How do stories convince us?

The journal article, “How do stories convince us?” by John Rodden discusses the complexities of narrative and rhetoric and how they are often used in conjunction to communicate effectively. He coined the term “a rhetoric of narrative” to explain this relationship, while keeping the following three questions in mind: 

  1. How do stories convince? 
  2. How do stories and “law books” appeal differently?
  3. How do narratives argue?

The rhetoric of narrative wasn’t clearly defined in the article, and was kind of difficult to understand, so I think it may be helpful to break this term down. Narrative is defined as the “systematic recitation of an event or series of events,” or in simpler terms “a story,” while rhetoric is the “art of using language to persuade”. Thus, when narrative rhetoric is used, speakers often use narrative elements to convince, inspire or argue certain points. 

Rodden focuses on the “how” and “why” of narrative throughout the entirety of the article. He uses the rhetoric trivium (grammar, logic) to explain the “how” and suggests that the “why” is persuasion.

He states that grammar is the ground or base, and logic is used as building blocks to rhetoric. To better understand this concept, think of what you learned in elementary school. Children are taught basic, fundamental concepts at an early age,  as their minds are able and ready to absorb new information. Rather than being able to self-express and discover, we just learn the facts/rules so that later on we are able to think for ourselves and formulate our own opinions based on our foundations of knowledge. This is similar to how grammar is used in rhetoric. Logic is the reasoning in rhetoric, and it gives a story significance. Back to the example in school, the logic years would be middle school and junior high, where students begin to make connections based on their prior knowledge. Last in the trivium is rhetoric, or the output, when students are able to apply what they’ve learned. 

Rodden uses the rhetoric of narrative to suggest that stories are often persuasive discourses, especially if they “progress primarily by motifs carrying ideas.” He claims that speakers often discreetly state their message when telling stories so that their audience is persuaded in less forceful manner.

We the Media

Facilitated by Allan Izaguirre

The introduction chapter illuminates the evolution of how information travels. It discusses early news medias and how the internet changed how the game was played. That chapter sets the floor for the question of, what is trustworthy nowadays? Discussed in chapter 9.

Something that we all need to watch out for is the copy and pasting problem when someone quotes something. For example, if I take my Mathematics textbook and only quote a part of my equation like “Area of a circle is equal to pi” without mentioning the rest of that equation, this will end up in a catastrophe of an answer. Some people do this on purpose to stir up some controversy. An example of this in its purest form is this video of Bernie Sanders singing Power by Kanye West.

Of course you should not quote him on this, even though he said all those words, this video has purposefully left out other important things he said.

When you think of primary sourced evidence, one of the first things you might think of is witnessing an event with your own eyes. To an extent we can assume photos and videos also fall under this, primary evidence category. But can we really trust all that we see? Gillmor brings to light the evil that has sourced from the developing technology around us. “…simple cropping can remove someone who was in the original picture or it can highlight an important element in the image.” A new concern has risen due to our advancement in motion editing. With what started as a way to place celebrities’ faces into pornography, has now turned into a way to put words into someone else’s mouth.  Deepfakes analyze people facial gestures and accommodate them for others to create realistic videos. Here’s a quick reality check.

In the same way as someone can be a victim of this. A public figure can do something ridiculous and say, “Oh what, really?? There’s a video of me doing that? That has to be a deepfake.” When in fact it was them.

Gillmor then proceeds to question whether the person behind a publishing is something important to know. For example, if you read an Onion article and you were given no indication that it was published by The Onion, would you feel bamboozled for falling for such thing. But having anonymity has its benefits, people who would normally not mention certain things feel free saying them. And as seen with the deepfakes public figures can slip out of line and say something that they wouldn’t normally say and blame it on a hacker.

Gillmor mentions the pain of trolls bombarding journalistic sites. Some can guide viewers out of context and plainly just waste peoples time. In a similar way to you watching the class videos for Tuesday on YouTube and suddenly you are lured into a convincing title under your recommend list such as, “I was brushing my teeth, YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT”. Then three minute into viewing you realize that they have not mentioned anything about brushing their teeth. Those posters that are there just so that you can lose minutes off your valuable day, or as Gillmor calls them “a time thief”. I recently encountered a commentor on Instagram who’s username was “dontclickhear73″ and my instinct as a flawed human was to click on it, then on their profile their description states ” DON’T READ MY BIO”, the bio instructs you to not click on the panda, the image of the panda has tagged a user who’s name is “dontclickhere37”. There I go clicking away, then that user’s Biography says “DON’T CHECK WHO I FOLLOW” and at the end of this whole journey I just end up on a useless sponsoring page. In this case it was inevitable, I could have just followed instructions. There are cases where a troll will comment on a controversial topic and you as a defender of your beliefs will comment back and create this debate that was just there to get you and others to comment on an article which pays authors for the amount of comments their articles gets. Trolls whole purpose is to “provoke others with the intention of wasting their time and energy.” they are tough to avoid and always waiting for you to give them a shot at wasting your time.

