WJEC A Level Media Studies, Year 1

  • Created by: eye_brows
  • Created on: 07-01-20 15:28

Media Studies

Please note: Beyonce and Riptide are missing! My apologies but i hope this is still useful!

Product context of the Tide print advert

Designed specifically for heavy-duty, machine cleaning, Proctor and Gamble launched Tide in 1946 and it quickly became a brand leader in America, a position that it maintains today.

The D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B) advertising agency handled P&G’s accounts throughout the 1950s.

It’s campaigns referred explicitly to P&G because their market research showed that consumers has high levels of confidence in their company.

Uniquely, DMB&B used print and radio advertising concurrently in order to quickly build audience familiarity with the brand. Both media forms used the “housewife” character and the ideology that its consumers “loved” and “adored” Tide.

Historical context

The post-WW2 consumer boom of the 1950s included the rapid development of new technologies for the home, designed to make domestic chores easier.

Vacuum cleaners, fridge freezers, microwave ovens and washing machines all became desirable products for the 1950s consumer.

Products linked to these new technologies also developed during this time, for example washing powder.

Codes, conventions and media language which influences meaning

  • Z-line and a rough rule of thirds can be applied to its composition.
  • Bright, primary colours connote the positive associations that the producers want the audience to make with the product.
  • Headings, subheadings and slogans are written in sans-serif font, connoting an informal mode of address.

Codes, conventions and media language which influences meaning

This is reinforced with the comic ***** style image in the bottom right-hand corner with two women “talking” about the product using informal lexis (“sudsing whizz”).

The more “technical” details of the product are written in a serif font, connoting the more “serious” or “factual” information that the “1,2,3” bullet point list includes.

Semiotics - Roland Barthes

Suspense is created through the enigma of “what women want” (Hermeneutic code) and emphasised by the tension building use of multiple explanation marks (proairetic code)

Barthes’ semantic code could be applied to the use of hearts above the main image.

The hearts and the woman’s gesture codes have connotations of love and relationships. Its connoted that this is “what women want” (in addition to clean laundry!).

Unnamed card

Hyperbole and superlatives (“miracle,” “worlds cleanest wash!”) as well as tripling “(no other…..”) are used to connotes Tides superiority compared to its competitors.

This symbolic code was clearly successful as Proctors and Gambles competitors were quickly overtaken, making Tide the brand leader by the mid-1950s.

Key differences

Print adverts from the 1950s conventionally used more text than we’re used to seeing today.

Consumer culture was in its early stages of development, and with so many “new” brands and products entering markets, potential customers typically need more information about them than a modern audience; who are more used to marketing, advertising and branding might need.

Conventions of print based advertising are still recognisable in this text, however.

The 1950s

In the 1950s, whilst men targeted men for the post-war boom in America’s car


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