Representations

Representations are the lifeblood of the advertising industry. As Don Draper, the main character in Mad Men says,  advertising is selling happiness. For this reason there are under represented groups in society that are portrayed negatively by the media because they are of no use to commercially driven televsion, radio and print media.  In class we looked at some of the negative portayals of the following groups:

The elderly
Disabled
Aborigines
Boat People
Single Mothers
Bikie Gangs
Teenagers
Drug Addicts
Street Gangs
Dole Bludgers
Teenagers

Students made a list of there thoughts on the various groups. Overwhelmingly they were negative stereotypes. If we are to make the link between these groups and advertising we would say that they are minority groups and would not be appealing in ads. However, there is a deeper problem at work. These minority groups are generally not worth selling products therefore they are disposable in a money enconomy. They are not seen as important. Therefore, shows like A Current Affair and other tabloid media seem to feel no qualms in hounding them. We see stories of grumpy pensioners, teenage binge drinking, single parents behaving badly, dole bludgers abusing the system etc…..

None of these minority groups can sell happiness so instead they are shown to be the opposite of what we want. How then do we reverse these stereotypes?  Next lesson we will look at changing the advertising to reflect them in a better light.

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