Deconstructing Ads: focus on media referential ads – Clare H

Posted: January 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

Today in class we discussed 4 types of advertisements: mimesis, counter positioning, self referential, and media referential. As a class, we viewed and discussed various television advertisements representing each of these four types. Primarily, mimesis advertisements promote imitation – the following definition successfully describes this type of advertisement, “Mimesis is best understood as desire passed from one individual to another. We do not simply imitate each other’s actions, attitudes and beliefs but more fundamentally we imitate one another’s desires. On reflection, this may seem obvious, but for the most part, this imitation happens at the unconscious level” ( Next, counter positioning advertisements position their ads contrary to an another message proceeding it. This type of advertising may be used to oppose a certain position on a controversial topic, or in countering an impression made by another advertisement. 

The following commercial demonstrates the on going ad war between Coke and Pepsi. However, while this commercial clearly demonstrates an example of counter positioning, the use of media referential advertising is also present. Media referential ads simply refer to popular images, people, or ideas as seen in the media. As seen in the first commercial in this link, famous media personalities:  Snoop Dog and Jackie Chan are used to drawn in viewers and fans.

I also found this very powerful Pepsi commercial: 

This commercial uses media referential to project images of several powerful female stars. By using some of the biggest names in the media today, Pepsi successfully draws viewers attention, connecting their product to the power and fame these stars possess. 


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