VYTAUTAS MAGNUS UNIVERSITY
INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL LOW AND POLITICS SCIENCES
AD’S IMPACT TO CREATON OF WOMAN’S IMAGE
Research Paper of Media Theory
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 thhis 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 Economic Influences That Foostered 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 mass-mediated communication. So, wh
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, the Industrial Revolution was a baasic 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 communication. With the invention of th
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 way ad is prepared and delivered to
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 traditions of making ads, no advertising agencies in Lithuania.
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 women’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 about 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 (//). The 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 setting 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 ads. 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.
Ad is communication that occurs not face-to-face, but thruogh a medium (such as radio, magazines, TV or a computer). A contemproery model of mass-madiated communication is printed in Exhibit 1.
This model shows mass communicatin as a process of interacting individuals and institutions. It has two major componenets, each representing quasi-independent process: production and reception.
Moving from left to right in the model, we first see the process of communication production. An ad, like other forms of mass communication, is product of institutions (such as networks, advertising agencies, goverments and etc.) interacting to produce content (what physically appears on apage or on an audiotape, or videotape, or computer screen). The creation of ad is a coplex or interactions of advertiser – the advertiser_s expectations regarding target audience, the advertiser_s assumptions about how the audience will interpret the ad – and the conventions, rules and regulations of the medium itself.
Moving to the right we see the communication reception process. Individual members of audience interpret ad according to a set of factors governed largely by their social networks (their family, friends and etc.), their previous experience and their motivations.
The advertiser has significant input into the creation of content, but what the audience members make of the ad (the interpretation) is the meaning the audience members give it. So the content and the meaning of the ad are not synonymous.
The audience acts with intents. Individuals exercise choice in their selection of ad or at least of medium that carry ad. They also bring with them their own rules of membership in the audience, their own rules how they will approach a message and interpret it.
The process of production and reception are partially independent, because the producers of the message cannot control or even closely monitor the actual reception of content. Audience members are exposed to advertising outside of the direct observation of the advertiser and are capable of interpreting ad any way they want. So, audience members have a little control over the actual production of the message. Both producers and receivers are “imagined”, in the sense that the two don_t have significant direct contact with one another but have a general sense of what the other is like.
3.1. Ad in Cultural Context
Culture is what people do or the total life ways of people, the social legacy the individual acquires from his group (4, p.37). It is invisible to those who are immersed in it. Culture affects every aspect of human behavior, including consumer behavior and response to ad. Culture surrounds the creation, transmission, reception and interpretation of ads.
Talking about the ad in a cultural context, it is necessary to set down two major points:
1. Ad has to be consistent with, but can not easily or quickly change, values. Values express in words and deeds what is important to a culture. They are cultural bedrock Human attitude is influenced by cultural values.
2. If a product or service cannot be incorporate into already existing ritual, it is very difficult for advertisers to effect a change. Cultures affirm, express and maintain their values through rituals. They are a way in which individuals are made part of the culture and a method by which the culture renews and perpetuates itself.
The link between culture and ad is still a key. Anthropologist Grant McCraken has offered the model in Exhibit 2 to explain how ad (along with other cultural agents) functions in the transmission of meaning.
The product is geven social meaning by being placed in an ad that represents some social reality. This slice of life is the type of social settings which potential customers might find, or disire to find, themselvs. According to McCrachen’s model, meaning has moved from tha world to the product by virtue of its sharring space within the social frame of ad (2, p.141). When a consumer purchases or otherwise incorporates that good or service into his or her own life, the meaning is transferred to the individual consumr. Meaning is moved from the world to product, to the individual. When the individual uses the product, that person cinveys to the others he or she and the ad have now given it.
It is sensless to speak of using ad to change values in any substantive way. If ad influences ad at all, it does that very slowly, over years and years – and even that is debatable.
4. The Woman Image in Ieva & Harper’s Bazaar
The main statement of this research is: ad creates woman’s image. To this purpose it was chosen Ieva – the most feministic journal in Lithuania. Its main editor and establisher is Eva Tombakiene, to who also belongs Cosmopolitan.
