THE PAST AS A CULTURAL CONSTRUCT. IMAGES OF A REVOLUTION AND COMMUNISM IN THE SERVICE OF PERSUASION
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THE PAST AS A CULTURAL CONSTRUCT. IMAGES OF A REVOLUTION AND COMMUNISM IN THE SERVICE OF PERSUASION

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THE PAST AS A CULTURAL CONSTRUCT. IMAGES OF A REVOLUTION AND COMMUNISM IN THE SERVICE OF PERSUASION

Oliwia Tarasewicz-Gryt
College of Management „Edukacja”, Wrocław

In the paper the author analyses the motif of a revolution and the reference to communism in advertisements. Th e author hypothesizes that revolution is a metaphor of breakthrough, innovation etc. Th e historical images serve as metonymical recall of a popular concept of a revolution. The e past is treated instrumentally and the most important temporal category is the temporal present. The e author points out the reasons for using motifs of a revolution and communism. The ere are the similarities of language (and aesthetic) of advertisements and communist or revolutionary propaganda; humor used to gain favor; abundance of associations of the notion of a revolution and a widespread recognition of props related to the revolution.

The advertisement is a medium of condensed form, which superior goal is persuasion. The Listener should interpret it according to the will of the transmittant, who has to construct it to be unambiguous and understandable, and the arguments accepted by the listener. The communication demands from its members the knowledge of cultural context. Obtains from it for two reasons: first, because of the small size of the communicate, there is no place for a false reading, so every element should be easy to identify. The advertisement s, being a sphere of the “common knowledge”. It delivers the arguments, from which the medium is built; second, the reference to the motive, image of a slogan, evoking the row of connotations and signalizing these connotations ensures the wanted prodigality of measures demanded in the advertisement. Most often it happens with use of metonyms, letting to speak about the object by pointing to the different one, being close to it. (Ziomek 1984: 189).The mutual opinions let the persuasion happen with help of the allusion, enthymemes (some of the premises are hidden, because they seem obvious), abovementioned metonymy and other, more complicated figures, as word and significance games. We assume then that the advertisement deals with elements of common knowledge, opinions and outlooks, known, understood and accepted by the target group, who will be named the audience.

In the advertisements analyzed below there are two connotations to history: the motive of resolution and motive connected with socialism and communism. Their appearance is conditioned only by the goal of the communicate. They are the elements of rhetorical measures, being an ornament of the medium and the persuasion of the listener. Neither the revolution nor the communism are important here as some true historical facts but as some cultural constructs. They were not used as an element of Polish cultural heritage. Often the transmittant don’t have any particular revolution in mind, they deal with stereotypes, discovering in him a chosen aspect in persuasive goal.

  1. FOUR RELATIONS

The key terms I will be using in this article are: the culture, rhetoric, advertisement and time. I will shortly explain how I see the relations between these elements. To achieve this goal I will present four relations: between the culture and the rhetoric, advertisement and culture, advertisement and the rhetoric and the culture and the time. I make an assumption that the culture and communication are unbreakable connected and speaking about culture is at the same time the speaking about the communication – and in the other way round (Fiske 1999: 16). The relation between culture (and communication) and the rhetoric was described above: the arguments are built on the basis of culturally inherited, common thinking. They are found, not thought up (Ziomek 2000: 9).

The relation between the advertisement and culture can be characterized in the following way: the analysis of advertisements give the information on the cultural context, which was their environment. We observe constant development and transformations in the zone of the advertising communicates, because in result of the satiation with this form of this form of promotions, the creators try to make them more attractive, using new media and technology. Making the assumption that the efficient advertisement has, in a very special way of consideration of the opinions and conditioning of the listeners, I agree that the advertisement reflect the way how the listeners are thinking and the contemporary beliefs on the basic values, used language, way of spending free time, lifestyle i.e., agreeing with Marshall MacLuhan:

Some day the historians and archeologists will discover that the advertisements of our times are the richest and more trustworthy mirror of our everyday life and every action that was left by any society. The hieroglyphs of Egypt cannot beat this. (McLuhan 1975: 126).

