Representation of war: Royal Navy

Representation of war case study, based on the Royal Navy's "Born in Carlisle" advert

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  • Created on: 28-02-15 15:26
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Case Study
Name/date text printed or released: Royal Navy advert 2014 ­ Born in Carlisle
Purpose of text (inform/entertain etc.) and genre: Inform, persuade
What is being represented? War
Audience Checklist
Targeting: The primary audience for the text would be males aged 1625 who are perhaps
from disadvantaged backgrounds, and so fall into the CE groups on the socioeconomic
scale. This is because the man shown in the advert is presumably in his mid20s and has
come from a rough area. He has turned his life around in the navy and is encouraging
others in a similar position to him to do the same. The secondary audience would be men
and women, possibly 1420 who are unsure as to what they want to do in their lives and
what career they want in the future, as the main purpose of the advert is to encourage
people to join the navy.
Uses and gratifications: The uses and gratifications satisfied in the text are personal
identity. The navy is aiming to show how it can help to find a person. "I was born in
Carlisle, but I was made in the Royal Navy" shows how the man in the advert has used the
navy to make him a more complete person ­ it has affected him more than just giving him
a career.
Preferred, negotiated and oppositional readings with reasons: The preferred reading
of the text would be that the navy do a good job, and inspire people to be better and they
can turn people around from rebellious youths to wellrounded adults. The oppositional
reading would be that war is bad, and that the navy must be desperately trying to recruit
people to replace others, either because they have died or they have left, which may lead
an audience to question how much truth is being shown. It could have been made up and
manipulated in order to fulfil its aims. Also, people may suggest that the advert is praying
on the lower classes, rather than all classes, which could be classed as degrading.
How the audience are positioned to respond: The audience are positioned to respond
positively, as they can only see the good things. There is no evidence of violent war or
death shown in the advert, which may take the audiences' mind away from the stereotypes
to do with war.
Mass or niche: Would appeal to a niche audience as only a small percentage of the
population would be able to actually join the navy. You have to be a specific age, in good
health, fit, and sometimes even male, as women can't take on certain roles within the
armed forces. Despite this, the text is broadcast during peak times in order to reach as
many of its targets as possible. This is vital as the target audience is so specific and
increases the chances of getting recruits.

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Active or passive: The audience would be passive as they would not challenge what they
are seeing, and rather would accept that the navy are recruiting, and some may even sign
up as a result of this. If the audience were active, there would be no recruits as they would
be challenging what the advert stands for and so would not want to sign up and potentially
risk their lives for something they weren't fully supportive of.…read more

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Also, "life without limits" conforms to the
ideology that the people who do fight for their county should be respected. There is no limit
to where they could go or to the things they may have to do.
Negative or positive representation: The advert represents war positively, as a way to
make a difference to yourself and the people around you. The negative side of war is not
shown here.…read more

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