McChesney-Hypercommercialism

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Hi Everyone,
Here are a few questions to think about as you read. Please post your discussion questions for McChesney below.

What are oligopolistic markets?

What, for McChesney, is the function of advertising?

What is "image" advertising? Why does this matter?

What is the relationship between advertisements and TV content? (see 144, 148, for example)?

What is the relationship between advertising and social inequality? (That is, which consumers does advertising seek to address? What are the social, cultural and political implications of this? Can you think of some specific examples?)

What does McChesney mean when he calls the contemporary media landscape a "whole new paradigm" (153)?

What does McChesney see as the tension between hypercommercialism and democracy? Please use examples and be specific. Do you see similar tensions in other media examples?

And for fun, here is a clip from the Seinfeld episode McChesney mentions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhbMqjnYNfI

12 Comments

When reading his section on the comparison between young viewers opinion and older viewers opinion on hyper-commercialization, I wondered why it was that younger viewers felt that the commercials are part of the experience. When younger people view shows now they have the option to skip over the commercials, while older viewers have not always had the option, but now do. So even with the increase in commercials we all have the option to skip, so why does the increase bother one generation more then the other? Is it the fact that shows and their commercials are targeted toward the same audience? or is it purely the increase of commercials?

McChesney is clearly not a fan of large corporations and the advertising associated with these bodies. The question I pose is this: do large corporations and conglomerate groups play a beneficial role in our economy/culture that smaller, less villainized companies can not? Do these large corporations experience 'success' due to their ruthless set of business principles or because we as a society truly rely on some aspect of the goods and services they provide? Also, how affective is product placement as a form of advertising? Do these ideas and associations with a certain brand actually play into our conscious mind or do they fade into the non-impact memories?

As I read McChesney's article I think about my own encounters with advertising. As stated in her deposition, 17 to 18 minutes per hour are devoted to radio advertising. As I sit in my bedroom my mind goes to so many radio commercials I have heard. 411 Pain on KDWB is constantly on the airwaves. I also think of my favorite radio advertisement, Shane company. That add is forever stuck in my head. What radio or T.V. advertisements are stuck in your head? I ask myself what about the ad makes it so memorable? Also, what type of effect does subliminal advertising have on consumers?

McChesney made a great point in this article when he touched on how Studios are now having Hollywood Execs that are for promoting corporate america in their films and tv shows. He talks about how if you do this from the start you are then able to integrate their products and image much more fluidly. I find it very interesting that major corporations like Apple are teaming up with movie studios to have their iPods, iPads, and MacBooks featured in their films. My question is we already know that this is happening and it is happening quite a bit, but how do you feel that when you see a movie and pay nine dollars for admission, that a portion of that admission price is to sell you various products that are very bluntly correlated with the film you are viewing,

On pg. 153 McChesney uses some examples of product placement and commercialism. I find it very interesting because its true, you see it everywhere. Why do you think it was important to tighten the industries self regulation? What is an example that you can think of where product placement was used perfectly? Can you think of an example where perhaps a commercial fell through the crack and was shown at an inappropriate time or just didn't fit with the likely demographic that would be watching the show?

There were several sections of this piece that really drew my attention. The first was when McChesney speaks about how much clout advertisers have over what actual media content on shows is. I found it interesting that advertisers once pulled their ads for nudity on NYPD Blue and now it seems that shows, and commercials as well just get more and more racy. What are factors that contribute to this? I also was very interested by the section about integrating advertisements in shows and movies. When it comes to cars in movies i could think of several right off the bat, Jason Stratham always drives Audis in the transporter movies and Cadillacs were used in the Matrix chase scenes. What other ingrained advertisements can you think of just off the top of your head? and why can they be so easy to remember and so effective?

Throughout his article, McChesney mentions the significance of advertising, and how successfully generating advertisements for products that are in great demand will increase sales and will not force a company to lower its prices. It also allows for corporations to engage new customers without cutting profits (140). What I want to know is, how can a company, like Chipotle, generate so much revenue solely based on advertising with t-shirts and word of mouth. I can hardly recall ever seeing a Chipotle commercial, and if I have I can count the amount on like one hand. How can a business like that grow so fast an successful without utilizing primary forms of advertisements, eg. commercials?

By the time I got to pg 160 I had decided that this article was forcing me to take a minute and realize how much I am forced to consume advertisements on a daily basis. When it was stated that "if you're sick of TV advertising then a hospital bed may not be the best place for you" I started to wonder if there really is any refuge from this hyper-commercialism? And then I started to think about how much money companies throw down to have their advertisements shown over and over again (Cokea-Cola paid AOL Time Warner $25 million), and if I had a price...not on my clothes but on my skin. I googled it and people really do sell their body as ads pace! I haven't decided on a price for my ad space but I am curious if any of my classmates would do this and for what price?

http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2005-03-02-body-ads_x.htm

McChesney talks about the dystopic effects of advertising in our society today, and brings up that Advertising is having a negative affect upon those who view them, hindering self-esteem, and insisting that something is wrong with you. Advertising relies on this method, so that the consumer thinks the only way they can improve themselves is by buying this product. Do you think there is a more efficient way to get the advertising message across? Or is this kind of blunt/hurtful advertising necessary, to help sales for the company?

McChesney argued that advertising is crucial to build brand identity.
I think some people tend to stereotyping a firm as depicted in the advertisement. Even though I did not have any information about the brand and what's the company's philosophy, I regarded as the firm would be reliable and something trustworthy by only seen on the advertisement. So, I made stereotype of that company as its green company, but actually it wasn't. Therefore, my question is.. have you experienced that stereotyping brand identity only through watching advertisement? and if you do, does advertisement affect on your consumption behavior?

McChesney argued that advertising is crucial to build brand identity.
I think some people tend to stereotype a firm as depicted in the advertisement. Even though I did not have any information about the brand and what's the company's philosophy, I regarded, as the firm would be reliable and something trustworthy by only seen on the advertisement. So, I made stereotype of that company as its green company, but actually it wasn't. Therefore, my question is.. Have you experienced that stereotyping brand identity only through watching advertisement? And if you do, does advertisement affect on your consumption behavior?

Nowadays the effect of advertising is getting powerful. People decided to but product trough advertising. Otherwise a product that is not announced by advertising is not remembered in consumer’s mind. The problem is this phenomenon is not fair to small company, which is not able to pay for advertising their good with huge money. Image advertising tends to let people know about their company. Actually the company advertising with image Ad, not focus on the function of products. It is looks like brainwashing in that consumer trust the company blindly, after watching their Ad.

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This page contains a single entry by zimme313 published on September 17, 2012 10:19 PM.

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