mean the totemic
identity…. We give it meaning by our individuality. (Williamson 47)

She also points out how advertising constantly appropriates everything even it’s own critique.
Williamson went further than Berger did in understanding that advertising creates a system of
values and differences and that within this system the reader/ consumer has a space of identity
carved out for him/her. Her thought viewed advertising as principally a system of generating
and justifying an arbitrary and unfair system of social differences and of interpolating
individuals within that system. Advertising was above all an element of a dominant ideology
working to produce a social consensus.
Part 3. Advertising analysis: Williamson
Williamson continues to have considerable influence on the types of advertising analysis
taught in Britain and indeed her ideas have been popularised in a series of Media Studies
textbooks such as Dyer (1982) Cook (1982) Goldman (1992) Branxton and Stafford (1996),
Bingell (1997), Hall (1997), Lacey (1998).
There is a tendency in most of these works to continue in the Althusserian tradition and to
link a notion of the constructed nature of language ( and the arbitrariness of the sign) with the
arbitrary nature of the social system and of power within it. The analysis of advertising is
linked to an analysis of power and of an ideology that interpolates and forms subjects.

In all of these textbooks, students are taught to analyse advertisements in a series of steps. We
can extract a model from these various attempts to teach visual analysis. As Bignell explains
it, one begins with a distinction between denotation and connotations. Connotations are
divided into binary oppositions. The text is divided into parts connections are drawn between
parts. Finally one should integrate this with other knowledge we may have about the
historical references in the images and consider how the advertisement develops or creates a
social myth and interpolates within a specific ideological system.
To summarise

1. Denotation
2. Connotation
3. Juxtaposition /Oppositions
4.Organisation into parts
5.Correspondence between parts
6.Integration of parts/Synthesis
7 Relationship to Social Myths and Ideology
The first thing students are taught to do is to see advertisements as representation, as
chemicals on paper or patterns on screens rather than pictures of the world. Hence the first
step in any analysis is to describe what is visible. This includes frames, logos, brands, and
any text, to see the advertisement as a whole.


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