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Research Paper of Media Theory

Kaunas, 2003


Looking at advertisement s today is a bit like walking through a carnival hall of mirrors, when the elements of our ordinary lives are magnified and exaggerated, but are still recognizable. Ad is one of marketing mix tools, which is widely used to stimulate demand and create an image of product and an image of those of those who possess tthis product. But the purpose of this research paper is to look at ad as a communication process and to show how image of human can be created trough this communication.

So, the object of study is a print ad.

Subject is ad’s impact in creation image of woman.

This research paper consists of four parts. In chapter 1 and 2 there is talking about the main conditions, which have to be for ad existing and the

1. The Fundamental Social and EEconomic Influences That Fostered Ad_s Rise

In many discussions of the evolution of ad, the process is often portrayed as having its origins in ancient times. But whatever those ancients were doing, they were not advertising, because ad exist only as mmass-mediated communication. So, while cavemen and cavewomen were communicated with persuasive intent and even in a commercial context, they were not using ad.

There are four major factors, which made ad to exist:

1. The Rise of Capitalism. The tents of capitalism warrant that organizations compete for resources, called capital, in a free market environment. Part of this competition involves stimulating demand for the organization_s goods and services. One of the tools used to stimulate demand is ad.

2. The Industrial Revolution. The industrial Revolution (it began about 1750 in England) was basic force behind the rapid increase in mass – produced supply of goods that required stimulation of demand, something that ad can be very good at. So, by providing a need of ad, tthe Industrial Revolution was a basic influence in its emergence.

3. Manufacturer’s pursuit of power in the channel of distribution. Manufacturers had to develop brand names so that consumer could focus his attention on a clearly identified item. They began branding their products in the late 1800s. Ones a product had a brand mark and name that consumers could identify, the process of demand stimulation could take place. And the essential tool in stimulating demand of brand is ad.

4. The rise of mass ccommunication. With the invention of the telegraph in1844, a communication revolution was set. But probably even more important in terms of ad was the rise of the mass circulation magazines. Many new magazines designed for lager and less social privileged audiences made magazines both available mass advertising medium and a democratizing influence an Americans society. The ads took on social class identities and helped to link product with class, circumstance and aspiration.

Before the Industrial Revolution, ad presence in the United States was barely noticeable. With an explosion in economic growth around the turn of the century, modern ad was born. The 1920s established ad as a major force on the U.S. economic system. With the Great Depression and World War II, cynicism and paranoia began to grow regarding ad. This concern led to refinements in practice and more careful regulation of ad in1960s and 1970s. Consumption was again in vogue during the Republican era of the 1980s. The present era has one significant character about the ad – it became interacting. But the very nature of ad is not going to change. Ad will still be a paid, mass-mediated attempt to persuade. The most dramatic change will be in the wway ad is prepared and delivered to target audience.

Talking about Lithuania and ad, it is necessary to point out that all upper written conditions were there until World War II, after which 50 years lasted occupation began. So, until 1940s, I think, the using of ad was similar as in any West European country or U.S. During occupation there were no ads in that sense in which we understand it today in Lithuania. Everything was under ideology control, and in some cases, I think, this ideology play role of ad. At that time, in 1950s, the issue of “mind control” became an American paranoia and many people suspected that ad, which existed only in West Europe and U.S., was tool of mind control. There were only two little differences – you cannot choose and the ideology wasn’t paid.

In 1990s the new era has begun. Lithuania received independence and all four conditions, in which exists ad, were set again. In 1991 there was no so much ad in all media. But when the foreign or join stock companies appeared, the bum of ad has begun. It was a modern and in many cases made in foreign ads, because there was no ttraditions of making ads, no advertising agencies in Lithuania.

Nowadays the situation has changed a little: there were set advertising agencies, research institutions. But major part of ad’s market still has foreign companies. Thus ad is in use almost 10 years there is no one main low which could regulate ad.

So, social, economic, politic trends, along with technological development are major determinants of way ad is practiced in any society.

2. Magazines as Medium

During the long period of maturation of the reading public in modern society, magazines took a special niche in mediated communication located some where between newspapers and books and borrowing ideas and writing style from both. Magazines underwent several periods of development and transformations being influenced by other media and in turn exerting notable influences on them. They were the first major competitors with newspapers of ad and remain a significant part of the ad marketplace today.

Magazines responded to the challenge by offering new attraction to prospective advertisers. A number of them set up a department with research services that they offered to interested advertisers. So, magazines became innovators of services by advertisers as well as contents. The knowledge of researches allowed advertisers more tactical leeway in placing

ads. Beginning in the 1930s, social researches served to unify business, advertising, and the mass media and through them the further development of American culture.

The introduction of TV created frantic competition for the magazines industry during the 1950s and magazines both won and lost the battles. The magazines represented not all group interests, but the mass circulation magazines reoriented their relationship to national ad by narrowing their focus in term of the products they could attract to their pages. Many wwomen’s magazines have personal care and clothing ad and a little else.

The specialist magazines market today shows the dynamic relationship between magazine format and content and ad. However, the special-interest journals first developed during the 19th century (without carrying ad) for markets ranging from high class literary or news journals, to religious, farm, hobby, and business magazines. Many of them viewed it, as matters of pride not sully their pages with ads.

When we speak about ads in magazines, we speak aabout print ad. A print ad without illustration has much lower probability of attracting and holding receiver’s attention. Illustration, in the context of print ad, is a drawing, painting, photography or computer-generated art that forms the picture in ad (//). TThe growing preponderance of illustrations in ads has increased the ambiguity of meaning message structure. Earlier ad usually stated message quite through the written text, but starting in the mid–1920s visual representation became more common and relationship between text and visual became complementary. In postwar period in the U.S., the function of text moved away from explaining the visual and towards a more cryptic form, where text appeared as a kind of “key” to visual. And here semiotics, the science of signs (F. de Saussure), came for help. The first two who studied ad from this perspective was French theorist R. Barthes, who applied semiotic to all aspects of popular culture, and Canadian literacy critic M. McLuhan. Faster linotype type ssetting and the invention of halftone technology stimulated the popularity of magazines among advertisers. A pioneer was the Canadian Illustrated News that combined these techniques with the new paper made from wood pulp, which took ink differently from rag paper and made illustrations a far superior technology. Munsey ‘s Journal was one of the firsts to exploit the dynamic relation between ad and magazines. It decreased prices and the result of this was a fantastic circulation and a flood of aads. McClure and Cosmopolitan followed suit and the era of cheap magazines had begun.

The illustrated magazines, leading the way with innovations in photographic and color reproduction techniques, altered the print media and industry alike, because they demonstrated the economic vitality of cheap, high circulation journals that relied on ad revenue. Under these conditions magazines are under pressure to orient themselves to audiences that advertisers particularly want, and these tend to lie predominantly on the wealthier and of the scale

.3. Theoretical Foundation of Research

3.1. Ad as Mass Communication

Advertising is a paid, mass-mediated attempt to persuade. So it is a communication process. To understand ad at all you must undrstand something abuot mass comunication and the most basic aspects of how ad works as a means of communication.

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