Pub. Date:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture: Advertising's Impact on American Character and Society / Edition 5

Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture: Advertising's Impact on American Character and Society / Edition 5

by Arthur Asa Berger San Francisco State UniversityArthur Asa Berger San Francisco State University
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The fifth edition of this approachable text draws on both academic and applied perspectives to offer a lively critique of contemporary advertising’s effects on American character and culture.

Berger explains how advertising works by employing a psycho-cultural approach, encouraging readers to think about advertisements and commercials in more analytical and profound ways. Among the topics he addresses are the role of brands, the problem of self-alienation, and how both relate to consumption. Berger also considers the Values and Lifestyle (VALS) and Claritas typologies in marketing. Distinctive chapters examine specific advertisements and commercials from multiple perspectives, including semiotic, psychoanalytic, sociological, Marxist, mythic, and feminist analysis. Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture provides an accessible overview of advertising in the United States, spanning issues as diverse as sexuality, politics, market research, consumer culture, and more; helping readers understand the role that advertising has played, and continues to play, in all our lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442241251
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 01/22/2015
Edition description: Fifth Edition
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Arthur Asa Berger is professor emeritus of broadcast and electronic communication arts at San Francisco State University.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Fred S. Goldberg
Preface to the Fifth Edition
1. Advertising in American Society
Advertising as a Puzzlement
Defining Advertising
Advertising Agencies
Max Weber on Religion and Consumer Cultures
Advertising and Politics
A Psycho-Cultural Perspective on Advertising
Running It Up a Flagpole to See If Anyone Salutes
Commercials as Mini-Dramas and Works of Art
Teleculture and the Internet
The Super Bowl
The Global Nature of Advertising Agencies
2. Consumer Cultures
A Cultural Critique of Advertising
Consumer Cultures Defined
Taste Cultures and Advertising
The Postmodern Perspective
The Problem of Emotions Overcoming Rationality
Consumer Culture and Privatism
Neiman Marcus and “Couthification”
Needs Are Finite, Desires Are Infinite
Are There Four Consumer Cultures, Not Just One?
National Character and Consumer Cultures
3. Advertising and the Communication Process
The Lasswell Formula
Focal Points and the Study of Media
Roman Jakobson’s Model of the Communication Process
Run It Up a Flagpole
Metaphor and Metonymy
Myth and Marketing
Integrated Marketing Communication
4. Running It Up a Flagpole to See If Anyone Salutes
Lisa’s Morning: A Fiction
Lisa Greatgal’s and Johnny Q. Public’s Daily Media Diet
Television Viewing and Exposure to Commercials
A Note on “Hauls”
The Price We Pay for “Free” Television
The Illusion of Control
Being a “Branded” Individual
Selling Oneself
Selling One’s Body for Brands
The Problem of Self-Alienation
We Can Choose as We Please, but Can We Please as We Please?
The Agony of Choice
Nonadvertising Forms of Advertising
5. Sexuality and Gender in Advertising
Sex and Gender in Advertising
Sex in Advertising
Sexploitation and Anxiety
The Peach That Became a Prune: A Cautionary Fable
The Pseudopoetic Appeal to the Illiterati
Sex Appeal and Gender Appeal
Sex and the Problem of Clutter
6. Political Advertising
The Cost of Presidential Campaigns
The Cost of the 2012 Presidential Election
Questions Raised by the Election Campaigns
A Note on the California Campaign for Governor in 2010
The Code of the Commercial (and Other Political Advertising)
The Emotional Basis of Partisan Politics
7. The Marketing Society
Statistics on Advertising
More Comments on the Illusion of Freedom
The Marketing View
The VALS 1 Typology
Using the VALS 1 Typology: A Case Study
VALS 2: A Revision of the VALS 1 Typology
ZIP Codes and Kinds of Consumers
The Claritas Typology
Magazine Choice as an Indicator of Consumer Taste
Types of Teenage Consumers
Blogs and Marketing
A Typology for Everyone in the World
A Comparison of the Different Typologies
A Conclusion to This Discussion in the Form of a Question
8. Analyzing Print Advertisements or: Six Ways of Looking at a Fidji Perfume Advertisement
Lotman’s Contributions to Understanding Texts
What’s There to Analyze in an Advertisement?
Analyzing the Fidji Ad
A Semiotic Interpretation of the Fidji Advertisement
A Psychoanalytic Interpretation of the Fidji Advertisement
A Sociological Interpretation of the Fidji Advertisement
A Marxist Interpretation of the Fidji Advertisement
The Myth Model and the Fidji Advertisement
A Feminist Interpretation of the Fidji Advertisement
9. Analyzing Television Commercials
The Macintosh “1984” Commercial
A Synopsis of the Text
The Background
Testing the “1984” Macintosh Commercial
George Orwell’s 1984 and Ridley Scott’s “1984”
The Image of the Total Institution
The Prisoners’ Boots
The Blond as a Symbol
The Brainwashing Scenario
The Big Brother Figure
The Brainwasher’s Message
The Big Explosion
The Inmates’ Response
The Macintosh Announcement
The Heroine as Mythic Figure
Psychoanalytic Aspects of the Commercial
The Blond as Mediator
Alienated Proles
The Big Blue
A Clever Marketing Strategy
The “1984” Commercial and a Bit of Scholarly Research
10. Where Next?
Drug Advertising
Children and Advertising
Battling for People’s Attention
Smart Phones, Social Media, and Advertising
Annotated Bibliography
About the Author

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