Edited by Melinda Mendoza.

Overview Edit

Advertising is a communication medium used to persuade an audience into taking a desired action with the use of film, display, or aural media. This is usually done to convey a certain message to the general public about a specific cause or product.

Definition and History Edit

Advertising is used for many different reasons including to promote a company, increase awareness, and maintain a positive brand image.  In order to do this, advertisers use different mediums in order to persuade consumers into taking a specific action.  All these different tactics help each company reach their overall objective or goal. 

In the Middle Ages, Egyptians have been known to create ads (short for Advertisements), for lost and found purposes. As the general population at the time was illiterate, the use of art to persuade was the standard form of communication. Instead of using words to describe the duties like "blacksmith" or "tailor", a much more visual style was used. By the 19th and 20th centuries, as the population became able to read, words accompanied the pictures to persuade each audience making the display much more appealing.  Radio soon came into play as consumers enjoyed the aural factor of persuasion.  Film slowly became a great way to persuade later in the 20th century.

Going into the 21st century, film was the most popular medium for advertising as it was used all across the nation.  Commercial television became the most influential styles of advertising in society and still is today.  The different styles and affordances of film allowed for consumers to get a better understanding of the products being sold. 

The use of mise en scene allowed for directors of these advertisements to express certain thoughts or ideas to the general public.  The use of persuasion is done by the setting, costume and acting.  Each setting can create a fantastic image that consumers would like to be part of.  For example, in order to best persuade one to purchase a sun umbrella, the setting of a commercial would ideally be located somewhere warm and on a beach as this is where the product is typically used.  Costume would then tend to be some sort of summer dress or bathing suit as this is the most common apparel at the specific location.  As for acting, it’s important to use certain characters that would generally fit the type of consumer who would purchase the item.  This is commonly known as the target audience, which are those who are most likely to purchase the product, or engage in a certain activity wanted by the company.  All these different elements of mise en scene allow for better persuasion for each company.    

The term Advertising is used by John Berger in his Ways of Seeing Part 4- John Berger where he explains how and why the use of persuasion is beneficial when it comes to advertising. Marketing also plays a large factor in the advertising world and how it's useful in today's society.

Examples Edit

In this television commercial, the use of mise en scene really help persuade consumers to purchase the all new Ford F-150.  The location of the film helps to accurately express how the product would be used in the specific location.  Consumers will use this scenery of construction and rough terrain to understand how and where the product would be best suited for.  The costumes of construction workers as well as acting help give the vibe of the type of consumer that will best benefit from purchasing the product.  The different angles used helps show off the different features of the product to persuade consumers to purchase the product.  All these different elements of mise en scene help companies persuade consumers to purchase the ideal product.

In this Pampers commercial, the elements mise en scene help in persuading consumers purchase their product.  The film uses film, visual and aural affordances to best persuade consumers.  The use of film is the most prominent as the commercial focuses on the film aspect more than the other two.  The different scenes and angles used in this commercial help express the ideas of the different things mothers must do on a daily basis. It uses different sound to positively reenact what these mothers do and what emotions they feel when doing these actions.  The film essentially mimics what mothers to in order to show that their product is a necessity.   These elements in the advertisement help persuade their target market. 

Resources and Further Reading Edit

What is Advertising? - This article gives an in depth description of the term Advertising and how it used in society.

Advertising Analytics 2.0 - This article from the Harvard Business Review discusses the analytics behind advertising and it's ability to persuade consumers to purchase specific products.

Choosing Advertising Mediums - When debating the type of medium to use to persuade, there are many different mediums of advertising to go about. This article explains the positives and negatives of each medium and which is the most beneficial for the overall objective.

Advertising People are the New Advertising Medium - Within this article, the ideas of advertising mediums are thrown around to explain the in depth idea that word of mouth and reputation coming from advertisers is our societies new way of advertising.

Commercial Advertisements - This article gives a great interpretation of commercial advertisements and the reasons behind how they persuade consumers to purchase products.

Keywords Edit

Citations Edit

What is Advertising? (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2015, from

Nichols, W. (2013, March 1). Advertising Analytics 2.0. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from

Choosing Advertising Mediums: Marketing Strategy - BusinessTown. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2015, from

Burns, W. (n.d.). Advertising People Are The New Advertising Medium. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from

Commercial ads. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2015, from