Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The March 2011 issue of Elle France stars top Brazilian model Caroline Trentini in an epic 80-page editorial shot on location in Rio de Janeiro. Photographed by the renowned French photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino and styled by Friquette Thévenet, Tamara Taichman, and Anne-Marie Brouillet, the editorial, titled “Be Happy,” shows Trentini modeling the various trends of the Spring 2011 fashion collections. The spread includes 70 images depicting 68 different outfits. Overall the editorial is fairly straightforward and tame – there is no explicit sexual content, no nudity, no dramatic lighting nor makeup.
Images published in fashion magazines are frequently studied as a representation of social norms and cultural ideologies. Through close analysis of the March 2011 edition of French Elle I uncovered pertinent features of French culture and ideology. Roland Barthes’ three classifications of fashion photography categorize the editorial as a romantic narrative targeting a French audience. The application of Georg Simmel’s theories on fashion reveals fashion to be a tool of class distinction in French ideology. Furthermore, the concepts outlined by Thorstein Veblen reinforce these class divisions and reveals that fashion is used as a representational instrument of economic power in French culture. Ellen Furlough’s essay on Club Med exposes the importance of vacation in French culture, which is echoed through the exotic location of the photo spread.
Last, the application of Hallin and Mancini’s depiction of the United Kingdom as more commercially charged than France revealed the strong value the French place on being cultural. This point is further supported by Agnes Rocamora’s article about the emphasis on high culture in French fashion magazines, and through the comparison of French Elle to UK Elle. As Rocamora argues in her article, “Over to You: Writing Readers in French Vogue,” French fashion magazines strive to be more than a media “simply devoted to the pursuit of material goods… and appearances” (Rocamora 2). The publications attempt to be more cultural over all, so they can be perceived as a serious medium. Rocamora explains that because fashion is generally considered to be a “minor art” rather than a high art, fashion magazines are deemed to be of low status. Thus French magazines resist this status through their endorsement of fashion as a high art. She uses Vogue’s juxtaposition of fashion images and articles with pieces on “high culture” and “noble” subjects like the ballet or the sciences as an example (Rocamora 3). In the March 2011 issue of Elle France the desire to be received as a cultural, serious publication is demonstrated through the advertisements for “high culture” and “noble” subjects (Rocamora 3). The magazine includes one advertisement for ballet via the Repetto shoe company, one advertisement for the L’Oreal Foundation’s support of women in sciences, and an advertisement for travel via Airlinair. In addition there are five advertisements for books, and an advertisement for the Sunday paper. In her essay Rocamora emphasizes the importance of literature in French culture, and the inclusion of advertisements for literary items in French Vogue echoes this point. In comparison, UK Elle does not contain any of these types of advertisements.
These ideals of class distinction, importance of vacation, and emphasis on the culturally rich are all facets of a uniquely French ideology.
By Sabrina Mesa
The FCB official website offers plentyof information regarding their six athletic installations in the city of Barcelona along. The official website also provides statistics of official supporters’ club, dividing them by geographic location throughout Spain and all around the world. The previous information demonstrates the club’s media efficiency and extensive reach to all the different demographics the club connects with. The official website along with many other sources on the discourse reveal that, “Barça has become, for millions of people all around the world, a symbol of their identity, and not just in a sporting sense, but also in terms of society, politics and culture.” The splendor of Football Club Barcelona is also explained by its impressive honors list. The team has won championships in Wembley, Paris and Rome demonstrating the teams’ universality.
Here is a video that summarizes the details of the allience:
The logo of Unicef is one to fit perfect an identity that has been for long part of FCB’s history. In the case of FC Barcelona the integrity of a well-established identity is now in jeopardy of being reshaped. In 2012, the club will turn away from a 107-year tradition, proving that even such a successful franchise isn’t invincible from financial woes. “Barcelona vice-president Javier Faus has defended the club’s record- breaking shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation by insisting the €150 million partnership will ease the Catalan giant’s financial concerns. “This is the biggest (shirt sponsorship) deal in the history of football and is particularly impressive at a time of economic crisis.” The Qatar Foundation partnership is worth around €10 million per season…according to the club, the children’s charity will continue to receive exposure next season.”” (Sports Business) The fact that FC Barcelona has not have a corporate sponsor on their uniforms has long been a source of pride for the club and its supporters. The discourse long used by the club that the Barça shirt is too pure to be tainted by such a crass degree of commercialism no longer applies.
