Tuesday, March 29, 2016

2016 Research Days at GW: Alicia Taylor

Today was 2016 Research Days at GW. Students were selected to exhibit a poster representing their research. Research Days is heavy with hard science and social science heavy and there were only a handful of humanities students. But among them was our very own Japanese major, Alicia Taylor who is researching Japanese TV ads and how they are effective. Way to represent. And I love supporting our major! Alicia is using the critical approach of Roland Barthes' Mythologies to break down the effectiveness of a Pokari Sweat television commercial, and the ineffectiveness of a yakisoba ad starring Nagase Tomoya. Barthes approach builds on Ferdinand de Saussure's theory of sign (signifier and signified) and demonstrates the effective association that can be manufactured between multiple images and emotions to build a message that feels "natural", effectively building a "myth". Can you see the "myth" in the Pokari Sweat ad with images of high school baseball players pursuing their dream of reaching Kōshien through hard work and "sweat"? Or how about the colors of the uniforms--school and baseball--and other items that reflect the Pocari Sweat image? Anyway, I look forward to reading her final research submission.

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