The pictures in television commercials, magazine advertisements and other forms of advertising often convey meanings that cannot be expressed as well, or at all, through words or music. Visual Persuasion is an exploration of the uniquely visual aspects of advertising. Because of the implicit nature of visual argumentation and the relative lack of social accountability which images enjoy in comparison with words, pictures can be used to make advertising claims that would be unacceptable if spelled out verbally. From this starting point, Paul Messaris analyzes a variety of commercial, political and social issue advertisements. He also discusses the role of images in cross-cultural advertising.

Can Pictures Bridge Cultures?

Can pictures bridge cultures?

If images can bring us closer than words can to the appearance of reality, are they also an effective means of communicating across cultural boundaries? Does the iconicity of visual communication make it a vehicle for the sharing of meaning between people who are separated by linguistic or cultural differences? There are at least two aspects of advertising to which these questions are directly relevant. To begin with, because of the growing globalization of economic activity, commercial advertising is directed increasingly to a variety of linguistic and cultural communities. Among advertisers as well as researchers, this situation has led to a recurring concern about the degree to which it is necessary to tailor advertising messages to the characteristics ...

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