Now comes the things harder to realize, these are the bias spins that individuals place on information to push their personal agendas. Spins can sometimes even be harmless and just something a journalist did without realizing. Others can influence masses. I would like you to check out this website, https://www.allsides.com/unbiased-balanced-news, they separate articles based on political stance upon the same event. When reading from a new source it is important to keep in mind that the authors intentions might go beyond informing you.

Now here are the real heroes of the internet, you and I. Do not trust everything you see and read online. Read other people’s comments. Run a quick fact check on their information. Don’t believe the “Corona virus cure” article, you can look up other sources and verify the validity of their argument. In addition to this there are multiple websites designated to fact checking, here is a link to Michael A. Caulfield book page on these sites, https://webliteracy.pressbooks.com/chapter/fact-checking-sites/ . In fact his whole book is worth noting as a guide to fact checking an unchecked source. https://webliteracy.pressbooks.com/

Gillmor gives us these rules which have worked for him:

  1. Do not quote/trust anonymous postings.
  2. Select sources you trust information from.
  3.  Use tools like the website I linked to find bias or read new information cautiously.
  4. Fact check their ass.

Rosenberg Facilitation: Three Pillars of Trust

As millions of journalists publish endless stories, it may always be the case that a mistake can be made among their story and/or accuracy of sources. But how many of those journalists are actually taking responsibility for those mistakes? Scott Rosenberg on Three Pillars of Trust: Links, revisions, and error buttons, discusses the impact of uncorrected errors and how journalists and news organizations can change that. Rosenberg highlights, “more than half of stories being published contain mistakes – and only three percent of those errors are ever fixed.” Because of the lack of effort or willingness to alter these errors, news organizations have and are increasingly losing the public’s trust. How do we begin to believe or know journalists are producing reliable facts? Rosenberg addresses three simple yet overlooked steps that news organizations can take into account in order to minimize the number of errors in their stories and establish better rapport among their readers. 

  1. The first step Rosenberg introduces is the ability to “Link generously.”

In other words, he emphasizes the significance in providing sources to help support the credibility of their research. Without these links to the sources that have been utilized, readers are not given the opportunity to assess whether the story is a reliable document. 

  1. The next step is the importance of “Showing your work.”

By showing your work, Rosenberg encourages journalists to attach previous revisions of the same story to show the processes of their improvements. He highlights the idea of practicing transparency and by doing this, he claims “providing a history of every version of the story” can fulfill that practice. 

  1. Rosenbergs’ final step promotes the act of “Helping people report mistakes.” 

He states, “The internet is a powerfully efficient feedback mechanism.” In this last step, he encourages news organizations to implement a type of attachment or button that allows readers to share that they believe the writer has made some sort of mistake. This gives the writer the ability to receive feedback. 

Rosenberg along with many others understand that these “uncorrected errors are beginning to undermine the public’s trust” and in order to build that trust back, he believes these steps are an essential start. Below is a short clip of Jeff Jarvis identifying his take on Journalistic Code of Ethics that I think is relevant to Rosenberg’s three pillars. 

Along with ideas to change the face of accuracy and credibility, Rosenberg also breaks down the reasons these practices are not widely or commonly used. He begins with explaining what the industry has to offer. He explains that systems that consist of tools to immediately correct these mistakes, do not exist. And later states, that even if these correction systems did exist, they are not “bringing in revenue directly” and news organizations are not gaining money from it and are wasting time doing so. Following, Rosenberg switches the reasoning on the writers themselves. He claims, “many editors do not believe the problem is serious” and do not take into account that inaccuracy loses the public’s trust. Next, he believes writers assume that readers with corrections or feedback are just people who don’t support their work, and the writers believe it is their “duty to ignore them.”

