In 1978, the British Conservative Party hired Saatchi and Saatchi to handle their General Election publicity. It is widely acknowledged that Saatchi and Saatchi introduced professional advertising techniques into British electioneering , although, exactly how they did this has not been previously discussed. In order, to understand how Saatchi and Saatchi modified political advertising, the paper will identify and account for the visual rhetoric of Saatchi and Saatchi’s poster and print advertisements. The visual rhetoric of these advertisements will be analysed by employing a social semiotic method, similar to that advocated by Robert Hodge and Gunther Kress in Social Semiotics , since social semiotics necessitates that close attention is paid to the specific production and consumption regimes of the text. As Hodge and Kress have explained, “The form of signs is conditioned above all by the social organisation of the participants and also by the immediate conditions of their interaction.” Thus, the paper will discuss how Saatchi and Saatchi produced a set of texts that functioned by recognising that there were competing political views out there, and that the voting system apparently functions by offering one vote per member of the electorate. In doing this Saatchi and Saatchi’s posters deflected attention from the fact that, their point of origin was deeply rooted in capitalism and the market place. In this manner, Saatchi and Saatchi’s posters managed to establish their values as the only possible solution. The paper has evolved from the author’s Ph.D thesis, which is an analysis of the Conservative party’s 1979 General Election poster and print advertisements. To date, there has been no other critical analysis of the visual rhetoric of these advertisements.
|Title of host publication||Variety in Mass Communication Research|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Mar 2007|
- political advertising
- poster and print advertising
- saatchi and saatchi