Friday, April 13, 2007

The 'Savage Mind' on Madison Avenue

My 1980 article, The 'Savage Mind' on Madison Avenue: A Structural Study of Television Advertising, is based on a series of live presentations I gave in the 1970's where visual aids were essential. It first appeared in print in the Spring, 1980 issue of ETC: A Review of General Semantics. I've created a separate blog for this article to which I added recordings of the original television commercials and a few extra graphics.

One of the problems faced by anyone working within a rich media environment is that many traditional academic outlets are still largely print oriented. Anyone who has had to convert audiovisual material to print will attest to the fact that something gets lost in the translation. As we move deeper into Walter J. Ong's era of secondary orality, this problem will only get worse.

I always felt the textual descriptions I created of the television ads I used in my study didn't do justice to the originals. In order to better capture my original intention I needed a venue where I could accompany my discussion with the actual recorded examples. After a thirty year delay, the rich media environment of the blogosphere (with some assistance from YouTube) has made this a reality.

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