After reading and screening all required materials and reading all the topic pages, answer these questions in a single blog post:
- How might commercialism be a positive influence on television viewers?
- 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
- 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?
- 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?
- What are some other contemporary examples of extractability found on television?
- How does contemporary advertising seek to link product acquisition with prevailing social values? (This might be somewhat subtler than Little Orphan Annie).
- How do contemporary television programs work to generate lifestyle brands built around their content?
- How does this ad exemplify branded entertainment? How does it compare with the Betty Crocker, Little Orphan Annie and Lone Ranger examples discussed above?
- How does magazine-format advertising (the type of advertising most common on TV today) change television content?
- How does deficit financing impact creativity on television?
- 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
- 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)?
- How do the episode and toy commercial work hand-in-hand? Why would this ad be of concern to parent advocacy groups?
- Why are audience measurement strategies misleading both for advertisers and viewers?
Materials: Chapters 1 & 3 of Avi Santo’s Selling the Silver Bullet:
- Chapter 1: Hi-Yo Licensing
- Chapter 3: Building the Franchise One Market at a Time: The Lone Ranger’s Extra-Textual Career in the 1930s
Chapters 4, 5 & 6 of Amanda Lotz’s The Television Will Be Revolutionized
- Chapter 4: Revolutionizing Distribution
- Chapter 5 : Advertising after the Network Era
- Chapter 6: Recounting the Audience
- Tom Englehart’s essay “The Shortcake Strategy”: The Shortcake Strategy