Discursive analysis of a television advertising campaign : obliged to be healthy
|dc.identifier.citation||Jardine, A. (2006). Discursive analysis of a television advertising campaign : obliged to be healthy (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/148||en|
|dc.description.abstract||This thesis describes and demonstrates the use of discourse analysis as a means of facilitating critical awareness and stimulating research practice within a consumer research context. In a generic sense, discourse analysis applies to a range of semiotic methods for studying text (including talk, writing and visual images), where the objective is to gain insight into both the meanings of a text and what it signifies. Emphasis is placed on the constructive use of language, where texts of various kinds are said to construct our social world. Two approaches to discourse analysis are detailed. Firstly, Foucauldian discourse analysis is shown to operate more generally and globally as a social and cultural resource that underpins many human endeavours and activities. Under this approach, discourses are seen as resources that interact with one another. Foucauldian discourse analysis is therefore quite a different enterprise from the finer-grained investigation of talk and texts that is undertaken in discourse analysis and discursive psychology. Instead, discourses are treated as being dynamic in nature, having the ability to mutate over time, and gain dominance in certain settings and cultural locations. Discourse analysis under this approach facilitates critical awareness because it seeks to uncover the ways in which such discourses produce, maintain and constrain people within particular positions and relationships. Secondly, a discursive psychological approach to discourse analysis focuses on the strategic use of discourse within a particular piece of text, where interaction and the acknowledgement of such interaction by the researcher underscores the importance of language and the ways that people purposefully and strategically use language to achieve particular outcomes or goals. A discursive psychological approach focuses upon discursive practices and constructions, rather than cognitive-perceptual processes. A discourse analytic approach is therefore able to potentially redefine and stimulate current research practice. Psychological phenomena that might have traditionally been framed and studied as 'cognitive' and 'internal' processes can be recast as particular situated discursive accomplishments that people are able to draw upon. Because analysis is not subject to what may be termed 'cognitive reductionism' (where attempts to explain social events and processes are made entirely by reference to events and structures in the mental processes of individuals), a discursive analytic approach suggests new insights into current research practice. The specific context for analysis within this thesis is provided by an advertising campaign for Xenical, a pharmaceutical product promoted as a treatment for obesity. Xenical was one of the first prescription medications to be marketed directly to consumers in New Zealand via the use of direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA), a relatively recent form of marketing communication. The Xenical advertising campaign created both controversy and high awareness for the product. Contributing to this controversy was the overt use of DTCA itself, which critics suggest influences patient demand, encourages the use of expensive and sometimes unnecessary medications and in effect, 'creates' disease. As argued here, positioning obesity as a disease in effect justifies (warrants) the pharmaceutical industry's efforts to offer medical solutions. In addition to the use of DTCA, the nature of the Xenical advertisements was also controversial. Critics suggested that the Xenical advertisements were based upon negative emotions, associating the state of being overweight with feelings of sadness, shame and embarrassment. These 'emotions' become a key subject in the current study. But in this thesis, rather than viewing such emotions as internal and mental phenomena, the use of discourse analysis focuses on the socio-cultural nature of emotions. Discourse analysis is concerned with uncovering the ways in which bodily sensations are rendered into language and what the subsequent implications for the speaker might be as a result. Using the advertising campaign for Xenical as context then, discourse analysis is used as a research approach to examine the television advertisements from multiple perspectives. Analysis includes the study of the casting tapes that were used by the advertising agency as source material to inform the creative strategy for the advertisements. In addition, one of the Xenical advertisements is deconstructed in greater detail, outlining the effects of visual and aural discourses that weave together to convey meaning within the advertisement. Analysis is informed by interviews conducted with the creative director of the advertisements as well as the marketing manger for Xenical. Discourse analysis allows us to examine the ways in which the producers of an advertisement purposefully (although perhaps unknowingly) create particular effects for strategic reasons, and how advertisements may be subsequently read as a consequence. The final analysis is based on a reader-response to the advertising campaign. Analysis focuses on the 'emotional' talk contained within a particular interview, and how talk functions as performance. Rather than treating emotional talk as a description or reflection of inner psychological worlds, discourse analysis examines participant talk in terms of its content and meanings and how participants use such talk to construct their worlds. Although often overlooked within traditional forms of consumer research, the importance of representing social interaction through detailed interview transcripts is demonstrated, underscoring the analysis provided. Results suggest that the language of description and the methods of data capture that are typically utilised within consumer research are not able to provide an accurate account of the external world. This is because the only way we can know our world is always going to be mediated by and through language, and as a consequence, the meanings and interpretations available to us are never going to be transparent or neutral representations. The findings suggested in this thesis are intended as a starting point for subsequent research into the study of language in use and human meaning making within advertising and consumer research environments. Because consumer research has borrowed heavily from the social sciences and particularly from psychology, then it is important that researchers within the discipline re-examine many of the psychological topics that we commonly take for granted by considering the way such talk and text is used in action. Discourse analysis provides a research approach that enables such a re-examination.||en_NZ|
|dc.publisher||University of Otago||en_NZ|
|dc.rights||All items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.|
|dc.title||Discursive analysis of a television advertising campaign : obliged to be healthy||en_NZ|
|thesis.degree.discipline||Department of Marketing||en_NZ|
|thesis.degree.name||Doctor of Philosophy||en_NZ|
|thesis.degree.grantor||University of Otago||en_NZ|
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