A content analysis of television news commercials




Avila, Jesse

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This thesis addresses the question: Who is/are the targeted audience(s) in news commercial segments? A content analysis was performed. The commercial advertisements shown on a local news channel (KENS -5, San Antonio) and a nationally televised news channel (CNN -- 35, "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.") were recorded and then analyzed. Each news programs was recorded twice a week from 5--5:30 pm Monday through Thursday for a period of four months from October 27, 2008 to February 27, 2009. The sample consists of 950 commercials. The local channel yielded 555 commercials, while the cable channel yielded 395 commercials. A comparison between the local and cable channel revealed that the cable channel had a higher percentage of advertisements (80.54 percent) which appeared to target a middle to upper-class, middle-aged to elderly, Anglo viewer. In contrast to the cable channel, most of the advertisements on the local channel (60.89 percent) appeared to target minorities, blue-collar, or non-professionals, and a much younger population. Advertisers used various techniques of persuasion, or emotional appeals in their ads. Previously written literature on these subject matter areas, as well as critical theory and role theory, provided important insights for understanding the historical, present, societal, technological, individual, and economic contexts which have fostered, and continue to foster the growing prevalence of targeted television advertisement exposure and consumption of commodities.


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Consumerism, Content Analysis of TV news commercials, Critical theory, Effects of advertising, Emotional appeals, Role theory