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A Rhetorical Analysis Of Hey'S "Virtual Product Placement"

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A Rhetorical Analysis of Hey's "Virtual Product Placement"

Imagine sitting down on a Saturday night to relax and watch your favorite show. As you turn to your show you begin notice that the whole thing is full of ads, everything from the billboards in the back ground, to the logo on the coffee cup that the main character is drinking out of. This is exactly the kind of thing you can expect to see in the future. In his article Damian Ward Hey argues that it is in the best interest of the television and advertising industries to keep the balance between appropriate advertising and content. He uses evidence and examples of virtual advertising that relate to the audience as well as his well-educated tone of voice to make his claim, and ultimately succeeds in achieving his purpose of informing, while inciting fear of the possible future in the advertising market.

This article talks about the two different kinds of product placement advertising, normal and virtual. Basically "normal" is anything that is physically in the scene that is visible by anyone that is present at the time of filming. Normal product placement is now thought to be old technology whereas virtual is the newest thing in the advertising industry. Virtual product placement is anything that is added in after the original filming. With virtual placement you can do anything from adding small logos and billboards to illuminating the First Down Line on a live football game.

After analyzing this article, I was able to determine that Hey's intended audience is younger to middle aged, college students taking a composition English class. Damian Ward Hey is a professor of Mass Media Studies at Hofstra University. His article was published in 2005, in Common Culture: Reading and Writing About American Popular Culture. This book is not readily available to the public, it must be ordered. The majority of the people that are purchasing this book are doing so as a requirement of their composition English course. The book itself is over 600 pages long and is made up entirely of articles and essays, meaning few high school students would go out of their way to purchase this advanced of text book.

The cover alone can tell you much information about the authors intended audience. The first thing you will notice when looking at the cover of this book is the "cool" appearance. There is a number of pictures that all work together to catch your eye. Such as a picture of the popular American T.V. show, The Simpsons, followed by a picture of women's volleyball and a film reel. As you read "American Popular Culture," and see the portrait of The Simpsons, it's obvious that the word popular is referring to more modern and new age culture. Elderly people tend to find the popular T.V. show rude, crude and impolite. When you see "fourth edition" written at the top and "Reading and Writing" in the title, it's a dead give away that it is a student text book

In terms of rhetorical strategies, Hey used many examples of virtual advertising that directly relate to his audience to prove how it is a part of their life. Most students are visual learners, meaning they want to see exactly how things work. So by giving them examples like the digitally placed Coca-Cola can, and the previously non existent Wells Fargo billboard in an episode of UPN's Seven



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