The next from the list of relevant relation is this which connects the advertisement and the rhetoric. The advertisement is, in rhetorical point of view, seeking for the favor of the audience (captatio benevolentiae). It wants to reconcilliate (consensus) – the listener and the transmittant, equipped in similar cultural experience are, thanks to specific measures, persuaded if the case is right. The transmittant only discovers, not creates of thinks up the arguments understood as ideas and ways of their expressing. Analyzing the advertisements with rhetorical measure has its tradition, beginning from the study by Roland Barthes on the rhetoric of the image (Barthes 1985). Barthes made it possible to include to the visual level of the communicate, assuming that rhetorical figures are a formal relation between the elements of language, sound and image. From the semiotic perspective Umberto Eco (1996) was researching the visual sphere of the advertisement. Jakub Z. Lichański written about connections between the advertisement and rhetoricy (1994), pointing out the common element of both of the spheres – convincing to something by the references to stereotypes, conventions and topoi.

Let’s remind that the traditional speech is made in five stages (inventio, dispositio, elocutio, memoria i actio). Inventio is a stage of the work by the communicate where one choose the arguments. In the advertisement of “inventio” of the creative workers of an advertising agency is accompanied with specific research, which goal is a specific description of the type of a listener and fitting the proper arguments for the audience. If one is interested in composition (dispositio), the speech is divided into few parts.

The researchers separate exordium, or the foreword, making the listener trust the media (Ziomek 2000: 73).After this it comes the narratio, or the describing the state of things, explaining the case and then argumenting and proving – from the facts or from the examples. In the advertisement communicate, most often dealing with the verbal and non-verbal media, it’s hard to speak about the parts of the speech because they melt into one, dissolve, doing different functions. The receive is characterized by some simultaneousness, the narration is not developing in time like in a case of delivered speech. The function of exordium is very often an image, directing the attention and ensure the favor of the audience (for example thanks to unordinary esthetic, surprise or humor), it inscribes also the listener in medias res. The image can be done in function of showing the state of things (narratio) and/or proof. The advertisement uses both of the abovementioned types of persuasion – both the facts and the examples. By persuading from facts it presents the results of research, confirming the quality of the product. More often it uses the persuasion from examples, because it gives the creators more space to be creative and makes that the advertisement is more attractive for the listener. Therefore he uses different scenes and images functioning as an example (exemplum).

In the examples listed below the function of exemplum is fulfilled by the images of the past. To summon it, the transsmittants are performing two operations. First: they are comparing two products/ideas not connected with each other – the revolution and the advertised product, using the chosen aspect, common for the two elements (Black 1971). In the analyzed examples these are “innovations”, “breaking through”, “amazingly low price” i.e. The transmittant finds the similar field of meaning to these elements – and it can be a really far connotation. The amazingly low price does not connect with the revolution, so one has to start the row of connotations to find the common meaning field and understand the term “revolutionary prices”. He reaches the option of “changing over the codes” (Eco 2009: 299-303), meaning, that the “context and situation limits often are changed and are mapping each other and different short circuits (…) are creating the sudden and unpredictable connections” (Eco 2009: 300).

The second operation which is done by the transmittants is summoning this metaphor in the medium. The products are given their “revolutionary dimension” with help of the quotation, props and attributes, functioning as metonyms. In this place one should explain the used terms. The relation between metaphor and metonymy was formulated by Roman Jakobson (1956), by saying that the first results from the procedure of substituting with the similarity and the second – with the adjoining of the ideas A and B. The revolution in advertisement is a metaphor built thanks to some similarity (for example the sale is revolutionary thanks to its “sudden” changes, the product is revolutionary thanks to its innovations which make it a real breakthrough). This metaphor is summoned with metonymy.

On the verbal level they are for the most cases the references to the style of revolution or communistic propaganda slogans. In the visual sphere they are for the most cases the props: standards, banners, images of the heroes of the socialist labor and every other stylization of the communicate. I resign here from the differentiating between the metonymy and synecdoche, though according to the rules of classical rhetoric the relation pars pro toto is the very synecdoche. I will assume that they are related and often it’s hard to differ them unambiguously, because instead of saying about the “metonymy with synecdoche”, I will stay with the term “metonymy” (Ziomek 1984,Eco 2009), despite that – how writes Eco – this solution impoverishes the traditional classification (Eco: 297). I assume that the essence of the relation of the two ideas in a semantic level has no real importance, and because the metonymy is a more general term, I will use them for the clarity of the article.

