Cultural Dimensions In Advertising

SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION CMNS 323-4 (W)* (D100) Instructor:Brad KingSpring Semester 2012 Email: [email protected] ca Burnaby Day Twitter: @btcking ————————————————- CULTURAL DIMENSIONS IN ADVERTISING Prerequisites: 60 units, including two of CMNS 220, 221, 223 or 226. CMNS 362 or 363 is strongly recommended. Overview: Advertising is everywhere in contemporary society. From television and the Internet, to newspapers and magazines, people are exposed to thousands of advertising ‘impressions’ every day.

Beyond individual ads, media convergence, and the quest for ‘synergies’, has increasingly transformed all forms of culture into tools of marketing and promotion. What are the social, cultural, and political implications of these developments? How does advertising and ‘promotional culture’ affect the society in which we live, our value structures, belief systems, and our ideas about what constitutes ‘the good life’? Our primary objective is to critically explore contemporary advertising, as it connects to larger questions of society and culture.

Our focus will NOT be on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the advertising industry, nor will the course teach you how to create advertising campaigns, or how to design marketing strategies. Instead, we will draw upon different critical theories and empirical research methods, as a means of reflecting upon the broader social and cultural dimensions of advertising. We begin with a discussion of the relationship between advertising, promotional culture, and a social, economic, and cultural environment dominated by commodification.

We then examine some of the dominant characteristics of post-modern advertising and promotional culture, using case studies of the representation of capitalism and the emerging phenomena of ‘green marketing’. In the latter half of the course, we broaden our focus beyond advertising texts to consider themes such as the marketing and promotion of pharmaceutical drugs, the commercialization of children’s culture, globalization, political advertising, consumer research and new media. _________________ This is a writing-intensive course. Students who began their degrees in Fall 2006 onwards must successfully complete at least two (W) courses, at least one of which must be upper division, preferably within the student’s discipline. It is strongly recommended that students take one (W) course as early as possible, preferably in their first 30 credits hours. Students are required to complete their first (W) course within their first 60 credit hours. …. over Course Format: The course is organized around a series of weekly themes that will be explored in lectures, readings and tutorial discussion.

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While there will be some overlap between the lectures, readings and tutorials, there will also be important material that is only covered in one or the other. In other words, you are expected to do the readings, attend the lectures and the tutorials to cover all the material that you will be tested upon and which you will have to draw upon in your research projects. Given that the course is writing-intensive, substantial tutorial time will be devoted to exercises and discussion designed to improve the writing skills of students.

Participation in these exercises is a mandatory component of the course, thus students should be prepared to attend all tutorial meetings. The course is organized around a series of weekly themes that will be explored in lectures, readings and tutorial discussions. Required Readings: All course texts will be available on the course wiki. Grading: Grading is subject to confirmation in class. This is a tentative outline and subject to change. Creative Ad Project30% Final Paper55% Tutorial Participation15%

The school expects that the grades awarded in this course will bear some reasonable relation to established university-wide practices with respect to both levels and distribution of grades. In addition, The School will follow Policy S10. 01 with respect to Academic Integrity, and Policies S10. 02, S10. 03 and S10. 04 as regards Student Discipline (note: as of May 1, 2009 the previous T10 series of policies covering Intellectual Honesty (T10. 02) and Academic Discipline (T10. 03) have been replaced with the new S10 series of policies).

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