An example of a news organization that does a really great job of updating their revisions and linking sources is the Dallas Morning News. Each article contains specific links within the text or below a specific image or statistic in order to allow their readers to access their sources. One particular article on The Dallas Morning News addressing the current pandemic provides almost all key steps that allow the public to trust its content. The beginning of the article contains an update with a specific time and statistic. Throughout the article, there are links within the text, under images, and identified sources within the story. Below is the link to the article. 

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/public-health/2020/04/18/tarrant-county-reports-3-more-coronavirus-deaths-54-positive-cases/

As we look into the truth behind every journalists’ intentions when publishing or writing a story, Rosenberg states “we ask them what sets them apart from others that share online as well.” 

If their answer is “We care about accuracy. We correct our mistakes,” Rosenberg emphasizes that they should practice what they preach unless they want to continue losing the public’s trust. 

Facilitation: Bogost Persuasive Games: The Picnic Spoils the Rain

Ian Bogost first claims that video games cannot be “interactive film(s)” due to how the video game medium itself lacks the ability to use cinematic editing. He explains that what makes film unique as an art form is the ability to edit, or link seemingly unrelated images or clips together to form something that extends the scope of what those components can do by themselves. Video games however cannot fully utilize these techniques as there has to be a continuous sequence of what the player does from a gameplay point of view. I.e. it is impossible for a creator to edit the sequence of a player’s actions. Bogost also puts an emphasis on how the virtual camera that exists within the medium can be compared to the cameras used for film, claiming yet that the medium cannot maximize the same utility due to this lack of editing. Heavy Rain is the video game he uses as an example to support this argument as it was heavily advertised and referred by as an “interactive film”. While there are “jump cuts” in this game’s story Bogost explains that these cuts only correspond with changes in location, not changes in the player’s relationship to the spaces, actions, or themes of the narrative.

Outside of editing, Bogost explains that Heavy Rain is still an interactive narrative. How when compared to film, is similar in that each sequence of the game moves forward the story. Bogost explains that this could be a reason why video games that are heavily narrative based are being described as “interactive film(s)”. With this Bogost moves to his main claim that the video game medium should instead focus what he describes as prolonging. He starts with how the gameplay of Heavy Rain can create a distinct emotional contact to the audience that film doesn’t focus on due to editing techniques. In one of the “chase scenes” of the game where a boy gets separated from the protagonist, the players experience what Bogust claims as the “slow panic of confusion” that would relate to parents who have lost a child in a similar manner. He would continue with how film would use a bunch of quick cuts to achieve a similar sense of panic, but the interactiveness at the game gives that slower pace due to the time it takes for the players to continue the action. He then gives the example of a sequence where the protagonist stares at his child. The player has to continue by pressing a button but can choose to at any time. The prolonging of the action can help build the narrative by Bogost’s standards.

“Prolonging” in Heavy Rain along with mise-en-scène, the establishment of a scene in order to push players along the objective of the game, is emphasized as an important foci by Bogost by critiquing how mise-en-scène in film is dependent on editing. He claims that prolonging allows players interact with the scene itself. A game from the same generation of video game that uses this “prolonging” technique is Skyrim. Skyrim without Fast Travel, a gameplay mechanic that skips this important “prolonging” part of the game, invokes the long and tiring journey that Skyrim creates. The story is supposed to be a great adventure, and the prolonging of the players in their quest supports this feeling by creating a lull between events that is more realistic to the real world. A great adventure has a great long journey to accompany it. The video below shows how Skyrim has a whole sequence that carries this feeling and, to extend back to Bogost, this would not have been able to be executed in film as it would’ve been portrayed by many quick cuts.

Facilitation: Abbott- “Who needs winners?”

Micheal Abbott, in a blog post titled “Who needs winners?” writers how there is no crecct way to construct narratives for videogames, and there exist multiple successful approaches that various audeinces are drawn toward. Abbott begins this arugment with a comparison to both visual art and theather in the 1800s and the social upheaval these new art forms and narrative styles which met with both supporters and oppenenets. Abbott mentions that these debates can range from simple things like whether the character of Link should be able to speak to the much larger ideas of what a game is. “I’d say roughly a quarter of the sessions at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco could be classified as mini-manifestos, calling in one way or another for a chage in thinking, a reassessment of methods, a challenge to assumptions. GDC and similar gatherings continue to ask fundamental questions about the nature, form and purpose of games” (Abbott). This leads into his main point that audiences often assume that there exists only one correct method to game design that is superior in order to make a successful game. However, Abbott argues that in history, the concept that there is only one correct way to construct a medium has never been true. Especially in regards to videogames and its various different forms of narrative. Abbott narrows it down to four pillars that reflect different ways narrative is told in gaming.

