Sign Wars: The Cluttered Landscape of Advertising
Television has become so saturated with commercials that it is difficult at times to tell the different images apart, much less remember or care about them. But, on closer look, television commercials can tell us a great deal about the interplay of market forces, contemporary culture, and corporate politics. This book views contemporary ad culture as an ever-accelerating war of meaning. The authors show how corporate symbols or signs vie for attention-span and market share by appropriating and quickly abandoning diverse elements of culture to differentiate products that may be in themselves virtually indistinguishable. The resulting "sign wars" are both a cause and a consequence of a media culture that is cynical and jaded, but striving for authenticity.
Including more than 100 illustrations and numerous examples from recent campaigns, this book provides a critical review of the culture of advertising. It exposes the contradictions that stem from turning culture into a commodity, and illuminates the impact of television commercials on the way we see and understand the world around us.
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ad's aesthetic alienation American appear appropriation AT&T audience authenticity basketball become Benetton Bob Garfield bourgeois bourgeoisie brand camera campaign capital capitalist celebrity codes Coke commercial commodification commodity culture commodity form commodity signs constructed consumer consumption Coors Coors Light corporate ads corporate advertising crisis cynical decontextualized defined differentiation discourse economic encoding environment environmental everyday fetishism film frame global Guy Debord hail hyperreal identity ideological imagery images individual industry Jean Baudrillard jeans labor legitimation Levi's logic logo Marshall Berman McDonald's meaning memory modity narrative narrator nature Nike Nike's Pepsi photographic political position recycling Reebok relations relationship Roland Barthes Saturn scenes semiotic shoes shot sign value sign wars signifiers social space spectacle Spike Lee strategy Stuart Ewen style symbolic tag line television thenticity tion ture turn viewers visual voice voiceover workers Wowan youth
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