ERIC Number: ED232194
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Television Commercials: Symbols, Myths and Metaphors.
Feasley, Florence G.
Television commercials convey to the audience through symbols, metaphors, and myths the feelings and emotions deeply rooted in our culture. While commercials on one level are concerned with a representation of the product or service, they are on another level a symbol of a larger meaning: love, family, romance, motherhood, or hero worship. A can of Diet Pepsi is simply a soft drink, but in the hands of a creative television director, it can symbolize youth, beauty, and gaiety. It could also be said that television commercials act as metaphors. For example, the mother pouring out a particular breakfast cereal for her chidren may be seen as a metaphor for the love and security she provides. Commercials also rely on symbolism. A commercial for Cascade dishwasher detergent uses symbols throughout, and in some ways may synthesize the viewer's feelings for Christmas, since the most obvious symbol is the use of the colors red and green in the background and the clothing of the actors. Certain commercials concern themselves with myths, in much the same way that commercials use symbols: to communicate something about ourselves or our heritage, quickly and densely; consider the Marlboro Man as the embodiment of the myth of the West. Television commercials, then, can be seen as using symbols, myths, and metaphors to convey meanings of more than just a product. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; 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 and Mass Communication (66th, Corvallis, OR, August 6-9, 1983).