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Discourse analysis of the role of characters in children’s television advertising

Radiom, Amenah (2010) Discourse analysis of the role of characters in children’s television advertising. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This study is designed to analyse the function of the role of characters in children’s food advertising using a discourse analysis approach. The focus of the research will look at a specific selection of food advertising aimed at children and the discourses surrounding these different texts. A sample of six texts were chosen for this study and included the packaging for Kellogg’s Coco Pops Coco Rocks, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, Kellogg’s Frosties, Nestle Munch Bunch Fromage Frais, ASDA Great Stuff Garden Gang Apples and Mc Donalds’s Happy Meals. Each of the texts was analysed individually by applying nine areas, which included target audience, appearance, characters, colour, themes, language and power, debates and the psychological appeal within each of the texts. Research found that characters were used as a central tool for promoting food products aimed at children. However other strategies were also used such as the use of colour and children’s activities such as games and puzzles. In conclusion the role of characters used within this study, function to familiarise children with their products and to enable children to identify with the use of characters.

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