Representation of the elderly: Aunt Bessie

Representation of the elderly case study, based on the 2009 Aunt Bessie's advert

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  • Created on: 28-02-15 15:30
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Case Study
Name/date text printed or released: Aunt Bessie's advert 2009
Purpose of text (inform/entertain etc) and genre: Advertise/persuade
What is being represented? Elderly
Audience Checklist
Targeting: The advert primarily targets busy mums (BD on the socioeconomic scale)
who are juggling families and work. The preferred reading is that the product is quick and
easy and can even be used on a school night, whereas perhaps previously it would have
been very time consuming. The secondary audience would be other workers who have
little time to cook ­ possibly single parents or students.
Uses and gratifications: Uses and gratifications gained would surround relationships ­
we see the old women as people we wouldn't want to know, yet we are able to identify
with them as they have the traits we have but don't like to admit to.
Preferred, negotiated and oppositional readings with reasons: The preferred reading
of the text is that the elderly are intrusive and cannot be trusted. It is a very negative
representation. The oppositional reading would be that the old women are just jealous of
the family and wouldn't usually spy on them.
How the audience are positioned to respond: The audience are positioned to respond
negatively to the nans because there is no positive view shown. We only see the
characters as negative.
Mass or niche: The advert would reach a mass audience as it is broadcast at dinner time,
which is a peak time for television audiences. It is featured on mainstream channels
meaning that anyone would have access to it.
Active or passive: The audience would be active as they would compare the old women
to people that they know and see them in a negative light, whereas their relatives would
usually hold positive connotations and memories.
Young and Rubicam: The advert would appeal to the succeeder as they would feel as
though they deserve the luxury of not having to cook tea from scratch when they come in
from work. Also, the mainstream as the brand is a wellknown family name.
Maslow: The advert is selling a product that would help to fulfil the first level of Maslow's
hierarchy, as food is a basic physiological need.
Representation Checklist

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Stereotyping: The advert reinforces stereotypes ­ for example the elderly are often found
to be the subject of a joke, and the women in the advert are presented in a comical way,
for example with the binoculars increasing in size
Conforms to or challenges dominant ideologies: Conforms to dominant ideologies as
the old women are gossips and are nosey neighbours. We see them using binoculars to
watch their new neighbours' tea time.…read more


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