ERIC Number: ED207050
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Culture Writ Electronic: Themes in Television Advertising.
Cheney, Michael R.
A content analysis was made of the advertisements broadcast during a half-hour of prime-time television, in an effort to discern the overt (obvious) and covert (underlying) themes present in television advertising. The analysis revealed an overt theme of a world view of individual determination, initiative, self-confidence and self-reliance, and gratification. The covert or unobtrusive theme presents a world view of external determination in which standards are established, consumption is encouraged, and the status quo is accepted and maintained. These two themes appeared to be at odds with each other. One interpretation for this divergence is the gap between the middle-class ideology and the level of consumers in relation to that ideology. A second interpretation is that both themes are attempts to persuade, one as propaganda of agitation and the other as propaganda of integration. Still a third interpretation suggests that advertising be viewed as ritual rather than as persuasion, and as such, the overt theme is of symbolic action while the covert theme is of ritual action. Each of these interpretations suggests that television advertising is not so much a hidden persuader of culture as it is a reflection of culture. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (64th, East Lansing, MI, August 8-11, 1981).