Lego targets parents, offering an alternative to television!
From the first glance, it is immediately noticeable that this controversial advertisement is clearly very different from the traditional advertisements one would expect from Lego. It definitely has the parents as the target audience and is focusing on the parent’s fear of bad influences on their children. When one considers who the preferred, negotiated and oppositional readers would be as defined by Stuart Hall (Hall et al. 1980), it becomes noticeable that the preferred reading for this advertisement would be that of wealthy young parents that can still relate to playing with Lego when they too were children. Even more so would be the parents that are influenced by the mainstream media effects model that tries to portray that children’s minds are like a sponge and that they will absorb everything they see on television. However it was probably not considered, or given less importance to, is the fact that the children who actually play with the Lego blocks that they are trying to sell, might also enjoy watching television as well. With that being said, the children might find it a bad advertisement and might even build resentment towards the brand as the brand is giving their parents a reason for them not to watch their favourite television programs. If any of the audience agrees with the opinion and research of David Gauntlett they would be considered an oppositional reading of the advertisement. Gauntlett makes it clear in his “Ten things wrong with the media model” that children are often treated as inadequate, along with being treated as if they cannot think for themselves and that they will mimic the behaviour they see on television without question. “This situation is clearly exposed by research which seeks to establish what children can and do understand about and from the mass media.”( theory.org.uk, 2012, online) For the advertisement to be effective, it also requires that the audience be from a conservative nature and ideology. They are relying on the conservative cultural upbringing and ideologies, to see the drug user as a person with bad moral choices, not the disease of addiction. This is in direct opposition with modern medical definitions, such as the American Society of addiction medicine; “The disease is about brains, not about drug. It is about underlying neurology, not outward actions.” (ASAM, 2013, online) Similar deductions can also be made about depression and suicide being a medical illness rather than a bad moral choice. The same can be said about polygamy and sex before marriage, which is only seen as a bad thing in some western culture’s ideology. The advertisements makes good use of trying to access the parent’s worst fear of how their children might end up if they do not play with Lego rather then watch television. Where in fact, all the scenarios provided are just as likely and possible with a child that played with Lego rather than watched television The overall advertisement consists of three frames, depicting different situations that the advertisers would like you to believe would be the result of how your child will end up if they watch too much television rather than play with toys such as Lego blocks. The first frame in the advertisement can be denoted as a woman sitting on a bed visible through an open door. In the left of the frame there is an unknown male figure that is only partly visible. And on the right of the frame we see the door handle and door. The bed and walls are very clean white whites and light colours of shading. These signs are used and linked to create a coded message of signifiers from which the audience viewing this advertisement can derive meaning. The fact that she is sitting on a bed, in a relaxed, yet luring and inviting pose creates the sexual reference, and the room being empty and clean anchors the thought by making the audience think it might be a hotel room. It should also be noted that the...
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