There is one other important and omitted trope – symbol. For the revolution it is a banner or the red color. I will omit it because I’m not dealing in this article with a relation between the revolution and its representatives, saying rather about the functional using of their representation in advertisement communicate. My hypothesis is that the representation have to recall the primal metaphor – revolution and are its parts (being a peculiar symbol), functioning in the area of the advertising communicate as a metonymy – the element recalling the bigger content.

The last interesting relation is a relation of culture with time. The time is an abstract category so the ways of measuring and understanding it differ in different cultures. It is conditioned with the way of life and the mentality of the communities. On the fact, that the time functions as fundamental role in culture, points out the researcher Elżbieta Tarkowska in her sociological study devoted to the changes in the postmodern society (Tarkowska 1999). In her opinion the majority of the phenomena existing in the communities is of temporal character and showing of any new will bring changes in the approach to time, changing the temporal organization of the everyday life. Similar to MacLuhan who write about advertisements in the reconstruction of the past, Tarkowska states on the subject on temporality, claiming that the reflection on this, how the conceiving of time changes and leads to revealing the key phenomena of the contemporarity (1999: 351).She claims also that reconstructions of the ways of experiencing and perception of the time are a constitutive element of the analysis of culture and communities and the analysis of time structures, rhythm, tempo, relation to the past and the future became the legalized and often used way of speaking on contemporary culture and its characteristic features and also about the changes in civilization and its consequences (1999: 343).

The advertisements, where one can see the way of how one perceives time, or for example the relation of the people and past and the future or so-called idea metaphors of perceiving the time, for example “time is money” (Lakoff , Johnson 1988) are peculiarly double focusing these information characterizing the culture, where they function. From the collection of the “common knowledge” the transmittants choose these “mutually shared opinions” concerning time, so the factor strongly determining the given culture.

When we observe the advertisement discourse closer, we will see in it some redefinitions which happened in the last years in perceiving the phenomena connected with time. After the cultural and civilisational resolution from the XIX and XX century, connected i.a. with inventing the phone, telegraph or a radio, changing the perceiving of time and space and the electricity, which partially abolished the diversification of day and night, in the end of XX century there was another turning point, giving faster and faster means of transportation and the development of the media, especially the Internet, which caused next changes in perceiving time and space.

Tarkowska uses the term “postmodernity” to describe the period contemporary to her research (second half of ’90 of XX century), claiming that the criterion of distinguishing the modernity from postmodernity is the relation of communities to time: the past, the present and the future. In postmodernity happened the rejection of the linear time, change of perceiving the lasting and passing, eternity and changeability, continuity and innovation (1999: 346). The important is also the conception of dominance of the presence: as a result of specific value judgment of the future, past and the present the role of the latter becomes more and more important. Its expansivity means that it can try to ravage both the past and the future for its own use. The future is unsure and hard to manage, so from the fear of it the man concentrates on the presence and the fullest expression is gains in planning, understood as the trial of accustoming the future. Also the past was subdued to the presence. According to Tarkowska it is used mainly in political goals, as a history lesson, political capital and the Source of legitimization. In the commerce, advertisement, politics or in art one uses the props off the past not for their service for enriching the knowledge of history, but for adding the variety to one-dimensioned presence without time. As an example of commercialization of the past and using it in the market the author gives the car advertisement (Daewoo, January 1996), beginning with the words: “Histo… we understand each other in half the way”, saying about the similarities between Polish and Korean people. In this advertisement its creators used the fact, that “The return of Piłsudski from Magdeburg and the Korean Declaration of Independence happened only half a year after each other”, where the proximity of time of the events – regaining the indepence of both of the countries is to be the basis of the understanding.

