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How are Third World countries depicted in contemporary advertising

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How are Third World countries depicted in contemporary advertising? This essay will explore the different ways in which advertisers from the first world or more developed countries have chosen to represent these countries to the Western audiences. I will investigate the three main ways these under developed countries are perceived. Firstly I will look at the perception of the Third world being in extreme need of aid and the impression of "desperation" which comes across from adverts concerning poverty, child labour and other types of advertising like this. I will look at the different ways in which this has affected the western society's views on the third world. Secondly I will look at the advertising of countries in the third world as beautiful, tranquil places in which people from the developed world are persuaded to come and spend their holidays in. Thirdly, I will look at the ways in which the third world is depicted as being "out of control", uncivilized and the opposite to first world countries. I will look at the creation of this through advertising which broadcasts a world of drugs, corruptions, gang violence and a 'backwards' society opposite to that of westerns societies. Even though it is true that much of these things do occur in developing countries especially in urban areas, I will analyse how true the advertisings depictions actually are. Finally I will draw together how these different advertising tactics have brought about many different views of the third world and how they actually compare to the reality of the situations many of these third world countries actually face. ...read more.


However, many of these charities, such as the Save the Children's Fund actually work in partnership with national governments or indigenous voluntary organisations, but there is no mention of these partners in the advertisement and therefore the adverts mask the ways in which the money is actually being spent to help these people and when the audience thinks their money is having an effect, direct action or immediate action may not be occurring. There are also many ways in which third world countries are depicted as being attractive and exotic to "first world" tourists. Contemporary advertising seems to have the tendency to focus instead on the "high arts" of the landscape and literature (Jackson, 1996) often obscuring the reality of these places to tourists. Tunisia in North Africa is an example of this and in recent years the Tunisian tourism promoters have broken out of the "three S's" - sun, sea and sand, and began to offer a distinctively Third World tourist product: the exotic (http://www.newint.org, 1984). This creates a sense of excitement and curiosity amongst the audience and attracts many tourists who wish to explore Tunisia's medinas (old towns) and beaches. The increasing amount of wildlife documentaries due to channels such as the National Geographic Channel and Discovery Animal planet is also encouraging audiences to imagine these places as peaceful, undisturbed paradises. Although these TV channels are not direct advertisers of the third world, they do provide a channel to which adverts can be broadcast for travel agents, charity campaigns etc, which carry these images in. ...read more.


At the end when the men have their copy of the car, the advert depicts them driving around in it, which firstly seems strange to us to how a car could be working after all the hammering into shape, but mainly the reaction of the local people of Bombay, now that their car has been 'westernised' they get attention and it is seen as fashionable. This point draws back to the image of "them" and "us", that they want to be like us and re enforces to us the difference between the people of the third world and us of the first world. In conclusion I think it is fair to say that many of our images of third world life are in many cases blurred by contemporary advertising. Whether it is by television charity appeals or those glossy pictures of third world paradise in travel brochures, we often rarely see the true realities of the situations in many of these third world countries. Instead we get a 'mirage' of the true picture which will only representation of a small part of the third world life. Sources http://www.newint.org/issue194/pretty.htm , new internationalist issue 194 - April 1989, Pretty as a picture, Paddy Coulter http://www.newint.org/issue142/exotic.htm, new internationalist 142, December 1984, Selling the exotic, Scott Malcomson Peter Jackson and James Taylor, 1996, Geography and the Cultural Politics of advertising: Progress in Human Geography 20: 256 - 271 http://www.directline-holidays.co.uk/Tunisia, 2005 http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1045.html, 2005-10-23 Peugeot Motors "Bombay Dream", 2003 ?? ?? ?? ?? Danny Coffey ...read more.

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