Ieva was published about 10years. In 1999 it joined with Harper’s Bazaar, an American journal of fashion, advices and pleasures, which started in 1867. Today Harper’s Bazaar is published in the U.S., Great Britain, Honk Kong, Italy, South America, Australia, Russia and Turkey. It has name of the best arbitrator in fashion, beauty and art fields. The main themes in this journal are reports about fashion, elitical literature, art, new books, articles about etiquette, pedagogy, science, household and gardening. So, the target audience of Ieva &Harper’s Bazaar is clearly defined.
To prove the main statement content analysis was made. To notice main tendency of creation of woman’s image there were taken Ieva and Ieva & Harper’s Bazaar journals from 1991 to 1999. I was searching for main themes in ads, main ad’s formats colors and etc., keeping in mind a theoretical foundation and trying to write down everything what I can gather from these ads. But this is only my subjective opinion, so it can be criticized.
When we speak about Ieva and Ieva &Harper’s Bazaar, we speak about subculture of women – a subculture of feminist. The main values in this case are independence, similar rights to men’s.
As it is shown in Exhibit , the main themes of ads in Ieva are things of house interior, perfumes, clothes and cosmetics.
The main purpose of women is to take care of herself and her home. Ad’s content analysis also has showed that in 60% of ads the face of women or her figure is showed. This woman is always tall, thin, very pretty and elegant. There are all values of target audience represented. All messages are that the advertised product is chic, sophisticated and elegant. By wearing or using it woman would be added something to her character, specifically, glamour and flawless beauty. And one more message can be received: your pretty is your weapon, with which you can get independence and power; when you look good, everything it is so simple.
The clothes, perfumes, cosmetics, watches, jewels and etc. are the highest quality. And the same is about make-up and hair-do of woman in ad. They are done scrupulous and pedantly. It makes image of rich, independent, strong woman, who has not any troubles in her life. But also she is very restrained and even cold. In major part of ads woman’s smile is restrained (46%), in 30% of ads she don’t smile, in 16% her smile is coquettish, in 8% – happy and even playful.
When the ad’s format is the product and woman, its background in many cases is faded bluish or green. These two colors are cold, they mean seriousness, rest and thoughtfulness. But here is also a part of ads in which reddish, claret, yellow color dominant. These colors are warm and some of them, which has red tone, significance a sexual power and a passion. So the message can be: modern woman is very mystery, a passion woman behind her coldness is hiding, who wants to be loved. But in the very past period it is noticeable tendency of black-white photography in ads. This is mean that old values come back. Thus photos are very reliable and, I think, the main purpose of using them is to create curiosity and interest of receiver.
The woman in the ad is mobile, she likes traveling, visiting restaurants. But in a bout half of ads (49%) she is alone: alone in restaurant, alone in beach. She uses mobile telephone, drives car and credit cards. It creates the image of modern woman, who enjoy modern technology and services, she is self-confidence and isn’t afraid of any unexpectedness. In the end of 1998 near the woman appears a child. So she also a mother. But maternity don’t hinder to a previously image.
For this woman is also important create a cozy home. She news everything about fashion, interior, she news how much this everything costs and where she must go to possess it. As everything she does or has, her home is modern, every little detail is good incorporate in whole view of room. The style of furniture is various from bright colored, unregular furniture to luxurious, mediaeval. The most often kitchen furniture is represented. But in many cases (51%) it is empty, very clean and only several apples and other fruits are on the table.
When in1999 Ieva joined with Harper’s Bazaar the image of woman in it didn’t changed. It’s because there was anything about the national values of Lithuanian woman. The target audience remains the same. But the tactic has changed: there is less ”uncovered” ad in the new journal and more hidden ad. The plenty of colored photos in which fashion homes represent their models, modern colors in this season and etc. but the impact of these photos is the same as of ad, because the ad always goes together with fashion.
So, within ad found our values, which are important to our culture or subculture. We imagine that with possession of one or another services or good we will get this value into our life and will create an image, which is a reflection of our culture.