Representations in the media aren’t just of people, but can be representations of organisations, ideas and places. This can be done through a process of selection and omission, where the producers will specifically choose to only show a part of an idea whilst hiding another part.
Representations and Tourism Advertisements
It’s interesting to look at tourism advertisements for Australia to see how Australia is represented. Tourism Boards want to represent a positive and idealised version of Australia to encourage as many tourists as possible and at the same time hide anything that may seem unsavoury. Tourism videos are also made for specific target markets, whether that is people from a specific country, age range or lifestyle.
1. Watch the tourism ads below, and for each ad answer the following questions.
a) What are the positive parts of Australia that the ads have decided to keep in?
b) What is the ad not showing? What has been omitted?
c) Who is the target market for this ad? How has this shaped the representation in the advertising?
2. Find some tourism ads for a different country. What do you notice about the selection and omission in the creation of the representations in the ads?
Advertising and Australian Identity
Companies sometimes use representations of idealised national values in their advertisements. Take a look at the following ads and discuss the representations of Australian lifestyle through the selection and omission of footage, actors and props.
2014 Super Bowl ads and American Patriotism
The following ads played during the 2014 Superbowl, where a 30 second ad cost four million dollars. What does the selection of footage in these ads tell you about how America see themselves?