Matching Items (3)
- All Subjects: Advertisements
- Creators: Bosmeny, Mackenzie Lauren
- Creators: Ketcham, Jonathan
Understanding “Fairness” in India: Critically Investigating Selected Commercial Videos for Men’s Skin-Lightening Products
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.
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.
Marketers today have found a way to expose sexualized content to young girls. Intentional or not, girls are taking notice of it and it shows in the increasing numbers of mental and physical disorders. This thesis attempts to synthesis previous research studies and current examples of sexual objectification of women in the hopes to create more awareness on the sexualization of girls. Several aspect play a significant role in shaping young girls including how females are portrayed in the media, how the beauty standards continue to change with the current trends, and how parents are playing an influential role in their children's lives. I will propose some recommendations about what we, as a society, can do to help parents and children grow up in this hyper sexualized world.