The abovementioned phenomena are confirmed in the advertisement, where the events are treated instrumentally: giving away the props, let to construct examples, metaphors and metonyms in accordance to the artificially created connections between the product and the historical event. It was perfectly visible in 2004 in the campaign of the Tyskie beer, entitled “Tyskie is 375 years old”. The cycle of commercials was constructed around the relation between the creation of the Tyskie brand and the historical events, like the invention of television, light bulb, Napoleon on St. Helene i.se. The slogans were duplicating the scheme: “When the event X happened, Tyskie was years old”. It served only to placing the brand of the product on the timeline and the visual showing of the abstract term of “tradition”.

  1. INSTRUMENTAL TREATING OF THE IMAGES OF THE PAST

The dominating category in the advertisement is the presence, because it’s the time the promoted product exists. The past and the tradition are usually valorized in the positive way, but the events are often presented in a selective way, non-cohesively. Especially important seems to be the conception of American critic of culture, Frederic Jameson (1997: 198-200), concerning the perceiving of time and valorizing the past. Jameson claims that the past is present in contemporary discourse like some kind of cultural construct. Analyzing so-called nostalgic movies, characterizing with retrospective stylization, he comes to a conclusion that in these Movie, thanks to using proper stylistic measures (for example: details) “from that time”, a specific climate was created and it can dissolve the borders of time. They are really in the presence. The props of the past are not really referring to the past, but to its images, present in deferent media. They are, therefore, only metareferences. Jameson observed that their storing flats and drains the content of the media. In consequence these movies are depicting only our imaginery on the different epoch (Jameson 1997: 199).

Jameson’s theory can be adapt for the rhetorical ground and use for the description of the phenomena observed in the advertisement. The hypothesis I intend to prove is that the past is in the advertisements only a “cultural show” and was subdued to the present, which reinterprets the past events, giving them new meanings. The key to advertisement is the presence. The past is summoned often by metonymy – the props. The flatness and dryness criticized by Jameson is a desired factor, it simplifies the receive and lets one to reach the broad audience.

We’re analyzing the revolution as a historical motive, most often being the metaphor of the breakthrough, emphasis of the innovative product and its exceptional price. It is also the source of humor. It happens sometimes that the revolutional motives inscribe the advertisement in the calendar of social events and, in this way, the use of events form the past emphasizes the actuality of the offer.

  1. REVOLUTION IN THE ADVERTISEMENT

Revolution is a sudden change in society or in science. In the advertisement the revolution usually means the October Revolution, and sometimes the Great French Revolution and the slogans of freedom, equality, brotherhood. There is also the revolution of proletariat together with the references to communism. Often it is not a specific revolution and only a stereotypical idea of a revolution and its chosen connotations, connected with political state, communistic propaganda i.e. I’ve decided to add to the analysis also the references to the communism present in these commercials, where appear the addressed to the listener, being for most of the time calling to mutiny or change.

The advertisement, referring to the revolution, often comes to the field of science. The debuting product will be presented as revolutionary, born as an effect of scientific revolution. There is an emphasis on the incident as a indicator of the solution, giving him high status. The example can be the described below advertisement of SKYN condoms.

In the advertisement „revolutionary” is also a synonym of „unknown” „amazing”, and „of a very low price”. In the natural language there expressions are not synonyms and in zone of the advertisement there is an above-mentioned phenomenon of the “redirecting the codes” and in result of far connotations it is possible to compare this phenomena. One can say that it became a standard. The advert of Carrefour says about the revolutionary sale (Jerzyk 2002: 313): The winners rejoice at the October Price Revolution – the citizens have bags with the shop’s logo. The pretext to reaching for the revolutionary esthetic is: low prices and the time proximity of both of the events – the commercial was produced in October. The bear which announces low prices in another chain of malls is called in the radio ad of E.Leclerc shops “a revolutionist”

The advertisement omits the negative aspects of the resolution. It uses quotation, pastiche and parody of propaganda slogans and some of esthetic measures, characteristic for the propaganda posters, like the perspective, the contour, font i.e. One should observe that the propaganda slogans are a “natural common point” of communistic propaganda and the advertisement. In both slogans and maxims are used. The difference between slogans of the communistic propaganda and the advertisement ones is in their function. The first should plant some thoughts in the conscience of the listener, move him to action and didn’t have to be pretty or interesting. Advertisement slogans to convince should be pretty. In the natural context a propaganda slogan could offend, bring back unwanted references with compulsion and lack of dialogue and in the advertisement it is often of humorous dimension. Being a pastiche, it functions as a quotation, creating a metonymy. Its characteristic syntax: elliptic sentences, constructed on a rule of definition (example: Citizen! Cold and flu are your enemies. The health of the individual is the health of the community. Prevent and treat yourself with routine. The lowest prices are the property of the nation”, where the first is the noun in nominative and then the explanation in instrumental or in nominal case), the way of formulating it become, similarly like the image of a standard, something like a prop from the past. It bring it on pars pro toto rule.