The first pillar he describes is one that has repeated elements in both its story and gamplay over its series that seek to refine issues to create a fun game for audiences to enjoy. The next is the more movie-like games where the narrative feels like that of a movie with a cinematic style but a linear story that allows players to enjoy the thrill of adventure. The third is where the game has a central narrative but the player is allowed to explore the open world as the game lets the player’s imagination guide the adventure. The final pillar is the true sandbox in which Abbott describes a narrative that allows the player to create and do whatever they wish in an open world that has no central story for the player to follow unless the player wants to make one themselves. In Abbott’s final thoughts, he clarifies that these pillars are not to classify all narratively driven games but rather to help audiences understand where designers can draw inspiration from to create something new with the lessons learned from the old.

An example that that comes to my mind that helps show Abbott’s argument is in the differences between the successful series of games from Bioware’s “Dragon Age” and Nintendo’s “Pokémon”. The “Dragon Age “series allows the players to directly make changes that impact the central narrative of the story but  also provides a cinematic action style with you character fighting dragons and monsters in movie like story events. For example, the character of Ironbull in “Dragon Age Inquisition” can betray the party or not based upon the choices the player makes prior to these events. We see the player is given a cinematic narrative event at this moment with a betrayal of a party member, but the player has the freedom in how to approach this possible event.

While the “Pokémon” series is where the players follows similar narrative plots in each game but is given the freedom to customize their teams and create a narrative behind these teams. These can range from challenges the players can put on themselves, like the “nuzlocke” challenge, or merely choices based upon the aesthetic of the pokémon. While these decisions seem minor, it allows one to craft a story based upon the challenges one can face which are based upon how their team is formed. Some fights are harder for some teams while easier for others for example. While both series are very successful and popular, both are also very different in how they approach narrative structure. Abbott primarily argues the medium of videogames is one that allows multiple approaches to a narrative that players can enjoy, with new games coming out that challenged the notion that there is a “winner” in the creation of videogame narrative. Much like art, videogames as a medium continue to evolve based on past lessons and experiments for the future.

Facilitation: Flanagan

As we grow up, we begin to develop as people and develop new ideas and new thoughts. We learn new things by exploring different areas and topics by different forms and methods. One of the methods that Flanagan argues we learn from is through “play.” Flanagan states that “play is an integral and vital part of mental development and learning, and playful activities are essential aspects of learning and creative acts.”. (Flanagan 4) From this, Flanagan begins to explore what the impacts of games can have on the audience and its player. By playing a game you and immersing yourself in the art form that the creators have built for you to explore and reach an end goal, and we as the players can learn from the game by playing critically. Flanagan defines critical play as a “means to create or occupy play environments that represent one or more questions about aspects of human life.” (Flanagan 6) This is the key idea of the article as if a game can stimulate critical play from the player, then a message or argument can be claimed from said game. Before we take a look at an example, Flanagan establishes a set of parameters that a game must follow in order to stimulate play which are: “1. A game is a system 2. It is artificial 3. It has players 4. It has conflict 5. It has rules 6. It contains a quantifiable outcome/goal, an ending state in which players can either be considered the “winners” or the “losers.” (Flanagan 7)

I read this and the first game that I though of was Call of Duty: World at War, which was released in 2008 on various gaming systems. The game is based on World War II and takes the perspective of an unnamed soldier apart of the United States front lines, apart of the Allies. This world war is considered one of the most important events in human history, and so the game explores an aspect of human life, as Flanagan argued before. With this we can begin to breakdown if it fits the bill in Flanagans eyes.

1. Call of Duty World at War has a system in place. Although the player has some freedom into what actions he can take, there is a set plan of missions that you must go through and certain actions that are already planned.
2. Although the game is based on real events and real tragedies, it is an artificial game that explores the aspects of the war. It would be defined as Historical Fiction.
3. You are one of the players in the game, the CPU can be considered as one of the other players in the game. On top of the campaign mode that the game has, there is a multiplayer which places you in the battlefield against other people in real time.
4. The conflict in this game would be the Axis forces preventing you from stopping the war.
5. Although the player is free to chose what he does, the player has a lot of rules in place, for example, you cannot kill your teammates and you cannot roam the playfield because certain texts will tell you to return to the place of action.
6. The total end goal of the game is to win the war, ultimately, as the Allies did in 1943

