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.

Editing and Montage

Editing and montage

A recent book on the advertising industry begins with a page-long list of slogans from successful car ads of years past. After reciting such lines as “Ford. Worth more when you buy it. Worth more when you sell it,” or “Mercedes-Benz. Engineered like no other car in the world,” the list concludes as follows: “Subaru… Subaru?” (Rothenberg, 1994, p. 3). The implication: The failure of Subaru's 1991–1992 advertising campaign, which is the book's central topic, is epitomized by the lack of a memorable tagline.

Later in the book, the author discusses the visual aspects of Subaru's ad campaign. However, the fact that he starts with the words (or rather their lack) is significant. People who analyze advertising often take their cue ...

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