From message conveyance to meaning creation : a preliminary discussion on creativity in advertising

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From message conveyance to meaning creation : a preliminary discussion on creativity in advertising

 

Author: Chan, Tai-yan Paul
Title: From message conveyance to meaning creation : a preliminary discussion on creativity in advertising
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Advertising.
Creative ability.
Focused group interviewing.
Department: School of Design
Pages: 126 leaves : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=B1637840
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/56
Abstract: This dissertation starts by investigating the validity of focus groups in testing creative concepts in advertising. The philosophy of this test is of direct descent from the marketing philosophy where everything is seen from the perspective of the consumer. This philosophy sees marketing as an activity the sole purpose of which is to satisfy "what the consumer wants". The marketing mix, the 4Ps (Product, pricing, place and promotion) which is inclusive of advertising under "promotion", places advertising as one element whose purpose is also to satisfy what the consumer wants. The use of the focus group, in which a group of targeted consumers is placed in a room to discuss and comment on the tested advertising creative concept to see if it satisfies "what the consumer wants" (i.e. themselves), seems to be only logical and reasonable. The marketing philosophy fails in two aspects. Firstly, it only sees what the con-sumer wants as something which is fixed and has to be discovered, and fails to see that what the consumer wants is cultural and always changing according to the changing values and ideologies of mass culture. Secondly, it sees advertising as only part of the marketing mix conveying messages and fails to see advertising as a meaning production process shaping values and ideology. Here the framework is drawn from cultural studies of advertising and the ideas of semiotics are used. Under this new paradigm, the whole process is reversed. Advertising becomes a factor that determines what the consumer wants through attaching new meanings to products in which creativity becomes a vital element in attaching these meanings to the shaping of values and ideology. An under-standing of "creativity" becomes imperative when studying why particular signifiers are chosen to generate the signifieds successfully in the meaning production process. A preliminary discussion on creativity is based on three frameworks. Lateral thinking of DeBono, Wish-fulfilment in the dream-work by Freud , and the idea of imagination by DuFrenne. Discussion into these areas is not limited to the focus group but to the whole scenario of creativity in advertising. This dissertation ends in a study of 3 SUNDAY campaigns to illustrate how creativity works in the meaning production process in the real world.

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