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_wqVGEI-j8

This game and many others are presenting ideas and telling stories, and as Flanagan argues at the end of the article, that these games are the new technology that pushes our development as humans. (Flanagan 9). Games are a type of play that stimulates the player to learn new things in a different way and “All art derives from play.” (Flanagan 8)

Facilitation – Stein: Constitutive Rhetoric in Marketing

In this journal written by Sarah R. Stein, the strategies behind rhetoric in marketing is analyzed. More specifically, Stein aims to identify what made the 1984 Apple Macintosh advertisement so iconic in the history of marketing. She looks at various elements such as cinematic narrative, allusions, and constitutive rhetoric.

Here is a link to the 1984 Apple advertisement: https://youtu.be/VtvjbmoDx-I

While the other elements did play a role in this ad, they were secondary to the constitutive rhetoric that was the overwhelming power within the Apple ad. Stein references Charland’s theory of constitutive rhetoric. This theory establishes three primary ideological effects for advertising: 1) the process of constituting a collective subject through narratives that foster an identification superseding divisive individual or class interests; 2) the positing of a transhistorical subject; and 3) the illusion of freedom and agency of the narrative’s protagonist (Stein, 2002). Essentially, constitutive rhetoric aims to provide a sense of identification for the consumers. A person may feel more inclined to an advertisement if they can find some sense of freedom, or identification within the ad.

Another perspective that Stein discussed was that the Apple advertisement created a sense of a “better future”. The stereotypical future of technology that we all know is that technology is rapidly advanced, robots take over many jobs that humans used to do, and we are all prisoners to our technology. Apple capitalized on this idea, and created a brand essentially saying, “We won’t let it get to that point, we’re better than that”. This, specifically, is done at the closing screen of the ad. A different narrator from the rest of the ad begins speaking and says “Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you will see why 1984 won’t be like 1984.” This implies that Apple, as a brand, is better than the stereotypical future. If you don’t want to be a part of that future, and you don’t want to be brainwashed, join us. Though, this may be seen as ironic depending on how you look at it now.  

The marketing world is what it is today due to the adventurous attempt at advertising by Apple in 1984. The step above the others to truly captivate an audience is what all advertisers today aim to be able to recreate. Apple didn’t even need to mention or demonstrate their product; the powerful constitutive rhetoric was enough for people to jump on board with the Apple brand and continue to purchase their products, even 36 years later.  

Below are several examples of advertisements that utilize some of the same elements as the 1984 Apple ad, along with short explanations.

In terms of cinematic narrative, there are various advertisements that try to utilize this concept. One that came to mind right away for me, is the advertisement “A Bridge for Santa – Coca-Cola”, that I saw on YouTube one day. It’s a much longer advertisement than most, almost like a short story, so by the end of it the audience feels a sense of attachment to the child and happiness that the town gets to experience Christmas. With the brand of Coca-Cola attached to various elements throughout this ad, the audience may attach the feelings of happiness and accomplishment to the Coca-Cola brand.

https://youtu.be/u2D52Lg_KrY
The Nissan Pathfinder advertisement from 2014 uses their product to allude to Noah’s Ark. With the gathering of humans and animals in bad weather, the Noah’s Ark reference also targets a specific type of audience. The Nissan Pathfinder is a family-style car. The target consumer that Nissan is aiming for are families with both children and pets.

While this Coca-Cola ad is not entirely centralized around constitutive rhetoric, the rallying spirit combined with a sense of humor is a powerful combination.

https://medium.com/@rebeccaparamo/constitutive-rhetoric-the-axe-effect-a2b20595cd5c

In an article by Rebecca Paramo, the constitutive rhetoric of “The AXE Effect” is illustrated. The three ideological effects, as mentioned earlier, are put into play in most, if not all of the AXE advertising schemes. The goal is to create a sense of identification in men and a rallying effect of using AXE products, to persuade men to purchase their products. Her article is a fairly short read and elaborates more on the AXE effect and constitutive rhetoric.

Raymond Williams Facilitation: “Advertising: the Magic System”

William’s chapter “Advertising: The Magic System” is an interesting blend between politics and media analysis. The article starts strong by introducing the creation of advertisements and explaining how they have managed to worm their way into almost every facet of media. From there the text devolves into an analysis over consumerism and its two forms in a socialistic market and a democratic market. Right before this shift happens however, Williams mentions an interesting topic, that being the Magic of Advertisements. Williams describes the magic of advertisements to be “a highly organized and professional system of magical inducements and satisfactions” (705). This lengthy statement can be broken down into two parts: an emotional link to a product, and making the audience believe they need a product.

