topics paper

Action items

After reading and screening all required materials and reading all the topic pages, answer these questions in a single blog post:

Topic 1

  1. How might commercialism be a positive influence on television viewers?

Topic 2

  1. What are some of the other ways we might have paid for broadcasting? How might television be different if one of the following economic models been adopted instead?
  • Taxation on purchase of radios
  • Voluntary listener contributions
  • Pledge drives
  • Government subsidies
  • Barter system
  • Toll broadcasting
  • Subscription
  1. How did early radio blur the lines between programming and advertising? How did General Mills use “Betty Crocker” as a sales agent for its products? What sorts of sales techniques did “Betty” employ? Do we find similar strategies being used today to sell products?
  1. How does the episode exemplify extractability? What is the appeal of owning a ring like Annie’s? How does the announcer construct a relationship between listeners and the show’s protagonist?
  1. What are some other contemporary examples of extractability found on television?
  1. How does contemporary advertising seek to link product acquisition with prevailing social values? (This might be somewhat subtler than Little Orphan Annie).
  1. How do contemporary television programs work to generate lifestyle brands built around their content?
  1. How does this ad exemplify branded entertainment? How does it compare with the Betty Crocker, Little Orphan Annie and Lone Ranger examples discussed above?

Topic 3

  1. How does magazine-format advertising (the type of advertising most common on TV today) change television content?

Topic 4

  1. How does deficit financing impact creativity on television?

Topic 5

  1. How do these two examples of web-based “TV” open up new possibilities for television producers to finance, distribute and reach audiences? Please compose your response in the Blackboard blog

Topic 6

  1. How do these opening credits function to create a backstory for the toys and how do they encourage certain types of play (necessitating certain forms of acquisition)?
  2. How do the episode and toy commercial work hand-in-hand? Why would this ad be of concern to parent advocacy groups?

Topic 8

  1. Why are audience measurement strategies misleading both for advertisers and viewers?

Materials: Chapters 1 & 3 of Avi Santo’s Selling the Silver Bullet:

Chapters 4, 5 & 6 of Amanda Lotz’s The Television Will Be Revolutionized


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