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Offensive and manipulative tactics in Print Media – A Marxist Analysis

MDSA01 Professoer Petit Lec 60
by

Nadine VS

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Offensive and manipulative tactics in Print Media – A Marxist Analysis

Introduction The strategies of profit maximization logic of safety Advertising spectacle niche marketing Publishers use a variety of advertisements in order to make a mass profit. This is done through the potential risk of manipulating the audience through selective advertisements that appeal to a certain gender and age. The use of selective advertising is evident in In Style - it is clear that by first picking up the magazine that it is aimed for females through the use of colours, headlines and images. Throughout the magazine, a variety of beauty products, fashion tips, feminine products, health and celebrity influences is provided to the reader furthering illustrating that the target age is in fact female. In addition, Marxist Analysis is evident through the use of logic of safety. This strategy “recreates things that are already known to work, as they were already successful” (Critical Media Studies 37) As a result, both publications aforementioned recreates advertisements and styles that appeal to a certain audience simply because the corporation know its works – “there is no risk” (Critical Media Studies 37). In today’s society, the mass media is an important factor in the daily life of one. It provides society with “communication technologies that have the potential to reach a large audience in remote locations” (Critical Media Studies 2) One of the most important roles in mass media is print media. Print media can be found in many forms; however, for the purpose of this paper the form that will be evaluated is magazines. Magazines cover a variety of topics ranging from fashion to sports. The publisher’s main goal through the use of magazines is simple - to make a mass-profit. One of the most successful publishers for print media is Time Warner. Time Warner dominates print media simply because it uses knowledge of the consumer in order to make a mass-profit where risk of manipulation and offensive content is published in order to appeal to a certain gender and age. This paper uses Marxist analysis to – In Style and Golf. This will be proven by investigating the strategies of profit maximization – advertising, spectacle, logic of safety, and niche marketing. By investigating the profit motive aforementioned it will be shown that through targeting a certain audience – gender and age - the publisher successfully uses offensive and manipulative tactics within the magazines in order to make a mass profit. Similarly, print media allows for the manipulation of the audience by illustrating what society considers beautiful in order to sell their products. For example, an advertisement for Maybelline Mega Plus massacre is being advertised under what media portrays as beautiful. (In Style, 10) Through the use of these images, the consumer may develop the risk of false consciousness whereby the consumer believes that in order to be considered beautiful the consumer must look a certain way thus buying the product advertised. Beautiful Similarly, the publisher uses advertisements to target a certain age group. This is illustrated through the quality of the products that is advertised. Many of the products found in this magazine are relatively cheap. As a result, the publisher further manipulates the consumer into purchasing these products simply because it is in the consumer’s budget: “Beauty deals and steals. Irresistible ATM –friendly buys” (In Style, 154) WOW! What a deal! I can afford this! This shows that the cooperation is using manipulative tactics in order to sell the product to the consumer. Therefore, the publisher uses the knowledge of the audience in order to create a successful magazine – creating a mass profit. In In style, the products are less expensive and luxury compared to the advertisements in Golf. Therefore, it is evident that the publisher uses the knowledge of gender and age to create a magazine targeted for a specific individual. With this, corporations take advantage of the consumer by appealing to a certain audience – creating a profit-motive Moving on, Marxist analysis is evident through the use of spectacle. Spectacle allows for “shocking images that create a desire for this real unreality” through “sex and violence” (Critical Media Studies 36). In style uses spectacle throughout the magazine in order to appeal to the reader. With this, the publisher uses offensive content in the magazine in order to sell products – further creating a mass profit. For example, a Tom Ford advertisement is showing an attractive male and female, naked in the shower together, with body wash foam on their bodies. (In Style 46) This shows spectacle simply because it uses shocking and offensive images in order to sell the product being advertised – body wash. The publication of In Style focuses its spectacle towards the female gender. This is proven through the use of sexual images of beautiful, shirtless men. Furthermore, the target of age is evident as well. The younger audience is more impressionable and willing to pay in order to appear more attractive. With this, advertisements of attractive males and females highly influence the consumer. In comparison, Golf uses the same form of advertisement in order to appeal to gender and age group. By examining Golf, the audience is primarily male originated, using advertisements of sports, cars and alcohol. Similarly, the targeted age group is evident through the products being advertised - more expensive products are presented. This shows that the publisher uses previous knowledge of the consumer simply because the publisher knows that the consumer is more financially stable to purchase these high end products. For example, a Daniel Steiger watch is advertised under the headline: “Daniel Steiger diamond timepieces… definitely special” (Golf 118). Similarly, through an analysis of Golf magazine one can easily see that spectacle is used. The magazine depicts fast, expensive car advertisements that appeal to the male audience. In Golf, an advertisement of a car is illustrated under the headline: “when its roof disappears, so does the rest of the world” (Golf 56). Marxist concept of alienation provides a useful exploration of the magazines ability to manipulate the consumer into purchasing the product. As the average person leaves work and indulges himself into these magazines it distracts the consumer from the outside world. The publisher’s main goal is to make a mass-profit – with this, the publisher uses manipulative tactics in order to sell the product. Alienation is used by the cooperation in order to create a sense of happiness and fulfillment in the consumer when a product is purchased. In In Style it appeals to an audience that is young and impressionable. Through the use of celebrities many fashion and beauty products are sold to the consumer simply because the consumer believes that through purchasing these items they will become desirable. This creates a risk of false consciousness according to Marx simply because the consumer believes that they will embody the characteristics of the celebrity through the use of these products In Golf, the use of logic of safety is clearly evident. The publisher knows that many people are interested in sports – therefore, it uses the same idea of sport advertisement in a way that appeals to males. Through the use of new sporting equipment and high end merchandise it encourages the male audience to keep on reading the magazine. Through the use of logic of safety “nothing succeed like success” (Critical Media Studies 37) Finally, Marxist analysis is evident within the strategy of profit – Niche marketing. Niche marketing is the “targeting of a specific segment of the public that shares particular but unknown demographic traits.” (Critical Media Studies 39). With this method, the publishers use the knowledge that they have of the consumer in order to produce a magazine that will benefit the corporation. In In Style, the publisher knows that the female consumer is highly interested in beauty products and celebrities. With this, the cooperation uses celebrities to promote products. For example, Halle Berry is advertising cream make up for the company Revlon. (In Style 149) This strategy of manipulation is seen in Golf. The corporation is promoting new sport equipment to the consumer simply because they know the audience is interested in sports. For example a new golf club is advertised under the head line: “feel the touch, feel the control and feel the moment” (Golf 46) Therefore, through Niche marketing it is proven that publishers use their knowledge of the consumer in order to make a profit. Is this advertisement from In Style
or Golf? Conclusion Print media allows for one of the most influential media source in modern society magazines. Through a Marxist Analysis it is evident that the publisher’s knowledge of the consumer is used in order to make a mass profit. This is illustrated through the companies’ to appeal to a certain gender and age throughout various magazines. Through the knowledge of gender and age the publisher can manipulate the consumer by creating a false consciousness and alienation in which ultimately results in the purchasing of the product. The publisher uses a variety of methods in order to build a lasting relationship between the consumer and the magazine. With this, various tactics under Marxist analysis is evident. Ultimately, the publisher creates a magazine under the ideology of profit motive simply because they want to make a mass profit for themselves. These huge corporations create magazines with offensive and manipulative images in order to make a consumer a product of their own profit-motive scheme. Works citied

