Core Concepts of Media Literacy 1. MEDIA MESSAGES ARE CONSTRUCTED. (Somebody makes up the TV shows, movies, video games, etc. you use.) 2. MEDIA USE UNIQUE LANGUAGES WITH THEIR OWN SET OF RULES. (For example, large newspaper headlines in bold print mean “this is important.” Movie music played in minor key means “scary.”) 3. DIFFERENT AUDIENCES UNDERSTAND THE SAME MESSAGE DIFFERENTLY. (In other words, when different people watch the same show, they see different things; or when we listen to a song we might feel differently, etc.) 4. MEDIA HAVE COMMERCIAL CONSIDERATIONS. (People create media so they can make money.) 5. MEDIA HAVE IMBEDDED VALUES AND POINT OF VIEWS. (TV shows, magazines, video games and other media messages show you what someone else thinks is important.) Common Advertising Strategies & the Core Concepts of Media Literacy Media Studies 120 Ms. White THEME #1: “Ideal People” The people in commercials are often a little more perfect. They are role models for what the advertiser wants the target audience to think they want to be like. YouTube - Tommy Hilfiger Spring Summer 2008 Advertising Campaign “Ideal People” techniques: 1. AVANT GARDE The suggestion that using this product puts the user ahead of the times. YouTube - Ipod Ad 2. TRANSFER Words and ideas with positive connotations are used to suggest that the positive qualities should be associated with the product and the user . YouTube - Gouda Ad 3. SNOB APPEAL The suggestion that the use of the product makes the customer part of an elite group with a luxurious and glamorous life style. YouTube - Luxury SUV - Kia - Commercial 4. GLITTERING GENERALITIES Uses appealing words and images to sell the product. The message this commercial gives, though indirectly, is that if you buy the item, you will be using a wonderful product, and it will change your life. YouTube - Cover Girl Commercial 6. WIT AND HUMOR Customers are attracted to products that divert by giving viewers a reason to laugh or to be entertained by clever use of visuals or language. YouTube - Mac ads - Networking Theme #2: “Heart Strings” Commercials often create an emotional ambience that draws you into the advertisement and makes you feel good. YouTube - Mcdonalds Family “Heart Strings” Techniques: 1. PATRIOTISM The suggestion that purchasing this product shows your love of your country. YouTube - Molson - Hockey Fight 2. PLAIN FOLKS The suggestion that the product is a practical product of good value for ordinary people. YouTube - Cheerios Commercial Theme #3: “Amazing Products” Many toy commercials show their toys in life-like fashion, doing incredible things. Airplanes do loop-the-loops and cars do wheelies, dolls cry and spring-loaded missiles hit gorillas dead in the chest. This would be fine if the toys really did these things… Much Ado About Christmas: Toys, Traditions & Fun | CBC Archives “Amazing Products” techniques: 1. WEASEL WORDS “Weasel words" are used to suggest a positive meaning without actually really making any guarantee. For example: a scientist says that a diet product might help you to lose weight the way it helped him to lose weight. 2. LIFE-LIKE SETTINGS Barbie struts her stuff on the beach with waves crashing in the background, space aliens fly through dark outer space and allterrain vehicles leap over rivers and trenches. The rocks, dirt, sand and water don't come with the toys, however. YouTube - Buy Me That: Helping Kids Understand Toy Ads 3. SOUNDS GOOD Music and other sound effects add to the excitement of commercials. Sound can make things seem more life-like or less life-like, as in a music video. Either way, they help set the mood advertisers want. YouTube - Zellers "Everything from A to Z" 2007 alphabet commercial YouTube - New Jaguar XF Ad Theme #4: “Celebrity” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sell pizza. Spuds McKenzie sells beer. Joe Cool Camel sells cigarettes. All of these are ways of helping children identify with products either now or for the future. The same is true for adults. 1. BAND WAGON Plays with the desire of most people to join the crowd, be on the winning side, be popular… The popularity of a product is important to many people. Even though we say we make our own choice when buying something we often choose well-advertised items– the popular ones. Advertising copywriters must be careful with the bandwagon propaganda technique because most of us see ourselves as individuals who think for ourselves. If the “bandwagon” is too obvious, viewers may reject the product outright. YouTube - Celebrity ad: "Vote" “Celebrity” techniques: 2. TESTIMONIAL A famous personality is used to endorse the product. YouTube - Carrie Underwood Nintendo DS Lite Commercial 3. SELECTIVE EDITING Commercials show only brilliant catches and perfect throws; flawless performances; great feats. YouTube - Nike Commercial 4. SIMPLE SOLUTIONS Avoid complexities, and attack many problems with one solution. YouTube - Teri Hatcher Clairol Nice'n Easy Theme #5: “Knowledge & Science” 1. FACTS AND FIGURES Statistics and objective factual information is used to prove the superiority of the product. For example: a car manufacturer quotes the amount of time it takes their car to get from 0 to 100 km/h. 2. CARD STACKING The technique of Card-Stacking is so widespread that we may not always be aware of its presence in a commercial. Basically, it means stacking the cards in favor of the product; advertisers stress is positive qualities and ignore negative. For example, if a brand of snack food is loaded with sugar (and calories), the commercial may boast that the product is low in fat, which implies that it is also low in calories.