ContentAnalysis of Commercials
Question1: Adescription of the commercial through the observation of charactersin terms of race, class, gender, sexuality, and body size
Thefirst commercial is the “go daddy advert”. The characters in thecommercial are both Hollywood stars, Bar Rafaeli and Jesse Heimanhence, they could just be in the same class. The two kiss to promotethe Superbowl internet hosting site that would air sometime infuture.Even the lady introducing them, Danica Patrick is a racingstar therefore, a celebrity in her own right. The commercial doesnot have a racial theme part it is predominantly white. Perhaps, thesubject of “sexy meets smart” could as well be a subtleconnotation that both qualities are defined in white terms. From acritical perspective, the commercial has a racial construct thatrevolves around the majority white race as the defining race forsmartness and sexiness. In gender terms, Bar Rafaeli embodies theattractive woman in the advert because she supposedly has thequintessential body that fits the description. Heiman, on the hand,represents the not-so-attractive man, but has the intellectualsmartness to deserve an attractive woman like Rafaeli. The genderconstruct in the commercial entrenches the use of women as sexsymbols. When it comes to men the looks really do not matter. As theadvert shows Heiman does not need to be physically attractive todeserve Rafaeli, but Rafaeli must be attractive to meet a person ofthe Heiman’s caliber. Body size also comes up as an importantaspect in the advert. The two have had a constructing reputation onin public. Rafaeli is famous for an attractive sexist looks whileHeiman is famous for his extra appearance. Therefore, attractivelooks in this cultural context have to do with being slender whilebeing over-weight is not attractive, but can be compromised for menas long as they are smart.
Thenext commercial to analyze is the “Heineken moving fridgeadvertisement”. In the advert, a woman takes fellow women around aroom where she shows them many shoes and clothes. The other threewomen react with delirium and they scream. On the other side of thesame room, four men scream in the same delirium but after seeingbottles of Heineken beer in the fridge. Gender and race are the mostexplicit subjects in the two commercials. The commercial portraysdistinct gender roles and the position men and women hold in thesociety. Men are fascinated by alcohol and having fun while women arefascinated by shoes and other apparel that improves their appearance.Now that the commercial uses all-white characters, the racialconstruct is that of a traditional white society that upholds genderroles. The subjects of class and body size are not explicit in thiscase.
Question2: Applicationof the reflection theory
Thereflection theory as John Locke coined best explains the constructsin media commercials that typically reflect the thinking, attitudes,and stereotypes that exist in the society. According to Locke, theknowledge that people have of the world is a reflection of theobjects and constructs upon which they form it. The ideas thatculminate into knowledge are generated consciously through theexperience they have with the external physical world. Based onLocke’s observation, it is easy to explain the “Go daddy” andthe “Heineken Moving fridge”commercials. Both adverts reflectalready existing constructs about race, sexuality, body size, andgender. In modern pop culture, beauty and attraction is definedthrough slender body statures while the unattractiveness isassociated with extra size bodies. This explains why the “Go daddy”commercial claims to be a meeting point of the most attractive womanand the smartest man. The Heineken commercial borders around genderroles. Women’s concerns are their looks rather than having a goodtime. The two commercials depict knowledge of the world based onexisting constructs in the society. Disney commercials also use whitegirls as the description for beauty. Although other races playcertain roles in the films, they only complement a particular femalefigure with the features of beauty and prettiness that adhere tosocietal notions.
Question3: Applicationof the Encoding/ decoding model
Theencoding/decoding model is an idea Stuart mall’s findings that thesender encodes the message, which is subsequently decoded by theperson receiving it. The encoding and decoding processes revolvesaround the ideals and views that both the sender and the receiverhold about the subject being communicated. The producer’s preferredreading in the “Go Daddy” commercial is Rafaeli is the attractivefigure. Using Heiman as the smart extra individual only reinforcesthe gender stereotypes of women as objects for entertaining men.Hence, the brighter the man the morehe can access attractive women.In the “Heineken” commercial the preferred readings are that thebrand is so strong that it can attract a masculine cheer from men.The dominant audience, which possibly the males will agree with thatthe portrayal of Rafaeli because they believe that women must beavailable for men. The negotiated audience will look at thecommercial from the dominant culture point of view not because theyagree with that, but because they are familiar with the socialconstructs about the subject. The oppositional audiences are likelyto be feminists from all races who disapprove the continued use ofwomen as sex symbols in popular culture. These audiences may takethe same positions for the same commercials because they have similargender constructs
Question4: Social implications of the media text
Imagescreated by these commercials are likely to have lasting impacts onthe children’s understanding of social issues such as sexuality,gender roles, race, and body size. Children are likely to growthinking that beauty is defined by first being white and second beingslender. Children from minority races may have low self-esteem on theunderstanding that they can never meet the threshold of beauty. Children are also likely to adopt gender roles where women aresupposed to entertain men by being sex symbols. Cases of narcissismin children are likely to rise due to being extremely concerned withthe way they look in their bid to conform to societal constructs. Aloss of self-esteem as a result of these constructs may subsequentlylead to a loss of self-identity as well.
Question5: Personalreading of the media text and textual reading one’s family wouldsubscribe to their interpretation of the portrayal of the samecharacter
Iam a negotiated audience for the commercial. Indeed, the majorityrace uses these constructs in most commercials, but they do notreflect what actually goes on in real life. While for the measure ofbeauty has been whiteness and slenderness for a long time in popularculture, the society increasingly understands the covert meaningsthat motivate such commercials. Most family members would hold thenegotiated view based on this understanding.