Wernick, Andrew. (1991) Promotional Culture: Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression


Wedgewood Copy of Portland Vase

“To accept the selling message is to accept the values it presupposes.  By representing such values as just part of the visual furniture the ad naturalizes them, and to that extent reinforces their hold” (p. 23)

Case study of Wedgewood recreating an ancient roman vase as a marketing device to draw attention to his full product line.  Advertising rose along with the rise of mass-produced commodities: “Commercial communication between buyers and sellers is an inherent feature of commodity exchange and without it no market can survive…The histories of advertising and commodities completely coincide” (17).

Wedgewood used marketing and advertising as a medium themselves:

“What this meant, in either case, was the propagation of promotional messages which could not be answered back.  There is no way to interact with an objectified image nor to intervene in the construction of an ad.  Feedback from consumers can only appear passively, through revealed preference and market research” (18).

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One thought on “Wernick, Andrew. (1991) Promotional Culture: Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression

  1. Pingback: Davis, Aeron. (2013) Promotional Cultures: The Rise and Spread of Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing and Branding | Cheryl Williams

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