Reading Work Essay

Africa has been associated in a steadfast way of being a place that is undiscovered but is rich in culture.

  But, amidst the “great” and “new” entities in the continent, the place still carries the images of darkness and primitivism.Okwui presented ‘literary Africa’ so to give emphasis to the images that are perceived by the Westerners or the people in general about Africa.  Through the literary works, Africa existed in ways that are both factual and fictional.(there is no question number 3 in the given files)Advertising works by appropriating the ideas of the market, specifically the target market through various feelings or sentiments.  These sentiments create the substance of the message that the advertisement wants to convey.Toscani’s concept of reality is all about the unification of racial gaps.  His engrossment in bridging the said gaps establishes the brand image of Benetton.The three phases of Toscani’s Benetton campaign include fragmentation and objectification, racialization and ambiguity and lastly, pseudo-journalism.

  These three phases all contributed to the development of the status of Benetton today.The campaign fosters internationalism but in reality, it raises the emphasis on racial differences.  The campaign endorses that through highlighting the differences, unity can be achieved.

The campaign reduces human differences into representations of different human sides.  These representations which are known as archetypes hinder the unification of the races.Various responses were solicited from the media and basically, reactions were affected by the race.  There were violent reactions, some remained passive but majority took the campaign as a form of offense to a nation’s own race.Hall’s idea of denotation and connotation are similar to Barth’s concept of essentialism since each concept is involved in conveying the source of a specific message.

  The concepts first present the literal idea in the form of denotation and then eventually dwell in the analysis of a particular subject’s essence which leads to association of meaning.In Toscani’s third strategy, there is inclination in the upheaval of chaos since there is a sway off from the ideals.  Pseudo journalism gave rise to different criticisms from various races since the strategy somewhat deviated from the usual way of conveying human stress.The fantasy of consumption was attempted to be replaced by social commentary.  Toscani did this by doing a campaign which does not advertise through distorting the perception of the consumers so to market the product but to present a morally inclined advertisement.

Toscani’s attempts in presenting the real were betrayed by de-historicized images.  These images did try to present reality but the audience has a tendency of not wanting to see what is really real to avoid issues.The cultural code of the way the real and unreal are depicted were the ones that undermined Toscani’s campaign. Advertising was supposed to be the complete opposite of truth but then, Toscani wanted to combine the good truth and the good fiction/dream in his campaign.Photo documentary and advertising photographs both share gratification.  Gratification is evident in presenting the way fantasy was packaged so that a specific good is sold but for Benetton’s case, the aim was to sell the commodities through a real “packaging”.

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