Discuss the role and value of communication models across a range of marketing, advertising and communication media. Use specific examples of advertising media that promote consumer goods and highlight aspects of your examples, using specific communication models to discuss their characteristics. When looking at advertisements in any form of media, at first glance they look simple and meaningless. When looked at in more detail it becomes more obvious that a lot of research has gone into the design of each individual advert to ensure that the correct message is passed onto the viewer.
Over the years many people have developed models to describe how different forms of mass communication take place. Mathematicians Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver developed a ‘mathematical model’ which shows communication to be linear and one way. Other models include the Lasswell formula, Dance’s Helical model, Westley and McLean’s model for communication research, and Maletzke’s model of the mass communication process. All these models will be described in more detail later on. A magazine advert for Davidoff Cool Water for women was found in Cosmopolitan.
The paper that it has been printed on is of a higher quality than that of the rest of the magazine, signifying that the perfume is superior to the rest of the perfumes advertised. The photo of the perfume bottle on the page has been glossed over. This highlights what is being advertised and makes it the first thing you look at when glancing at the page. There is a picture of a lady who looks like she has just had a shower. This gives the image that the perfume is refreshing and clean. The bottle also has condensation on it which hints that she has been using it.
There is also a website which gives the company a chance to receive feedback. This can be used to help monitor the effectiveness of the advert by seeing if, after the advert has been released there are an increased number of visitors to the site. On the reverse side to this advert there is also an advert for the male aftershave for Cool Water. This contains similar features to that of the female version. There is a naked man relaxing in water. This is making the advert appeal to women because sex sells. It may make them want to buy it for their boyfriends.
Westley and McLean’s conceptual model of mass communication could be used to analyse these adverts. The model is outlined below. In the model A is the Davidoff company that is providing the design brief for C, which is the advert and its designer. B is the viewer or audience which is looking at the advert that C has designed. At the beginning A is getting background information from research, sales figures, or past experiences. On the diagram these are labelled as X1, X2, and X3. A then passes its information onto the designer in the form of X’, who designs the advert, but also uses information gained from X3, and X4.
C then passes the advert on in the form of X” to C, who are the audience. In this model there is also feedback at work. A gets feedback both from the designer and the audience. The designer may have queries about certain parts of the brief or may suggest areas for improvement, while the audiences’ feedback would be in the form of sales or visits to the website mentioned on the advert. The audience also has feedback for the designer. This may be appreciation for the advert design or a complaint for things such as using inappropriate images of a naked body.