Of all the ads that we are bombarded with during our daily lives, the ones that stay with us are those that contain an element of ‘story’. Characters are introduced that engage us in their lives; settings are established that remind us of where we are or were we would like to be; a plot with a clear narrative structure will entertain or challenge us, perhaps making a story that covers a whole campaign; the style – using language and cinematic features – will engage our interest; and the themes – often made explicit in taglines – will appeal to the needs that advertising has always tapped in to.
Over it all, the context, audience and purpose of these ads continue to reflect the values, attitudes and beliefs of the producers and consumers of the products and services advertised.
While the literature of a society might tell a reader much about the life and times of the author, advertising encapsulates those of whole cultures. In order to be able to find these narratives, I have decided to start categorising the ads (someone else can do the short films, music videos, print campaigns) according to their narratives.