Media Literacy

Advertising: Verbal & Visual Messages.


According to Neil Postman, a noted scholar on the media, we have moved from what he calls a print based society, to a picture-based society.  This is particularly evident in advertising.

Look at the progression from the ads of the early 20th century to those of today.  You can readily discern that words are replaced with pictures.  But what information are we given by modern advertising?

D-bloomies.JPG (36546 bytes)
(Bloomingdales, 1898)
D-parents1933.JPG (11710 bytes)
(Corn Flakes, 1933)
D-esquire1974.jpg (16379 bytes)
(Puerto Rican Rum, 1974)
cosmo21997 copy.gif (31064 bytes)
(Cosmopolitan, 1997)

Early advertising tried to persuade the reader with a series of facts about the product contained in the ad.  This approach has changed over the years so that today we actually have commercial advertisements where the product is never mentioned, or referred to.

Products are sold today through the use of emotional appeals and identifications.