Shobe explains that, “An official jersey buys the right to advertise via team jerseys, worn by players and fans. Jersey’s become billboards to promote a product that is often not explicitly related to sport nor to the place where the team is located.” The amount of attention the club receives internationally is what makes it such a valuable entity for advertisers. In this case, the Qatar foundation who runs “education, scientific research and community development” projects in Qatar, which recently secured the hosting rights for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The interest that Qatar may have with FCB speaks of their concerns of raising football awareness and association with the sport with the foundation. Qatar is globalizing their brand through the jersey of one of the most globally known football teams in the world.
For the future, FCB will not be an exemption to this kind of commercialism. This new relationship can also be seen as a major player in what is referred to as the “enlarged Europe” in Alec Charles book. “Thinking about the way in which Europe has expanded in recent years also necessitates a consideration of the way in which parts of Europe have linked up with global financial and information networks…contributing to ‘vernacular geopolitics.’ (Hayward, 127) A parallel of this relationship can be drawn with the deal sealed by Berlusconi’s RIA, Ben Ammar and Prince Al Weed in Hayward’s article. It is learned through the article published by Sports Business that, “The new sponsorship deal was negotiated with input from IMG, the international sports and entertainment company, which was a strategic adviser of the Qatar 2022 bid” In both of these examples, we can clearly see that a more ‘internationally neutral’ middle man serves as the liaison to unite two institutions that until then, would almost be impossible to associate one another. Hayward also introduces the term of “Vernacular Geopolitics” referring to “The intuitional and political-economic relations that constitute the transnational networks within which cultural commodities circulate.” (Hayward 127) These examples consider how some countries in Europe have engaged with global financial institutions for financial help, each time dominating a new medium of communication, as it has with football for example. This institution stands for the power of using sport as means to achieve social change. To the children that benefit from the FCB/Unicef alliance and the Catalan identity, the new partnership means a globalization of their goals through the face of Qatar. The discourse of globalization displacing sport is one that now affects FCB, the branding of FCB with Qatar changes the value and place related function it has serve for the team in the past. Although one can argue that this was Qatar’s motive, and even though this deal may not be seen through a positive view, one has to admire Qatar’s cleverness to attach themselves to both of these brands.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Emergence of Sexuality in Advertisements from French Owned Companies: 1960/1970’s vs 2000/2010’s
Advertising has become a very influential part in today’s society and with countless ads surrounding us everyday, advertising techniques have to be modified according to social and economic shifts in order to be relevant and grab the attention of the consumer. The 1960s/1970s was an important era in France because of the May 1968 protest in France that is now considered the defining moment of the shift from a conservative moral ideal that was religion, patriotism, and respect for authority, towards a more liberal ideal that is sexual
liberation. The shift towards the sexual liberation now more or less better describes French society today and comparing ads from the time frame around the protest to advertisements now a while after the results of the protests have had more time to be absorbed into French society, should be able to show visual evidence of the sexual liberation that occurred and is now resonating in the 2000s/2010s. For the research, four French companies/products were reviewed: Dior (perfume), L’Oreal (cosmetics), Remy Martin (alcohol), and Gauloises (cigarettes).
“A great deal of physical gender representation in advertising takes place visually through the picturing of bodies and body parts.” (Motschenbacher, 4). The use of the woman’s hand in the advertisement is effective because it creates a connection with female consumers that this product is for them. However, the ad still seems pretty ‘tame’ as only a hand is being shown and the main focus is the product that is being sold.
REMY MARTIN 1959
The focus is clearly the product that is the bottle of cognac and the two other illustrations around it are directly related to the cognac: how it is made, and where it comes from. There is no human model in the advertisement, therefore the product speaks more to selling the actual product rather than an idea of what a person who uses the product is associated with. Strategies around the 1960s appeared to have more of a direct focus on the product being sold and if there was a model selling the product in the advertisement, the model would be drawing attention to the product being sold. After the protests that led to sexual liberation in 1968 in France, ideologies in society changed and this naturally translated to show up in advertisements as well. With the liberation to more accepted sexual freedom in France following the 1968 protests, putting more models and their body parts better allowed consumers to build a personal connection with the products even when the products are sexualized. Advertisements from more recent years should illustrate a different approach to selling products and more openness to displaying sexuality.
