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Media Analysis: Ideology and discourse - Essay Example

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Media Analysis: Ideology and discourse

Black, White, Yellow, and Brown are technically just colors. With respect to the subject of race, however, they assume personified and even anthropomorphic qualities. Each color represents a whole people or group of people with its own geographical origins, supposed behaviors, and generalized world outlook. In the two commercials the two races that are objectified are white and black. The victims in need of help from the viewer are blacks, probably living in Africa. The first commercial involving the white New Zealand woman is especially laden with racial motifs. She, as an individual from a Westernized country, is making an appeal to the audience for money. She says, “…food prices are hard enough for us here in New Zealand.” This is not just to highlight the fact that prices are high in New Zealand in addition to being high in Africa. It is more to establish a rapport with the audience. She is a white, educated woman seeking to help poor, black people in a distant land. Her use of “us” is a euphemism for “we, white-affluent people.” Thus her discoursive techniques seek to underscore her and the audience’s racial-ethnic commonality, as well as pointing out that she does not want to imply that she is ignorant of the rise in food prices in New Zealand. This all seeks to establish a sense of trust. “I am white, like you.” Once this framework is established she goes on to talk about helping “these” people. “They” are all black and all poor and all in need of “your help.” The mentality then, within the context of race, is an “us-them” one. The second commercial uses similar devices and appeals. Only in this one, the narrator is never shown. The viewer knows the narrator only by her voice. But because this commercial employs similar motifs as the first one, the effect is quite similar. There is the depiction of poverty-stricken black people ...Show more


Modern television commercials stem from over one hundred years of advancements, study, and fine-tuning in the field of advertising and its body of knowledge. These techniques typically include, but are not limited to, a series of appeals to the viewer’s base emotions, primal…
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Media Analysis: Ideology and discourse essay example
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