A Sugary Mess: A Rhetorical Study of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's 2009 Anti-Smoking and Empty Calorie Beverage Public Service Advertisments
Smith, Jordan Douglas
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Smith, J.D. (2011). A Sugary Mess: A Rhetorical Study of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's 2009 Anti-Smoking and Empty Calorie Beverage Public Service Advertisments. -- In Proceedings: 7th Annual Symposium: Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 136-137
Throughout the last decade, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYDOH) have launched numerous Public Service Advertisements (PSA) to curb the use of tobacco and consumption of "empty calorie" beverages. Numerous media outlets have referred to these campaigns and their images as impeding and ill-mannered, highlighting their existence as controversial from the onset. Previous literature indicates that controversial styles of advertising, specifically those using explicit means of communication, provoke psychological reaction and recall regarding the topic of the advertisement. This study uses a triangulated approach to data analysis in answering three research questions pertaining to media and consumer reactions through the rhetorical strengths featured in each of the campaigns. The results indicate that themes emerge between proponents and opponents of the campaign that justify the use of controversial styles in PSA; information recall, questioning of health practices and discourse as a solution. In conjunction with Althusser's (1971) Subject Positioning theory, each campaign's rhetorical strategy is found to be effective. Future research may capitalize on identifying scales of reaction and their consequent behavioral changes in the consumer.
Paper presented to the 7th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Marcus Welcome Center, Wichita State University, May 4, 2011.
Research completed at the Elliott School of Communication