In the abovementioned example the goal of the measure was humor. It results from the fact, that after the end of communism the image of the era became full of funny absurds. The communism and socialism gain the dimension from the movie by Stanisław Bareja, being one of the possible worlds of communism (according to Jameson’s theory) and this popular image is used in the commercials.

The communicates analyzed below are referring to the motives of a resolution with the stereotypical props and their slogans are stylized for communistic propaganda though the presence of such arguments does not have Any justification on the use of the promoted product. The advertisement of the Media Markt shop from October 2003 uses the following slogans:

„5 years of the Media Markt, done with surplus!

„The lowest prices are the property of the nation!

The first sentence referrers to the famous „five years”, accustomed in the Polish commerce in the ’60. The second one – as a pastiche of propaganda slogan – it is also in the convention. To additionally motivate the choice of argumentation, the connections between the time of the broadcast of the commercial and the calendar of historical events were used. The commercial was broadcasted in fall and, in this way, by referring to the October Revolution, the emphasis was put on the actuality of the offer. The additional factor is also the humor, Despite the slogans the communicate refers to communism and revolution also in the visual sphere, thanks to the dominance of red, the color of revolution. It is also the color permanently connected with the Media Marks Brand.

The advertisement of the telephone central of Kapsch brand have referred to the Marx’s slogan “Proletarians of all the countries, connect!”. This reference was only on the verbal level. The creators used the ambiguity of the expression “connect”, using a figure called diaphore, being a result of a game between the meanings of the word and in consequence they paraphrased this appeal in a following way: For all the firms not using the telephone centrals Meridian 1 – connect!”

In the additional text (small font) the transmittant list the good merit of the product, addressing the owner of the firm in a DirectX way, emphasizing how import ant his Comfort is form them. By addressing the owner they want to flatter him, emphasizing his management abilities and, as occasion arisen, the merits of their product. By suggesting that the advertisement was directed to the owners of the successful firms, they used the ad vanitatem argument. This measure is directed in weakening the criticism of the listener towards the product. The paraphrasing of the fragment of the Communistic Manifest has no other explanation, besides the use of ambiguity of the expression „connect” and a fact that this appeal is a commonly known slogan, perfectly recognized so the periphrasis has a chance to reach the audience and be remembered, what is one of the main goals of the advertisement.

In both of the abovementioned communicates the choice of props and conventions has its justification.. In the first case it is an adjoinment of time connecting the time of promotion in the event, which is being referred to in the commercial; in the second one – the ambiguous of the used expression. In the next advertisement – the “Brief” magazine – this measure seems to be incidental. We see the lack of adjoinment and ambiguousness. The product was not presented as a revolutionary solution, there is also no word about a revolutionary sale. The slogan is an appeal of humoristic overtone: „Citizen! Brief with us!”

The picture was chosen to imitate the original „from the epoch”, presenting a heroine of socialist Latour and the times, to which the advertisement refers to in the verbal sphere. It is a prop, being a metonymy. The transmittant, using this motive, is playing with the convention, transformating the well-known 3XYES to 3XNO. The innovation in the known and recognizable scheme should direct the receiver’s attention. Anaphorically repeating NO was additionally selected by the graphic No… at us, NO, you don’t find, NO, confirmed information. In this way the advertisement challenges the opinions which tell that property built persuasive communicate should not be a sentence in the negative. It is some kind of provocation. The advertisement, similar like a product, is addressed to the specific group of audience – people working in marketing departments, for whom this measure should seem humoristic and original.