Ott, B. L., & Mack, R. L. (2010). Critical Media Studies
An Introduction. West Sussex, UK:Wiley-Blackwell.

In Style (2012, July 2012). New York, NY: Time Inc.

Golf (2012, August 12). New York, NY: Time Inc. in Print Media -– A Marxist Analysis In addition, celebrities play an essential role in the advertisement of products. For example, Eva Longoria, favourite beauty products are advertised under the headline “Eva’s top must haves” ( In Style 152) This is an attempt to manipulate the minds of the readers, making them want to buy these products simply because a celebrity uses them. This is an attempt to manipulate the minds of the readers, making them want to buy these products simply because a celebrity uses them. Woow! What's going on here? from: (In Style 46) From: (Golf, 118) From: (Golf 56) Ultimately, the risk of manipulation is evident as the consumer indulges in the many products being advertised. Furthermore, through the use of spectacle it is evident that the publisher uses knowledge of their consumer in order to create a profit- motive. With this, in order for publishers to make a mass-profit they must use a system that is successful – logic of safety. From: (In style 67) With this, the publisher uses logic of safety to ensure that they make a mass-profit despite the offensive and manipulative tactics that plague the minds of the consumer. This leads us to the next strategy – Niche marketing. From: (Instyle 149) The consumer who is interested in celebrities will be more likely to buy the product which further demonstrates the publisher’s ability to manipulate the minds of the consumer in order to make a mass profit. From: (Golf 79) From: (In Style 152) From: (In Style 154) From: (In Style 110) Offensive
and manipulative
tactics
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