Symbolism & advertising in Pop Art

Topics: Advertising, Art, Pop art Pages: 61 (18044 words) Published: February 12, 2014
Symbolism and Advertising in Pop Art

Written Exam by Nicole D. Willis

Student Number: 0501784

Table of Contents
1. Introduction


2. Arise of Consumerism in
Post World War II America


3. Symbolism and Code


4. H.R. Pufnstuf and McDonaldland


5. The Chapman Family Collection,
Revisiting McDonaldland


6. Ron English, Culture Jammers
and Political Art


7. 1950’s Advertising and Post War Optimism


8. Appropriation Art



9. Symbolism Reading


10. James Rosenquist and Found Images


11. Rosenquist vs American Pop Art Scene


12. Rosenquist and Advertising


13. Postmodern and Jeff Koons


14. Readymades of Jeff Koons


15. Kitsch Koons


16. Bad Boy, Eurocentric, Hetero Koons


17. Childhood and Adulthood Celebrated,
Reflections of Rosenquist on Jeff Koons

18. Transient Pleasure



19. Bibliography


The premise of the written work on the subject of Symbolism and Advertising in Pop Art is to reveal that the thread of symbolism, in advertisement and other forms of media, whether it be ancient or contemporary, has been an intrinsic part of all artworks to date and that historically, movements in socio-economic structures of societies and their relative consumerism have been a catalyst in the direction of representational art works.

I will first approach the concept of manufacture of consent, which is investigated in the Al Gore book, The Assault On Reason, The Politics of Wealth. The indication of the concept of manufacture of consent, is that the same tools utilized to deploy political agendas, and to propagate public concern and spread political propaganda, are being appropriated by the advertising media in the present era of consumerism. With the rise of consumerism, the utilization of symbol is paramount in for the end result of increased consumption. Therefore I will reveal how the ancient pattern of symbol and code is continued in banal imagery of advertisement and how they ignite sensually to the public sensibilities, the longing for social acceptance, the appeal of a mass community, assembled by need of commodity, and fears of the outsider. With the definition of the words symbol and code I will reveal the relevance of the two terms in advertising and show it‟s natural rise to the interest of the advertiser and in turn, the artist as a media outlet and a medium of artistic expression.

I will introduce how the reality of certain eras inspired movements in entertainment for children and adults alike, by the presentation of the media cultural phenomena of H.R. Pufnstuf, McDonaldland and their creators, the Croffts, whom were attendant to social climate of tolerance of drug experimentation of the late 1960‟s and early 1970‟s, which spawn programs like H.R. Pufnstuf, featuring characteristic anthropomorphization of inanimate objects, brash colors, and hallucinatorily inspired settings. The psychedelic result of a


program designed to appeal to perhaps children and adults alike, being tremendously popular, touches on the allegorical quests of shamans and jesters, playing on themes of mythology and spiritual passage. In the adaptation of the advertising campaign of McDonaldland, with characters such as Ronald McDonald, and the Hamburglar, I argue the point of the semiotic nature of a seemingly benign advertising campaign that diversified the face of advertising, picking up the social trend of outsider culture and grasping an opportunity to sell the life style choice back to the revolutionaries whom were it‟s original conceptualists. The Croffts employment by McDonalds to create McDonaldland, was commercialization of psychedelic culture to market unhealthful food products and the fast food chain menu of McDonalds.

The political position of the McDonalds fast food chain and its ethic on the means of advertisement to children is compromised by the...

Bibliography: has developed and the position it holds to the mass audience and consumer. I
refer to Naomi Klein‟s book, No Logo, 2000 for references on the subject matter.
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