In order not to Leave the audience with the negatives, the transmittant add, for the balance, the positive information „In Brief.pl you can find the newest information for commercial communication. The persuasive function is realized by two words – the adjective and adverb used in highest degree. Using the picture of the heroine one can see as a comparison – of the heroine and the marketing magazine, both being always the first, what additionally justifies the reference to communism.

This epoch is used also in the television spot introducing the new medication, AscoRutiCal, Similar like in the telephone central ad, the key meaning had the words “connect”, and so here the argumentation is built around the expression “sick” – the sickness is compared to the times of socialism. The spectator is the witness of a scene: a married couple with a child, while walking though the city streets, hears a voice from a megaphone: “ Citizen, cold and flu are your enemies!. The health of the individual is the health of the community! Prevent and treat yourself with routine!” The Hero of the commercial comments „This all is sick”. Then there goes the appeal, spoken by the voice from outside the screen (not from the megaphone) “Break the routine!” At the end we see the slogan „AscoRutiCal. Healthy measure in sick times”. The „justification” for the reference to the tools of socialistic propaganda is a metaphor „Sick times” functioning in two meanings – literal and metaphorical. The hero calls the situation “sick”, probably thinking about its absurdality (the megaphone telling people to prevent illness). It is also justified by the further – negative connotations of the term “socialism”. The second meaning of the metaphor is literal – sick times are times of the illness, flu season. The play with the ambiguous meaning of the word is a figure known as diaphore. In the visual sphere the transmittants call for the metaphorical meaning, in verbal – the literal. Although the appeal seems a bit mysterious, calling to action, both against sick times “Break the routine”. In metaphorical sense it seem to be justified (mutiny against propaganda appeals sounding from the megaphone) but what about the literal sense? Why using the product should be a “breaking of the routine”? Maybe a routine of everyday life is “a routine medication” and using of the recommended product is innovative, breaking the routine of the grey of the daily life? The word “routine” refers also to one of the ingredients of the AscoRutiCal. We can assume that the “routine” method is, according to the transmittant, using to this day most popular medicine of similar contents, Rutinoscorbin, for which the recommended product is a rival. “Break the routine” would be then an allusion, convincing to leaving the traditional medication, although this measure seems to be too complicated to be readable for broader audience. The most popular explanation seems to be the hypothesis that the transmittants of advertisements of not-yet-lasting product (in the conscience of the buyer, of course) try to simplify its remembering, by repetition or alliteration. In this case they are doing it, using a word that is similar to the name of the product – routine.

The next communicates use the revolutionary tricks. In the first of them it happens in the visual sphere. It is a standard being hold by two women. They’re laughing and their poses remind the propaganda posters. The standard is wetted by the stream of water, giving the photography a very dynamic character. The image of a woman with a standard reminds of the allegorical depiction of the Freedom leading the people to the barricades from the Delacroix picture. The women presented in the advertisement can be considered as a visual periphrasis of this theory, Using of the revolutionary product is explained it the text: this washing machine is a “clear revolution”:

The unique system of direct spraying makes the water immediately mix with the powder and dynamically gets in the clothing. It increases the effectivity of the process and as a result, the washing that’s incredibly clean. (…). The exceptionally wide door are reducing the risk the problems with the taking out of the laundry. The clean revolution of Bauknecht Company is triumphing. Again.

The use of a standard is justified only by the comparison of innovation to resolution. The existence of metonymy is conditioned by the earlier discovery of a connection between something unique and innovative, being a basis for “revolutionary metaphor”.

In the commercial of Polar products the resolution was a reference both in verbal and non-verbal sphere. There were created several spots of “uprising and revolution” character, using the time adjoinment of referred events to the time of the publication of the advertisement.

It was a time which let us to create relations between the technological and historical dimension in a readable way. The changes import ant for modification of the Polar offer and the introduced innovations were creating connections of the analogical features concerning the change typical for resolution motive characteristic to Polish and Slavic history (Albin2000: annex)

This is the way some advert calendar was created. The campaign lasted from October 1997 and the used argumentation was referring to the events in history which had a strong emotional power. The historical facts were connected with the information about the charateristic of the products. The creators used some revolutionary events from the November Uprising to the Marshall Law. The choice of events coincide with the real time of the campaign, conducted in the fall/winter season, which let them to use the associations which appeared because of time adjoinment.

