Week 3


This week was all about the traditional "sender receiver model" and we looked at a couple different examples of this. First, we read Williamson's article on advertising, then wrote a brief essay over the subject. In my personal example of advertisement analysis, I discussed a Canadian PSA on seatbelt safety.

I have always known about inner context and "hidden" meaning in advertising, but it was nice to read Williamson's article because she went much deeper into the subject. I learned some new terms like "signifier" and "signified" which stand for an object and it's meaning in the simplest form, respectively.

The next article we discussed was Stuart Hall's article on encoding and decoding messages. Hall presented many new items to the idea of message interpretation including what I found most interesting; the three interpretations of a media message. The dominant message, the negotiated message, and the oppositional message were all talked about this week (more specifically Wednesday). I found this very interesting, because I have only looked at ads for their dominant message. I see an ad, maybe look a little deeper, but always see what they want you to see. The idea of a negotiated message and an oppositional message was very interesting to me.

I liked our group activity on finding a magazine ad and putting this idea of multiple messages to the test. Our group found that even with the simplest message, multiple meanings can be brought forth anywhere from "You'll look good with this lipstick" to "I will never buy this because it is tested on animals." I am really starting to realize the depth of not only an ad, but also what it would take to work in the world of advertising. Very cool.


I also feel that after the readings this week, I will look at advertisements in a new perspective to see different messages and meanings. We often don't even think about how we are analyzing an advertisement when we see one, we just do it naturally. It would be interesting to look at all the advertisements in one in a critical way, and find the different ways people could decode the message and how many different meanings can come out of it. Also, that is a good idea to choose a PSA. I think that is a great example of a media text that can be analyzed in many different ways. Some people take them very serious, and in turn change their behavior in favor of the announcement. Others always overlook them, and think they are not worth their time. It would be interesting to see what that specific PSA did to draw the audience's attention!

I also found that group activity fun and useful. I thought it was a good way of opening our eyes to the different ways people analyze messages. I had no idea that such simple advertisements that were seemingly harmless could be viewed in such negative and critical ways. I think it would be incredibly interesting from the advertisers point of view to get the samples of reactions to ads before they are published. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be for them to try and make an ad that pleases everyone and cant bring a negative light to the company. Unfortunately I don't think there are very many products that don't have something for people to hate about it. Also the process of dominant meanings being made from advertisements universally I find interesting. I too have always viewed ads only from this point of view which is even more indicative of how hidden the effects of encoding and decoding are.

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This page contains a single entry by Drake Lundeen published on February 6, 2013 9:17 PM.

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