Defining Visual Rhetorics: Rhetoric of Advertising

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Hope, Diane S. “Gendered Environments: Gender and the Natural World in the Rhetoric of Advertising.” Defining Visual Rhetorics. Eds. Charles A. Hill and Marguerite Helmers. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004. 3125-3595. Ebook.

First, I want to say that Hope included NO statistical, quantitative data, even though her topic seemed to be screaming for this type of information.

Second, once again a section of the kindle book was repeated.

Third, leaving aside the point above, it seemed that Hope repeated herself a lot.

“Advertising endorses and legitimates consumerism” (Hope 3130 of 6169).

“[A]dvertising constitutes a dominant genre of visual rhetoric” (Hope 3132 of 6169).

Advertising is “separate promotions that collectively celebrate the righteousness of the consumer ethic” (Hope 3135 of 6169).

Advertising “depends on strategies of identification” (Hope 3135 of 6169).

Triscuit_1903_Advertisement WC pdIconographic images of nature form advertising’s “rhetoric of gender identification”(Hope 3137 of 6169).

Gendered rhetorics “contextualize fantasies of social role, power, status, and security as well as sexual attractiveness” (Hope 3148 of 6169).

“Advertisements that combine images of nature with narratives of gender offer … visualizations that cloak the impact of consumption…” (Hope 3156 of 6169).

“[A] rhetoric of gendered environments affirms two traditional ideologies at once: belief in distinct gender attributes as essential to sexual identity, and belief in an infinite, unchanging natural world” (Hope 3159 of 6169).
I would say that the gendered environments in advertising of which she writes may affirm that, but I am not sure a simple gendered environment does.

“[F]eminine passivity and masculine conquest are transferred to the earth” (Hope 3159 of 6169).

“rhetorical powers of music, narration, dialogue and motion” (Hope 3166 of 6169).
I liked that Hope recognized that sound/audio was important to television and internet ads–and important enough to differentiate between two types of sound used there.

“The masculine figure acts upon an awesome environment–literally shaping it to his control, while nature feminized is a seductive object of our gaze (Berger; Butler)” (Hope 3163 of 6169).

“[A]dvertising’s feminized environment is the action story of nature as passive–seductive woman, woman as fertile nature. … images are exotic and lush with icons of fertility and female sexuality” (Hope 3186 of 6169).

“signs of femininity and signs of exotic nature are frequently fused” (Hope 3216 of 6169).

Feminized:
beauty
fertility
wetness
bowers
“fruits, birds, butterflies, sunsets and moonlight” (Hope 3231 of 6169).
(may have) a woman’s image (Hope 3231 of 6169)
“Color palettes reflect the shades of the tropics” (Hope 3234 of 6169).
“Image focus is often soft” (Hope 3234 of 6169).
“no environmental problems” (Hope 3270 of 6169).
“Advertisements of feminized environments frequently appropriate the same stock images used by environmental organizations” (Hope 3307 of 6169).

Masculinized:
“‘pristine’ wilderness” (Hope 3236 of 6169)
“place of action, risk, individualism and challenge for male prowess” (Hope 3236 of 6169)
“countless images of red rocks, canyons, deserts and sky” (Hope 3239 of 6169)
“[T]he male figure acts upon his environment…” (Hope 3248 of 6169).
“No one is seen working. Leisure, isolation and adventure mark the masculinized environment” (Hope 3258 of 6169).
Are they seen working in feminized ads?
“Nature is the object of conquest or background for demonstration of power” (Hope 3267 of 6169).
colors: “reds, browns, blues and whites of the west” (Hope 3270 of 6169)
“no environmental problems” (Hope 3270 of 6169)
“As realized in North America, the sublime is the genesis of a particularly American mythology of land, power and masculinity” (Hope 3330 of 6169).
“vastness of the land, explored, colonized, and imaged, was inseparable from capital and power” (Hope 3332 of 6169)

Appropriated iconography is the basic strategy of pictorial advertising” (Hope 3280 of 6169).

She talks about the “collective impact” (Hope 3343 of 6169).

She also says there is “an increasingly competitive production of visual symbols to the ‘cluttered landscape’ of advertising” (Goldman and Papson qtd in Hope 3349 of 6169).

“It is in their aggregate impact that advertising’s rhetorical force is experienced” (Hope 3370 of 6169).

“In the aggregate, the folklore of advertising’s gendered environments provides a fable of the natural world constrained only by essentialist gender identities” (Hope 3373 of 6169).

“[G]ender and nature remain static in constructions of reality negotiated in long-ago eras of human relationship to each other and to the land” (Hope 3470 of 6169).

She says that exceptions to her discussion of genderized environments are “offbeat” (Hope 3485 of 6169).

computer and glassesRelated Readings:
Goldman and Papson’s 1996 Sign Wars: The Cluttered Landscape of Advertising”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge