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Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


There are new rules in the advertising game. These have come from the consolidation of new technologies, the new roles assumed by the consumer within the new media, the changes in the advertising market and also within advertising agencies. New concepts of communication have been adopted in brand strategies in order to meet these new demands. Among them, we can identify Branded Content and Branded Entertainment. In this doctoral thesis we approach the concept of advertising as entertainment in new media, examining these formats to better understand how they operate. Which advertising is that, which mixes leisure, distraction and fun? From twenty campaigns aired between 2010 and 2014, we observe how the messages of advertisers are structured into interactive and interesting content. We also explore how they engage an increasingly demanding and dispersed consumer, within the ocean of information they already had at their disposal every day. As categories for our qualitative analysis, on one hand we have established three “entertainment codes”: interactivity, narrativity and playability. On the other we have designated seven “advertising codes”: the consumption values and brand functions, the presence of rhetorical figures in the central idea, the Unique Selling Proposition, the prestige transfer, the authority argument, the presence of the brand and the product (for visual and verbal texts), and the call to action (for interaction or for purchase). The results revealed an augmented creativity in these types of campaigns, since they present a more complex combination of elements than in traditional advertising to generate a unique content. Entertainment is the main element, because it is through this that messages are transmitted. The interactivity, to a lesser or greater degree, pervades all strategies. Together, entertainment and interactivity confirm a greater focus on the consumer, as we predicted, because they allow them to acquire participatory and creative power within the narrative and playable worlds built for their own amusement. We also identified a strong presence of brands and products during the course of the campaigns. The brand is shown differently, but not weakened, in contrast to what we had supposed previously. Finally, although we have found, very clearly, persuasive techniques inherited from traditional advertising such as the prestige transfer and the authority argument, we have confirmed that the displayed persuasion network is more indirect and veiled than in that model. We have rhetorical figures presented in the central idea, underlying the text itself. Additionally, the Unique Selling Proposition and the call to action are further distanced from the product and the brand. In the campaigns of our corpus, these two codes assume the role of inviting the public to interact with the content, to play with the discourse and to experience.
Date of Award5 Jul 2016
Original languagePortuguese
SupervisorMarcial Murciano Martinez (Director)

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