              The overall goal of an emotional link to a product is to make the advertisement appear beneficial for those watching, and as such many such advertisements go out of their way to create a morality inspiring commercial. These kinds of commercials aim to teach the audience a morale lesson or remind them how they are “supposed” to act in public. A great example of these kinds of commercials can be found from coke advertisements:

              In this short one minute clip, we are introduced to a young boy and his older brother. Throughout the clip, the older brother teases the younger sibling, constantly causing him minor inconveniences. However near the end of the clip, when the younger sibling has his Coca Cola stolen from him by a few school bullies, the older sibling steps up to his duties and protects the younger sibling, and of course returns the soda. As a final act of tease to his younger sibling, he makes the sibling spill a bit of coke on his face while drinking, but as the older sibling walks away, we are left to see the younger sibling with a bright smile on his face. This commercial is meant to serve as a reminder of how families are meant to behave, with jokes and small teases being acceptable, but also standing up for one another. Other than the Coca Cola outro in the end, Coca Cola’s are placed through this clip, making it seem like this is the family’s main choice of drink. In doing this, it suggests that a morale family drinks Coca Cola, and satisfies a piece of the magic of advertisement that Williams suggests to exist.

              William’s second form of magic covers the art of an advertisement making the viewer feel they “need” a product. A great example of these kinds of advertisements are medicinal commercials, which create/isolate a problem and then introduce their brand as the cure.

              In this advert, we are quickly introduced to a woman playing with children, which we can then assume that she is their mother. The woman is taken down by the children, and as she falls shows a face of great pain. We are then introduced to the product, Aleve, and moments after we are again shown the woman gaining strength and resuming play with the children. This audience is pushed to believe that thanks to the product of Aleve, this woman was able to spend time with her children, instead of just withering away in pain. It strongly suggests that without its aid, the audience won’t be able to enjoy life and as such markets its product as a tool to make life more enjoyable. The advertisers in this commercial create the isolate the need of the audience, a way to deal with pain, and upscale the problem, in dong this they suggest their product as the salvation of said problem. They follow the second form of magic suggested by William, that of artificially creating a need and then fulfilling that need with their product

Lotz Ch5: Advertising After the Network Era

4/7 Facilitation: Jacob Moreno

In Lotz’s’ work we take a very very close look into how advertising emerged and evolved throughout television history and after the network era. One would assume that the term ‘evolution’ corresponds with something like “out with the old, in with the new”, but for advertising it goes something like “in with the new AND the old”. We come to understand that as audience measurement systems developed onward, the systems used to advertise did not get thrown out with the introduction of new systems, rather just added on top of preexisting ones to further enhance the power and grasp that advertising has on the public.

Lotz discusses that when the video-on-demand technology such as the DVR & VCR was introduced, advertisers were scared that they would no longer “hold captive” the viewers watching the 300-channel universe on Television. Advertising did take a beating due to the introduction of the DVR/VCR, which was somewhat the tipping point for the advertising communities. The future uncertainty plus the new tech caused tension of whether TV advertising would make it past the 2000s. After the attacks in 2001, cheaper programming was pursued leading to the creation of shows we know and love today such as “who wants to be a billionaire” & “survivor”. With this, advertisers were more adventurous to break the status quo and experiment with new techniques such as product placement within a broadcasted program. AT&T and Pringles were some of the first to pay to have their product featured within a program itself. The industry then created better data and analyses to target fragmented populations using psychographic specificities instead of demographic generalities. By the early years of the 21st century, advertisers had an array of tools to help them reach the viewers that they wanted to reach.

In my facilitation, I go about describing these techniques/practices in a friendly bulleted list format that is also moderately in chronological order.

Lotz’s chapter goes on to discuss the different advertising techniques and their ramifications at their time of introduction to even now.

