ERIC Number: ED243155
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Nothin' Says Lovin' Like Something from a Commercial: A Critical Look at Interpersonal Communication in Commercials.
Kidd, Virginia V.
Television commercials that deal with interpersonal communication fall into two types--those whose interpersonal dynamics convey the message and those in which the interaction expressed is part of the background setting. Among the former are scenarios by American Telephone and Telegraph whose emphasis is on building and maintaining relationships, not conveying information. Among the latter are commercials by Taco Bell or Duncan Hines that show people eating together, showing clearly that caring individuals share meals. They also have fun together, primarily physically active (and camera visible) fun involving warm hugs and lots of unrestrained laughter, while consuming beer, soda, or wine. Still another repeated scene is of people offering advice. As purveyors of appropriate behavior, these advertisements support the assertion that commercials have taken on moral authority as well as authority over style. What commercials offer are recurring demonstrations of how human beings in caring relationships treat each other. All the characters are civil, considerate, giving, and capable of at least minimal financial provision. They treasure understanding, affection, and pleasure. The commercial's language implies that behavior other than that prescribed is not an acceptable alternative. In fact, it is unsettling to realize how much an expression of caring may be influenced by commercials. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Media Role
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (Seattle, WA, February 18-21, 1984).