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The vast research in advertising discourse has extensively explored commercials on traditional media such as TV and printed magazines. However, less is known about the advertising discourse on social media platforms, especially across these platforms internationally. The social contemporary phenomenon of advertising via social media platforms is increasing rapidly because of their popularity among millions of users in Saudi Arabia. This dissertation represents a first attempt to cover the existing gap in previous research in terms of media platforms and international scope. It examines advertising discourse by three Saudi female social media influencers on Snapchat. The study uses mixed methods in data collection and analysis. The data include a survey identifying three outstanding media influencers in terms of their popularity and self-presentation as well as a total of 33 advertisements. The analytical framework employs Critical Discourse Analysis following Fairclough’s three-dimensional framework. It also draws upon multimodality analysis and identity construction analysis. Findings reveal noteworthy similarities and differences among the influencers’ advertisements including linguistic features, visual aspects, and identity representation. The influencers all construct a powerful relationship with their audiences which is reflected in their informal spoken and written texts through the frequent use of Arabic pronouns (e.g., we, you, and yours) and address terms like “girls”. The results further show that the influencers display power through using different discursive strategies to persuade the audience of the value of advertised products. This dissertation’s new insights contribute in important ways to the field of advertising discourse. The researcher claims that these new findings demonstrate the value of research associated with advertising through different social media platforms in their global context. Thus, future studies should examine commercials on online media by individuals regardless of their nationality with access to the media and the skills needed to create a product line and an audience moved by their promotion styles.
For this thesis, I analyzed the discourse and content of Proposition 22, a California law which defined all workers utilizing gig-based apps to sell services as independent contractors meaning they were not legally entitled to certain protections such as minimum wage. The law was overturned in court in 2020, however, the advertisements in favor of and discourse behind the law has had a continued impact on all workers. Because of this it is important to examine and conceptualize the ideologies behind the law in order to understand how it was able to pass in a state which tends to vote in favor of increasing employee rights and regulation of industries. To do so, I utilized two methods of analysis, a discourse analysis of legal documents and a content analysis of advertisements. The former revolves around analyzing the discourse and ideologies around two versions of the legislation which were shown to the public, while the latter analysis categorizes and examines the implications of various advertisements utilized by companies to support the proposition. Ultimately, gig companies created an effective campaign that was able to repackage neoliberal deregulation for the general public while actively misrepresenting information around the law leading to long lasting effects that continue to harm workers while lining the pockets of investors despite its overturning.
My thesis aims to uncover the ultimate strategy behind short form visual stories, otherwise known as the digital advertisment. In this thesis, I analyze traditional storytelling, visual storytelling, and short-form visual storytelling in order to uncover the best practices advertisers should use when crafting a digital advertisement.
Storytelling “reveals elements and images of a story while also catalyzing the imagination of the listener” (National Storytelling Network, 2017). This tradition has two purposes for society: a neurological structure, and a social mechanism (for historic preservation, human interaction, and a vehicle for connecting with others) (Gottshcall, 2012; Scott, 2012; Paul, 2012; Woodside, 2008).
Visual Storytelling is “using photography, illustration, video, (usually with a musical enhancement) to guide” the human brain along a plotline, and has an unlimited timeframe (Ron, 2017). There are seven key elements to effective visual storytelling: A listener/audience, an element of realism coupled with escapism, a focus on the dread of life, an element of the unknown, emotion, simplicity, and a three-part plot structure (Andrews, 2010; ProQuest, 2012; Zak, 2014; Stanton, 2014; Reagan, 2016; Jarvis, 2014; Petrick, 2014)
In the words of Sholmi Ron, from a marketing perspective, “Visual [short hand] Storytelling is a marketing strategy that communicates powerful ideas through a compelling story arc, with your customer at the heart of the story, and delivered through interactive and immersive visual media – in order to create profitable customer engagements" (Ron, 2017). This advertising strategy has four best practices: non-obvious logo placement, a comedic emotion, multiple emotional arcs, and a relevant message (Golan, 2017; Teixeira, 2015; Graves, 2017, Teixeira, 2017). These are important to understand because, in 2017, online consumers can be described as skeptical, conscious of content, individualistic, and drawn to authenticity (Teixeira, 2014).
To supplement my findings, I conducted primary research by analyzing the 2017 Super Bowl videos against a criteria created using the best practices previously identified (in Part 1 and Part 2). Through the data collection of the 66 videos, I uncovered the most popular plotline is "fall than rise," the most popular emotions are humor, inspiration, and empathy and people tend to have a preference towards videos that are more realistic and simplistic in nature.
In the end, I recommend that advertisers identify an authentic yet relevant message, while employing a comedic, inspirational, or empathic tone, and that they place their ads exclusively for their target market. Additionally, producers should use a fall then rise plotline (with multiple mini plot peaks and valleys), a "logo-pulsing" strategy, and a minimal amount of characters and settings to keep the audience's focus on the ad’s message.
This dissertation investigates a subtle yet complex contemporary issue of colorism in India that traces its ideological roots back in the British colonial period or even prior to that. It focuses on the issue of skin-color discrimination in urban Indian men, which is significantly under-researched. This project aims at investigating the issue of skin-color discrimination through analyzing a small corpus of thirteen YouTube commercials dating from 2005 to 2017 for men’s skin-lightening products of a popular skin-care brand called “Fair and Handsome” from a multimodal critical discourse analytic perspective. This study further aims to understand how the discourse of colorism is operating in these Indian commercials for men’s skin-lightening products, what kinds of semiotic and socio-cultural (discourse) elements are naturalizing the notion of “fairness,” and finally, how the construction of male gender is facilitated. Although the project’s main theoretical arc is critical discourse analysis (CDA), the methodological needs necessarily require drawing upon theoretical tools from advertisement analysis, multimodal analysis, gender studies, social psychology, history, cultural anthropology, race theory, and other related fields of study. After successfully facilitating an exhaustive analytical undertaking, this dissertation contributes to the understanding of colorism as more than intra-group racism in India and situates this perpetuating issue as a contemporary research target in the socio-cultural contexts of globalization and urbanization.