Advertising Practices

during the Network Era

& the Multi-Channel Transition:

  • Radio – used a single sponsorship system in which a corporation paid all of the production costs of a show & was the only product or corporation/entity associated with it (carried over to TV but soon failed because of the high costs to produce)
  • 1940s &1950s – afforded advertising agencies and their clients more command over program content & even networks’ schedules
  • Single Sponsorship – involves the single corporation financing the costs normally recouped through selling advertising times (Ex. “now, a word from our sponsors”) – helps create narratives of some distinction
  • Company voice or corporate angle strategy – Large manufacturing corps. had dominated sponsorships & used them as opportunities to promote their corporate image.
  • Upfront Market – Broadcast networks sell the remaining advertising inventory throughout the year in the “scatter” & “opportunistic” markets. (networks make money before they begin producing programming)
  • CPMs (cost for one exposure to one thousand viewers of a certain demographic type): Standard industry currency – if an advertiser wishes to reach 50M viewers and had established a CPM of $15 a network would put together a package of advertisements that would reach the 50M viewers for $750,000.
  • “Industrial shifts caused by new media & challenges to the status quo operation television resulted in a shift of power within agencies from creative divisions to media buying & planning”. – Jack Myers
  • Placement – situations in which TV shows use name brand products or present them on the screen within the context of the show (Ex. “The Truman Show”)
  • Integration – (an additional category of advertiser support in the post-network commercial economy) The product or company becomes part of the show in such a way that it contributes to the narrative and creates an environment of brand awareness beyond that produced by advanced placement.
  • Branded Entertainment – is the 3rd advertisement strategy that has grown increasingly commonplace from the beginning. of the post-network era (advertiser creates the content of the show). *marks a fundamental shift from intrusive advertisement pushed at audiences to advertising of such merit or interest that the audience actively seeks it out*

I have compiled a few youtube videos that I saw best explained/supported Lotzs’ reading. I tried to find videos that touched on each topic I have discussed/focused on thus far.

(Below each video, I provided brief descriptions of what each one addresses)

If you’d rather listen to a poet discuss how these advertising practices affect us, click here^
Although not specifically discussed in Lotzs’ work, this video explains the 2 main types of advertising practices & how they make money
( through the eyes of someone who works in the field)
Here is a fun, easy-going documentary that I watched out of curiosity!
“it explores the evolution of content marketing through the eyes of the world’s biggest leading brands such as Red Bull, Kraft, and Marriott; and marketing influencers, including Joe Pulizzi, Ann Handley, Scott Stratten, Jay Baer and more”

What is Popular Culture Facilitation (Storey)

In this work, Storey attempts to explain the several ways that popular culture can ultimately be defined and described. Throughout the chapter he presents multiple ways popular culture can be defined, and why there is difficulty settling on just one definition.

The meaning of the phrase “popular culture” can be contextualized and interpreted in many different depending on the person describing it and their ideologies. Storey begins the chapter by stating that popular culture “is an empty conceptual category” which can be filled using many different ways or ideas since there are so many ways one can interpret what it really means.

The first description Storey presents is that popular culture means “widely favored or well-liked by many people”. This may be the simplest of definitions. This can be measured by things like “number of records sold”. Definitely a more quantitative approach to the phrase, though this description may be too broad. As Storey continues the chapter, he presents more in-depth definitions of pop culture.

Storey’s next example (which I believe to be one of the most relevant) describes popular culture as “culture that is left over after we have decided what is high culture”. This is referring to the more favorable items of a specific culture that are more popularized than other less favorable pieces of culture. A good example would be Japanese culture in the United States, specifically anime and sushi, which are undoubtedly some of the most popular forms of Japanese culture in the west. But these pieces of culture became popular due to it being widely considered as “high culture” or “more favorable” compared to other forms of Japanese culture to a general audience/consumer. Another way he describes this is that popular culture comes from “the people” and is “chosen” by “the people”, which also eliminates the approach that describes popular culture as being imposed onto the people.

Describing popular culture as “mass culture” does infer that the popular culture is imposed onto “the people”. This can also be described as commercial culture in which the culture is mass-produced for mass-consumption. A good example of this would be fast food commercials popularizing fast food in the past, though this approach has become less and less dominant in the present day. This describes a pop culture as formulaic and manipulative while also requiring passivity. This is a more bleak view on pop culture, but as Storey describes, it is not the most dominant definition of pop culture, at least anymore. Another way to describe this would be using hegemony, where a dominant person or group can popularize something easily through winning the consent of the passive or subordinate groups.

An incredibly recent example of something becoming popular culture would be the Netflix documentary series Tiger King, which over the past handful of days has become one of the most discussed and watched pieces of media as of recent. Almost everyone I had talked to after the release of this series has recommended it to me or others, spreading this medium rapidly.