Evaluation of content & examination of symbols, rituals/artifacts and cultural values in commercial advertisements.
After reviewing and analyzing the Johnny Walker commercial and General Electric commercial, the comparisons in symbols, values, and rituals are clear. The Johnny Walker commercial begins showing two brothers walking down a long road in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by rocky mountains. The road represents that there isn’t anything in the world that matters except the two brothers brotherhood and freedom that they share. The rocky mountains illustrate the two brothers challenges, and their ups and downs through life. The long road also represents the two brothers past history and future together. As the brothers walk forward on the road, it portrays their future and milestones to still come. As the brothers move forward, they leave the same road behind them; this represents their past and history that they share together. As the brothers cross a river, one of the brother stumbles and the other brother catches him. The narrative to when the brothers cross the river states “guide me, always stay besides me,” this scene represents the brother’s loyalty, bond, trust, faith, and life’s ups and downs they have overcome together. As the two brothers walk through the woods, the brother who has died walks behind the other brother as if he is watching over him. The two brothers enter their old, falling apart family home, which is made of brick. The brick walls and remaining structure illustrate while memories and some parts of the brother’s lives have fallen apart, their unbreakable bond still remains. There is a scene where one bird is soaring freely in the sky, representing the brother that is still alive and his freedom.
The brothers shared a bond and ritual over drinking Johnny Walker. Now that one of the brothers has passed, the living brother brings his dead brother’s ashes to all the places they had shared memories and traditions. The ritual of mourning a death and the living brother letting his dead brother’s ashes free at the end of the commercial sells the product to audiences on an emotional and relatable level. Advertisers for the Johnny Walker commercial took the mundane rituals of walking, traveling, and having a destination as an elevated representation of an individual trying to find one’s self-especially, after losing a loved one.
Values displayed in the Johnny Walker commercial are brotherhood, family, bond, unity, love, trust, tradition, and freedom. The Johnny Walker brand tries to portray the product as a beverage that will create traditions, bonds, and relationships with others. The Johnny Walker commercial uses the display of the brother’s trust as a representation that customers can trust the brand. The commercial also uses the brothers to display the customer-to-company relationship and brand loyalty. I don’t believe the commercial is trying to attempt to change the culture.
General Electric advertisers use a variety of different symbols to portray the company’s diversity, power, importance, leadership, and global involvement. The opening scene is a mother giving birth, representing that children are the future and the cycle of life, which can be a metaphor for a product’s life cycle. As the boy who beeps grows up, it represents as time; time represents the technological advances as years go by. As the boy who beeps sits in class, he turns the television on. When the boy turns the television on during class, it represents the company General Electric product involvement in appliances, televisions, and computer systems. When the power goes out all over the world, the boy beeps and all the lights turn back on. When the lights turn on, it represents the company’s power systems and global involvement. Scenes that show trains, helicopters, hospital devices, planes, industrial buildings, and cars also represent the company’s power system. Scenes showing homes, office, classrooms, and factories display all the various places General Electric products can be used and found. The boy’s “beep” represents communication and leadership of the company. The commercial shows scenes of the boy communicating with different types of human races and people who speak different languages, the scene then zooms out to a picture of the world. These scenes not only show the company’s diversity but shows how they operate and provide products worldwide.
Basic rituals displayed in the General Electric commercial are childbirth, growing up, learning, watching football, going to the doctor, driving, traffic, waking up, and going to school. These rituals sell the product by being so easily relatable to the audience. Most of the mundane rituals are performed daily or at least during some point of an individual’s life. American values shown in the Johnny Walker commercial are the quality of life, family, relationships, and diversity. The commercial’s advertisers emphasize diversity by showing the boy who beeps in many different cultures, communicating with other people who speak different languages, and working to better the world with all different types of people. The showing of diversity also ties in the company’s relationships worldwide.
The boy who beep’s display of diversity can also represent the American Value of forming relationship with others. The commercial itself attempts to change culture by expanding the company’s products, knowledge, and advancements to benefit the whole world.