Remy Martin’s 2008 ‘Things are Getting Interesting’ advertisement, also does not have an actual image of the alcohol product in the ad. Instead it puts it’s company logo on the bottom of the page under two women that are meant to suggest something sexual is about to happen between them. “Sexuality relies on sensual, suggestive and erotic imagery, sound and wording, and is sometimes combined with the depiction of violence against women in ads showing them in harmful, subservient and helpless positions” (Jean, 5). Compared to the 1959 ad which only featured a standing illustration of a bottle of cognac to this more recent advertisement defined by sexual references and not even a picture of the product in the ad, advertising strategies with Remy Martin underwent a significant change after sexual liberation. Jean Baudrillard writes “seduction is not so much a play on desire as a playing with desire. It does not deny it, nor is it its opposite, but it sets it in play” (22). More often than not, seduction in advertising is used to bring up personal desires in the consumers that make them identify with the advertisement and seek to fulfill it buy buying the product being sold. With the advancement of new technologies and cross-media platforms, there is a globalization phenomenon with most media, even advertising. “The current EU represents the culmination of years of effort toward greater European unity... there is evidence of the existence of a single European market as a result of the unification process. Research on advertising standardization has found that... building a uniform brand image across markets is the single most important reason to standardize” and soon advertising approaches will follow similar formats across the globe (Okazaki, 2007). The future of advertising across different markets has the possibility to use a uniform strategy and because of this globalization, there may become less and less distinction between advertising across different geographic regions.
Baudrillard, Jean. Passwords. London: Verso, 2003. Print.
Jean, Boddewyn J., and Loubradou Esther. "The Control of "Sex in Advertising" in France." Journal of Public Policy & Marketing (2011): 1-15. Print.
Motschenbacher, Heiko. “Speaking the gendered body: The performative construction of commercial femininities and masculinities via body-part vocabulary.” Language in Society (2009): 38(1), 1-22. Web. 8 Apr. 2011
Okazaki, Shintaro, Charles R. Taylor, and Jonathan P. Doh. “Market Convergence and Advertising Standardization in the European Union.” Journal of World Business 42 (2007). OmniFile Full Text Mega. Web. 8 Apr. 2011.
Advertisements are a ubiquitous means of mass communication. Its pervasiveness seeks to secure that everybody in society will receive important messages that seem to reflect society’s values and conducts, possibly in order to redefine attitudes and even instigate social change (“Advertising in France”). This type of discourse comes in the form of public service announcements. Stated simply, PSA’s are “advertisements carried free of charge by mass media to publicize a message in public interest” (“Public Service Announcement”). They are interesting because while usual advertisements sell products and propaganda sells ideas, PSA’s sell ideology, groups of ideas that advance social groups (Ward).
Vivenda SA, a major French conglomerate, has a long history dating back to the mid 1800s. The corporation has proved itself to be a money-making behemoth, employing over 50,000 people worldwide and having a 2010 operating income of approximately $4.8 billion.
After getting authorization from an imperial decree Compagnie Générale des Eaux began in 1853 by a small pool of wealthy investors, including Napoleon III’s half-brother and the Rothschild family. The main purpose of the organization was to supply water to the towns of Lyon, Nantes, and Paris from the French farmlands. By 1976, the company had grown to encompass trash collection, heating networks, waste incineration and construction and its irrigation services accounted for less than 50% of its operating income.
Under the leadership of chairman Guy Dejouany in 1976, the company began a rapid buyout plan. The company purchased Générale de Chauffe, Compagnie Générale d'Entreprises Automobiles and created Société Francaise de Radiotelephonie. Upon Dejouany’s resignation in 1996, Jean-Marie Messler assumed the role of chairman and immediately began to shake things up. One of the biggest events in Vivendi’s history occurred later in 2000 with the three-way merger between Vivendi, Canal+ and Canada’s Seagram. After being cleared by the European Commission, the $34 billion deal created the world’s biggest media group, Vivendi Universal. Vivendi Universal would hold assets in Hollywood film studio Universal, as well as music, telecom and television companies. In 2003, Vivendi Universal announced an agreement for the merger of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, which would form a new company called NBC Universal. General Electric would own 80% of the company with the remaining 20% belonging to Vivendi Universal. Messier’s strategy as chairman drove Vivendi to the brink of bankruptcy. The rapid expansion was overambitious and brought the company to debt and a down-grade by credit-rating services.
All eyes were on Jean-Bernard Levy at the start of 2009 to see how he would pick the company back up. Left with little decision, Vivendi Universal agreed to sell the remaining 20% stake to General Electric, giving GE total control of the company in 2009, in order to raise some cash. Levy’s strategy was focused on internal/organic growth and investing in high-growth countries and industries.
