Ideology, Age of the Image and Television Advertising in India
This article will explore how the ideology of advertising converts the value-system of a “constructed” social life into “natural reality” and also how the hyperreal “ad world” seemingly becomes a “reality” in its own right. It will analyse ads in their material form to see through their “false” materiality. Ideology as a term has acquired many connotations in this age of globalisation. Likewise, the semiotic world of advertisements has expanded at a phenomenal pace. Commodities in a postmodern, globalised world are ubiquitous and their multimedia ad-campaigns are well and truly omnipresent. Whether they are also omnipotent is something that the paper will explore. The ad-world in the present age creates consciousness rather than getting validated by consciousness. It creates an ideology that would turn the exchange value of a commodity into a new kind of use-value. By deconstructing a few recent TV ads made in India the paper will analyse whether in the complex relationship between ideology and advertising the former functions as a process whereby social life is converted to a natural reality. The paper will also attempt to identify fault-lines of the constructed reality of the advertisements as the makers sometimes end up deconstructing the very narratives that they construct. Thus, the present study hopefully will show the self-referential nature of advertisements which will give us clues to understand the nature of the visual culture as it thrives in the world of advertisements.
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