Advertising and Popular Culture – Jib Fowles.

These are the key points and quotes I found interesting from Advertising and Popular Culture by Jib Fowles.

“Words are symbols – arbitrary items that point to sectors of semantic space. So are images, even when they look artless; they are not the thing depicted but a manipulated representation of the thing.” (Fowles, 1996: 21).

“Images conveyed richer, less contestable meanings – to be tuned with just a few words – and so were employed more and more.” (Fowles, 1996: 84).

“The heard of any advertisement or commercial, however, is the visual imagery redolent with symbolic properties that the advertiser hopes the consumer will find significant.” (Fowles, 1996: 84).

“Is the image so superior that it has no symbolizing or metaphorical properties at all but a one-to-one correspondence to its subject?” (Fowles, 1996: 84).

“Over the course of the 20th century, advertising photography shifted from hand drawn artwork to photography which proved much more suitable for advertising’s mission.” (Fowles, 1996: 86).

“Although the surface can be so lustrous and precise that the receiver has no sense at all of any tension between truth and falsehood, or chooses not to acknowledge any tension or the emotive response elicited override such reservations, photography clearly walks a line between the true and false.” (Fowles, 1996: 86).

“…The messages of the advertiser must be constructed so as to make the fullest contact with the mind of the consumer.” (Fowles, 1996: 93).

“thus, the imagery in advertising, trying to stimulate the consumption of a particular commodity, will concentrate more on social appearances then on emotional invocations.” (Fowles, 1996: 94).

“the advertiser knows the advertising message is a comprehensive denial of the individual, yet must conceal this knowledge behind imagery that the individual might feel speaks to him – or herself alone.” (Fowles, 1996: 94).

“the individual looks at advertising imagery and the associated commodity in the attempt to find these pleasing signs that will define oneself in distinction to others.” (Fowles, 1996: 96).

“…the young take appearance features from mediated males and females (particularly from advertising other highly polished content) and use them in the construction of ideals of attractiveness.” (Fowles, 1996: 221).

I did find that this book related a lot to culture, which i wasn’t really looking at however there were a couple of interesting paragraphs which I felt related and I was able to draw some quotes from. Firstly, a point I will probably include in my paper is how “over the course of the 20th century, advertising photography shifted from hand drawn artwork to photography which proved much more suitable for advertising’s mission.” (Fowles, 1996: 86). This draws on what was previously discussed by Paul Messaris and how photographs were seen to represent the truth rather than drawings. They proved more suitable as a true photograph suggests a true representation within the advert however the purpose of my paper is to provide an argument against this. Fowles also states “images conveyed richer, less contestable meanings – to be tuned with just a few words – and so were employed more and more.” (Fowles, 1996: 84), meaning that less arguments could be made over the authenticity of images rather than drawings. Essentially we can draw whatever we want, however a photograph is a replica of a real moment. However today this is no longer the case due to so much manipulation and I can challenge this statement through my paper.

It also took my interest how Fowles drew upon how the consumer is made to feel targeted individually, stating “the advertiser knows the advertising message is a comprehensive denial of the individual, yet must conceal this knowledge behind imagery that the individual might feel speaks to him – or herself alone.” (Fowles, 1996: 94). The advertiser knows that the advert is not constructed for the individual however it is made their mission to use the photograph as an advantage in portraying that it is specifically targeted for the individual.

This emotional connection will play a huge part in the selling of the product. As this has been a reoccurring theme within the books I have currently looked at, I think it is crucial to consider how to integrate this into my paper and how it manipulates the consumer.

Fowles, J. (1996) Advertising and Popular Culture. California: Sage Publications, Inc.

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~ by victoriasimkissphotography on January 21, 2015.

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