Dissertation Information for Paul Power
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: The forefront of technology: An examination of prime-time television commercials for new media products and services
Abstract: This dissertation is in two parts. The first part is a study of television commercials for new media products and services that appeared during prime time on broadcast and cable networks to determine: (1) a quantitative measure of the commercials' potential contribution to a hegemonic system; (2) a difference in advertisers' efforts between commercials on broadcast and cable networks; (3) the values that advertisers promoted for their new media products or services; (4) implications for the relationship between work and leisure as influenced by new media. The quantitative analysis found a high relative frequency of commercials within the sample for new media products or services. A complete list of products and services for which commercials appeared in the sample is found in Appendix F. New media products and services are denoted by the prefix NM. The results of the analysis determined a wide range of utopian values associated with the advertised products and services, as well as relief from a small number of dystopian conditions. These are shown on Appendices H1 and H2. There was support for the hypothesis that cable networks have a higher ratio of commercials for new communication technologies than broadcast networks. Also supported was the hypothesis that the majority of commercials for new media represented leisure applications or benefits. The analysis did not support the hypotheses that there would be substantial evidence of business applications of new media in leisure settings or, conversely, leisure applications in business settings. In chapters Six through Nine literary analysis was applied to selected commercials This portion of the study found that all of the selected commercials used a transformational, rather than an information-dominant, strategy in delivering their respective messages. Humor was a device used in all the commercials, all but one of which couched the humor in a dramatic vignette. One commercial used lecture style delivery. In all of the commercials, there were indications of an assumption of some knowledge of technological devices upon which the message of the commercial could build.
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