With the increase of mobile phone owners globally, Vivendi is betting mostly on the telecommunications industry, pumping more money into the industry and taking measures to protect it. In late 2009, the Maroc Telecom, a subsidiary of Vivendi, paid €252 million for a controlling stake in Sotelma, the incumbent telecommunications provider in Mali, beating out the likes of Sudatel and Portugal Telecom in the auction. Sotelma has a stock of an estimated 90,000 fixed lines and 480,000 GSM subscribers and the market is expected to grow in the near future. Next, Vivendi signed an agreement with Swarth Group and Global Village Telecom BV the controlling shareholders of Brazilian telecommunications firm GVT for 100% control of the firm. GVT has become an important contestant in Brazil, quickly becoming the “fastest growing broadband and telecoms player in Brazil.” Vivendi stated it hopes to offer its expertise in the industry to further push GVT to the forefront of progress by helping it enter new market segments such as IPTV. Most recently, at the beginning of April, Vivendi took a three billion euro loan from thirteen banks to acquire Vodafone’s 44% stake in SFR, the mobile telecommunications company it first began in 1987. The move to buy SFR is also important for Vivendi because the mobile and Internet operator is its biggest cash contributor.
Moreover, in light of Levy’s internal growth strategy, there is speculation that Vivendi will reach a deal to increase its stake in CANAL+. Vivendi currently owns 80% of CANAL+, with the remainder belonging to rival Lagardere. Talks were postponed due to the earthquake in Japan but are expected to start again sometime soon. CANAL+ has been praised as the “sharpest player around the table. ” CANAL+ has a dominating market share in pay-TV across Europe and is considering bringing that brand equity into free television. CANAL+ has announced its plans to launch CANAL 20, a free-to-air generalist digital channel. CANAL 20 will offer French productions and films. Vivendi states that this move into free-TV is necessary to combat the potential threat of outside competitors Google TV and Apple TV.
By using Vivendi as a compass, it is possible to forecast that the telecommunications and free-TV industries will be most profitable in the future. Vivendi will continue in its quest to add value to the brand through the help of mergers and acquisitions. The firm will continue to invest in the other industries it has footholds in so as to accomplish organic growth. It will be interesting to where or what Vivendi does next.
Contrary to “the French Paradox” and popular media today, the French are not all thin. In fact, the French are now approaching American statistics on obesity. The invasion of American junk food, such as Coca-Cola, during the 1940s, after the second World War brought along American “propaganda” style advertisements for its products and consumerism. Thus, obesity.
Source: Mail Online
The Institut National de Prévention et d'éducation pour la Santé (INPES) along with the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Santé launched the Manger Bouger program in January 2001 in France to combat this trend of obesity. A multi-media Programme National Nutrition Santé (PNNS), it incorporates informational videos, print advertisements and online elements. Its general objective is to better the state of well-being of the population as a whole. Nutritional choices and an active lifestyle are the two major determinants of good health.
Source: Manger Bouger
Source: My own pictures
The Manger Bouger campaign shows the beneficial relationship between good public information, in the form of public service announcements (PSA) and marketing and commercial revenue in France.
PSAs are normally separate announcements from other commercials in order to help people recognize the source of information. This is called differentiation. Talcott Parsons (1971:26) defines differentiation as “the division of a unit or structure of a social system into two or more units or structures that differ in their characteristics and functional significance for the system,” and describes “a process of social change from primitive to modern societies as one in which social functions initially fused are separated: politics for example is differentiated from religion and from economics” (Hallin and Mancini, 77). Healthy media markets have good differentiation of information sources that are clear to the audiences. When there is less differentiation, then there is greater risk for things like propaganda. Media is usually split between promoting what is good for the people and what is good for commercial revenue.
However, Manger Bouger is an example of information directed to the public that is incorporated in both advertisements and city tourism media. Public service announcements are becoming less and less differentiated because more than one sphere (media produced by the government, and media produced by businesses) is trying to relate to the public one message: that better nutrition and more exercise leads to better health. The government has to now reach out to the businesses who sell the products to remind the public that both nutrition and exercise are strong determinants of one’s health.
With Manger Bouger, the announcement is usually very discreet. I believe that public information displayed is the health message intended, and not just an advertisement for food products. I believe that Manger Bouger shows what it means for media to mix well intended government messages with marketing, without it being propaganda.