Representation of the elderly: Shreddies

Representation of the elderly case study, based on the 2014 Shreddies advert

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  • Created on: 28-02-15 15:34
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Case Study
Name/date text printed or released: Shreddies advert 2014
Purpose of text (inform/entertain etc) and genre: Advertise, persuade
What is being represented? Elderly
Audience Checklist
Targeting: The primary target audience for the advert is working class (CD on the
socioeconomic scale) mums. The song `This is how we do it' was released in 1995, which
is about the time when many parents would have been growing up. It reminds the mums of
their youth. Also, the advert shows women rather than men, which may allow more women
to relate to the characters. The secondary target audience would be children who would
find the advert entertaining and so might ask their parents to buy Shreddies.
Uses and gratifications: The audience could receive uses and gratifications such as
personal relationships from the text, as the nans come across as friendly and
approachable. The audience may feel as though they want to be like the nans when they
reach their age. Also, for the short period of time which it is on, the advert provides a form
of diversion as the audience would be absorbed in the advert and would be able to stop
what they are doing momentarily to watch.
Preferred, negotiated and oppositional readings with reasons: The preferred reading of the
text is that Shreddies give you the energy to be moving about all morning, which is
important to mums who may have a hectic morning routine. The oppositional reading may
be that the nans are interfering with things that don't concern them ­ people like to feel
independent, but as the nans are sown to be "helping you through `till lunch", this feeling of
independence may be compromised.
How the audience are positioned to respond: The audience are shown a positive side of
the Shreddies nans and no negative view is given to the audience, so they would react
positively to the nans.
Mass or niche: The audience would be a mass audience as the advert is broadcast on
subscriptionfree channels throughout the day, particularly around meal times. This would
mean that it would reach a wide audience, particularly the female target audience who
may be at home for most of the day if they have housework to do or work from home.
Young and Rubicam: The advert would appeal to the mainstream as Shreddies are an
established family brand. In addition, the resigned would be able to relate to the nans as
they conform to traditional ideologies surrounding their age, and they would be
encouraged to do something productive by the advert.
Maslow: The advert would satisfy the first level of the hierarchy as it is advertising a food
brand, which is a physiological need.

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Representation Checklist
Stereotypes: The text shows a stereotypical representation of the elderly. The nans are
social and the factory is more like a community than a place of work. They all sit and eat
together, clean together and even dance together. They are part of a family as well as a
team. The nans are all cheerful, which is something we associate with older women.
Conforms to or challenges dominant ideologies: The advert both conforms to and
challenges dominant ideologies.…read more

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Propp's theory:
Strauss' Binary oppositions:…read more


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