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DeBeers advertising - Essay Example

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Observations reveal that in postmodern era extensive use of mass media and representative symbols have become an integral part of contemporary culture, where boundaries between fantasy and real world have merged, often making reality unrecognisable…
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Download file to see previous pages The simulacrum is true” (Ecclesiastes, cited in Baudrillard, 1994, p. 1) Introduction Observations reveal that in postmodern era extensive use of mass media and representative symbols have become an integral part of contemporary culture, where boundaries between fantasy and real world have merged, often making reality unrecognisable (Baudrillard, 1993, pp. 71-72). Mass production and photographic representation (advertisements) have modified human experience to the extent that “Irreality no longer belongs to the dream or phantasm…but to the hallucinatory resemblance of the real itself” (ibid, p. 72). In post-modern era, “reality” is identified only when it is mimeographed through cloning or simulation; while truth is interceded and manipulated in a manner where present genre of humans fail to differentiate between imaginary and real world, a condition termed as “hyper-reality” (ibid, pp.70-76). In the context of artificially creating a condition of reality, the best-known example is that of DeBeers where the tagline, “a diamond is forever” is known to have attached a false sense of value to a simple carbonated rock particle. Besides this, the De Beers advertisements also make strong use of the sign and signification concept (including the referent, the signifier and the signified), where their advertisements, instead of giving any information on the products create meanings through various signs and symbols. ...
In this context, the paper will examine the concept of simulation and hyper-reality, comprehend how media managed to manipulate and erase the basic line between fantasy and reality, and create a false sense of value or consumer emotion. It will also analyse the concept of sign and signification, to find out the meaning behind the signs and symbols used in the advertisements. Discussion In post-modernism (especially in the context of capitalistic economies and post-modern developed nations), hyperrealism is a concept that reveals a condition where human consciousness fails to differentiate between falsely created ‘real’ world (simulation) and actual reality (Baudrillard, 1994). In other words, hyper-reality typifies what consciousness distinguishes as "reality" in the cultural context where mass media has the power to alter incidents before presenting them to the readers/viewers. It has resulted from logically derived simulation processes, where signs, logos or phrase-words are being used with increasing frequencies to substitute real products or emotions. Symbols or catchy phrase-words that imitate reality are being made to appear as simplified and easy to recognise. They first cover and then replace the real objects or emotions, and finally end up being more ‘real’ than reality itself (ibid). Modern culture has thus turned into a substitute for reality where “everything is therefore right on the surface, absolutely superficial. There is no longer a need or requirement for depth or perspective; today, the real and the imaginary are confounded in the same operational totality, and aesthetic fascination is simply everywhere” (Baudrillard, 1976, p. 1019). According to Baudrillard ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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