Advertising and Society

Posted on December 1, 2014.

Notes from Advertising and Society, a MOOC on Coursera.

What is advertising and where did it come from

Definition of Advertising

Definition 1

“Any device which first arrests the attention of the passer-by and then induces him to accept a mutually advantageous exchange”

James Laver (art historian)

Definition 2

“The official art of capitalist society”

Raymond Williams (social theorist)

Definition 3

“Salesmanship in print”

John F. Kennedy

History of Advertising in America

Relation of Advertising to Media

Am I Being Manipulated by Advertising

Subliminal Advertising

Public Perception of the Advertising Profession

Ethics and Advertising

What’s in an ad beyond that which meets the eye?

How Ads Mean What They Do to Us?

Semiotics and Advertising

Interpreting TV Commercials

Thinking about interpretation

Interpreting works of art

How do ads get made?

How do ads get made

Classical functions of an advertising agency


Post-War American Advertising

Creative Revoloution

Also in the 1960s

Creativity Case Study

The Role of Research in Advertising

Laying the groundwork

VALS(TM) system


Example Ad: Ford Escape Hybrid


Example Ad: Chevolet Silverado Ad (This is our country)


Example Ad: Mercedes Benz ad (the race that really matters…)


Example Ad: Jeep Compass (It’s freedom in a whole new dimension)


Example Ad: Nissan 4x4s (Naturally Capable)





Research after ad is made

What do ads teach us about race, class, gender and sexuality?

Gender Representation in Ads

Definition of terms

“And I want you to think about the question of whether it is not the case that advertising is laying out a program for us of what our lives ought to be like in an idealized sense of telling us really how we should live our lives, what our aspirations should be, and how we should comport ourselves to fit the models of gender and the good life, according to the world of advertising.”

Depictions of Gender in Mad Men

Does Sex Sell

Does Sex Sell


But Does Sex Sell?

What kind of sex does the ad actual sell

Niche Marketing: Gay Consumers

What’s the Future of Advertising

Recent Innovations in Advertising

The Future