This richly illustrated, incisive text produces the most complete critical introduction to advertising culture. Filling a critical gap in the literature, Advertising in Modern and Postmodern Times examines the forms of consumer subjectivity resulting from of postmodern disruptions in time and space and the significance of advertising for the identity of contemporary consumers. Author Pamela Odih marshals an impressive range of historical examples and rich illustrations to explain the socio-cultural development of advertising throughout history.

Time and the Commodity-Sign

Time and the commodity-sign

Advertising in the early twentieth century was firmly embedded within a hermeneutic tradition of rational and utilitarian communication. In seeking to promote the utility of commodities, advertising entered into a mode of communication which subordinated aesthetic value to use-value. Indeed, the golden rules of advertising orthodoxy ‘stipulated the necessity to promote products by highlighting their functional utilitarian strength’ (Lee, 1993: 151). It was considered essential that advertising practice emphasize the material benefits of commodities demonstrating their unique selling points and distinguishing their attributes from those of rivals (ibid.: 151). In so doing, advertising constituted ‘an apparatus for reframing meanings to add value to commodities’ (Goldman, 1994: 188). During this period advertising reproduced a wider perception of a ‘natural ...

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