TDC's tv-commercials - Scenery vs. message

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Maj Czaja
  • Louise Petersen
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)
In recent years the Danish TV commercials have, in a more explicit way, developed into mini-dramas or mini-series. In these types of TV commercials the story and the figures are staged around a brand or a product. In this unique fictional universe, through dramatization, an organization communicates their information and message to a recipient. The unique fictional universe creates solidarity between the recipient and sender, and this solidarity contributes to giving the product or brand a value. We look upon these impetuous tendencies as an exciting and interesting development within TV commercials cause of the mix of several genres, which previously has not been composed so explicit. Staging of a fictional universe has in the past been associated with theater, literature and film. Today it is a tool used in the marketing industry. We wonder what implications the chosen dramaturgy may have on the communicative purpose of a TV commercial. In the light of this wondering we have chosen to look into this phenomenon. Our case study is TDC’s TV commercials with the naturists; Claus and Britta. These TV commercials are chosen because they are good examples of the new trend in television advertising,
namely because the unique fictional universe with two quirky and funny characters at the center, creates the framework for the TDC’s marketing. In the light of this, we ask: How are TDC’s TV commercials with the naturists Claus and Britta grasped by a recipient and what communicative problems can the applied dramaturgy create for the recipients’ understanding of the intended message? We are basing our studies on a hermeneutic point of view. We have obtained both the recipients and the sender’s data from questionnaire and telephone interviews. We have conducted a dramaturgical analysis, to establish the various elements, which appear in the TV commercials. We use theories by Anne-Britt Gran, Jørgen Stigel, Peter Harm Larsen, Michael Eigtved, Eric Bentley and Lennard Højbjerg. We also conducted a reception analysis, in order to establish the recipient’s opinion on the TV commercials by TDC. For this analysis we use theories by Kim Schrøder and Stuart Hall. Our dramaturgical analyses showed some of the dramaturgical elements, like the paramount main characters Claus and Britta, the humor, the fact that sometimes the sender (TDC) is portrayed not as the solution but as the problem. Furthermore, the
long passages of dramatization are preventing the information and message, which are embedded in the fictional story by the sender, to get through to the recipient. Additionally, did the reception analysis show that the respondents in our questionnaire are questioning what the naturists Claus and Britta have to do with TDC and their products. Furthermore, did the questionnaire show that the recipients see the commercial as entertainment but not a commercial with a message and that they have not changed their opinion of TDC in a positive way, but more in a negative way.
We can therefore conclude that the TV commercials are grasped by a recipient with some incomprehensibility. This causes the recipient to question the use of various elements in the TV commercials. We can also conclude that the weight of the use of dramatization, humor and the eccentric main characters Claus and Britta, removes the focus from the communication, information and messages that are embedded in the TV commercials. These are used to such a degree that the TV commercials do not fulfill their purpose as means of communication. Instead they become means of entertainment. Some of the dramaturgic elements can create communicative problems, which blocks the encoded message so that a recipient does not decode it as it was intended.
Publication date26 May 2011
Number of pages251
ID: 52570730