Sippin', pausin', and visualizin' : visual literacy and corporate advertising /

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Cason, Kevin
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Middle Tennessee State University
Visual culture is all around us on a daily basis, and we see it in a variety of forms. One type of visual material that offers valuable insights into reflecting and capturing American culture and society over time is print advertisements. Corporations often use print advertisements to market their product and create a distinct brand image. Two companies that have established creative marketing campaigns for their respective products are Jack Daniel's whiskey and Coca-Cola.
Although the main purposes of Jack Daniel's and Coca-Cola's advertisements is to market the product and create a corporate identity, there are also other levels of analysis to consider. Advertisements often serve as material culture artifacts that provide evidence of the time period when they were created. In addition, advertising agencies and creators use evocative qualities and techniques to attract the consumers' attention.
While the study of visual materials is important for historians to recognize, it is also relevant for public historians such as archivists who sometimes struggle with determining what resources are essential to keep and preserve in an age of an abundance of resources. By understanding and researching the historical context of images and utilizing insights from the advertising scholarship, archivists can gain a better understanding of the informational, evidential, and evocative values of advertisements. With an improved analysis strategy, archivists can hopefully discern the importance in preserving and maintaining visual resources. By exploring the intriguing history and advertising of a specific type of visual material, in this case, the advertisements of Jack Daniel's whiskey and Coca-Cola, this dissertation provides some insights on the different levels that historians and archivists can use to better interpret and analyze images.