Aleksander Woźny in his elaboration on the cultural measures of time in advertisement and using the calendars of political events claims, that in the commercials, using the calendars, providing the actuality of the offer now is said not in the direct way but as a metonymy (Woźny 1998: 38) It is being confirmed in the described cycle.

In the advertisement published in October there was a photograph of a dishwasher against a red background and a subtitle „The October Revolution of Prices of Polar Dishwashers Is Still On” in the next commercial the background was green and the picture displayed a ventilation hood and the subtitle was “The November Uprising of the Polar Ventilation Hood” This communicate does not refers to the revolution in esthetical aspect or the visual one – the only element connecting the product and the revolution is the time adjoinment. The last of the series of the advertisement calendars, published in December, was saying: “The Marshall Law of the Microwaves. The law of exceptionally low prices is introduced from the January ’98 to further notice”. The font played an important role here. It imitated handwriting similar to the one used on the banners. The medium was based on the expression “marshal” functioning as a name of some institution and as a description of low prices. The transmittants introduced the paronomatic game between these two meanings for the exaggerating of the effect.

The motive of the resolution was also used to introduce the new brand of condoms, Skyn. The transmittants described the product as a “Skyn revolution” ensuring that it will drastically change the sexual sensation of the Polish people. It is also a revolution in science, because this product is produced from other material than latex, being a common alergizer. In order to refer to the revolution the creators presented a naked man, who could have been both the muscular hero of the socialist labour and the user of condoms. The man is standing on the rostrum and in triumphant positions he presents the product. The slogan is cohesive with the stylistics of the revolution with the appeal: “Demand better sex” The golden, ornamental font refers to the graphic on the package and has nothing in common with the fonts known from the propaganda banners. In the contrary – it differs from them drastically.

In this commercial one can really see, how the transmittant are not strict in their approach to historical knowledge, what perfectly illustrates the propen thesis that one characteristic prop, as the appeal „demand”, the form “we want”, the order of the sentence, the image of the banner or another element to motivate the reference to revolution and its use as an element of argumentation.

  1. THE CONCLUSION

In the cultural aspect the analysis of the use of the motive of resolution in the contemporary commercial show how superficially is history really treated. The argumentation often is built on the basis of a metaphor of the revolution as a breakthrough, change and something exceptional. This kind of comparison is a pretext to use of images, props and the attributes of the resolution. It is perceived by the prism of popular images and references, for the most of time using only its props, being a metonymy. The historical facts are just an ornament and the choice of motives is determines by the first of the five reasons.

Firstly, the absurds associated with the contemporary image of the epoch of communism (socialism) as the source of humor and so captatio benevolentiae becomes an easier task. Secondly, revolution and propaganda (especially the revolutionary and communist) uses similar language tools to the advertisement. In this situation the advertisement can “without any penalty” use the language of propaganda, quoting it or making a parody of it without any care of refusal or resistance from the audience. Thirdly: the transmittants often emphasize the breakthrough value of their product, comparing its introduction to the market to a revolution and therefore they use the props being its metonyms. The similar metonyms of the presence and metonyms of the past are a reference to the calendar of historical events, when in the commercial it is said about the revolutionary dale in October. One should emphasize that they are the revolutions inscribed into Polish common memory. The advertisement in Poland does not refer to the revolution in Spain or in Cuba. Similarly it doesn’t deal with the thematic of the contemporary revolutions – of the year 1989. The fourth reason is an independent on the calendar “revolution of the prices” and use of the revolutionary motives to emphasize the suggested price. The last reason is concerned with the easiness of remembering the medium, important with making the decisions to buy the product p reference to the known events, deeply rooted into the common knowledge makes the listener to remember the communicate and there’s a chance that he will identify both the advertisement and the product.

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FAR 2011 No. 2 (25) April-June

Rhetoric and cultural transformations

POLSKIE TOWARZYSTWO RETORYCZNE

Uniwersytet Warszawski
Katedra Italianistyki
ul. Oboźna 8
00-332 Warszawa

retoryka.ptr@gmail.com