Bachelor TR-NQF-HE: Level 6 QF-EHEA: First Cycle EQF-LLL: Level 6

Course Introduction and Application Information

Course Code Course Name Semester Theoretical Practical Credit ECTS
ADV3624 Advertising and Popular Culture Fall 3 0 3 4
This catalog is for information purposes. Course status is determined by the relevant department at the beginning of semester.

Basic information

Language of instruction: English
Type of course: Non-Departmental Elective
Course Level: Bachelor’s Degree (First Cycle)
Mode of Delivery: Hybrid
Course Coordinator : Dr. Öğr. Üyesi HANDE BİLSEL
Recommended Optional Program Components: None
Course Objectives: This course aims to teach students the evolution of popular culture in light of consumption sociology and advertising industry. Students will analyse the comparative discourses of advertising in various forms both historically, critically and also strategically. Students will also explore the role of advertising in contemporary culture and its connections to larger economic, social and political forces. From an investigation of advertising's crucial function in media economics and our wider capitalist system to a consideration of people who both make and watch advertising, this insightful course enables students to make sense of advertising's powerful influence as both an economic force and an artistic form.

Learning Outcomes

The students who have succeeded in this course;
t the end of the course, you will be able to:
1. Explore historical, social and economic forces and dynamics that have shaped consumer culture in light of advertising and marketing communications;
2. Assess the various claims of different perspectives on advertising and understand how they challenge and complicate one another;
3. Explore a brief history of advertising within the framework of consumer culture theory;
5.Develop understanding in analysing advertisements in terms of form, semiotics and ideology;
6. Breakdown the advertising audience through the use of fragmentation, segmentation and distinction;
7. Learn about the functioning and organizational structure of advertising agencies;
8. Explore the role of 'creativity' and art in making of advertising;
9.Explore different facets of consumer society by analysing consumer empowerment, engagement, interpretation and resistance;
10. Utilize the ways to present student's own research and debate.

Course Content

Week 1: Orientation
Week 2: Why study advertising?, Discussion of the various reasons why advertising matters in shaping of society and consumption
Week 3: The history of advertising: Contexts, transformations and continuity
Week 4: Analysing advertisements: Form, semiotics and ideology
Week 5: Advertising, capitalism and ideology, Consumer society and the magic system, Selling capitalism
Week 6: Advertising commodities and commodity fetishism, The life cycle of the commodity
Week 7: Midterm
Week 8: Audiences for sale: Quantification, segmentation and personalization
Conspicuous consumption, From nishification to personalization
Week 9: Advertising agencies: Organization, agency and internal conflict
Agency as form of chaos
Week 10: Advertising as art: From creativity to critique, Advertising changing the world, The stakes of advertising as art
Week 11: Presentations
Week 12:Empowering consumers: Engagement, interpretation and resistance, What does the audience get from advertising?, Active audiences online, Activist resistance to advertising
Week 13: The politics of advertising: Capitalism, resistance and liberalism
The power of advertising
Week 14: Chapter reviews and total wrap up

Weekly Detailed Course Contents

Week Subject Related Preparation
1) Function of Myth and Archetypes in Formation of Life Narratives The Formation of Today’s Individual: The Hero of the Narrative Reading: Joseph Campbell, “Myth and Society”, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Princeton/Bollingen, NY, 1973, pp 381-391
2) The Economy and the Youth Market Technological Change Changes in the way we consume Reading: George Ritzer, “The Revolution in Consumption and the Larger Society”, Enchanting a Disenchanted World, Pine Forge, London, 2010, pp 23-45
3) The relationship between culture and economy Advertising as a transformative institution The practice of advertising and the new “cultural economy” Reading: Liz McFall, “The Hybridization of culture and economy”, Advertising: A Cultural Economy, Sage, London, 2004, pp 61-88
4) History of Globalization The Rise of Multinational Corporation Spreading images of “Good Life” Advertising and Culture Assignment Due Reading: Katherine Toland Frith & Barbara Mueller, “Advertising and Culture”, Advertising and Societies, Lang, NY, 2007, pp 1-54
5) Political Ideology of Consumption Commercializing Expression Consumption and Social Change Reading: Stuart Ewen, “The Political Ideology of Consumption”,Captains of Consciousness, Basic Books, NY, 2001, pp 51-109
6) The move to specification: Market Segmentation Advertising and the domain of meaning Gender and advertising The Codes of Marketplace and Commodity Fetishism Reading: Sut Jhally, “The Codes of Audience”, The Codes of Advertising, Routledge, London, 1990, pp 122-172
7) Midterm The first six weeks readings, discussions and lecture notes should be reviewed
8) Social Effects and Hidden Effects of Advertising Effects Model Culture Jamming So “why” does it sell? Reading: Marcel Danesi, “Advertising and Society”, Why It Sells, Rowman&Littlefield, Lanham, 2008, pp 175-194
9) Testing the limits of conventional advertising: The Benetton Affair Reading: Pasi Falk, “The Benetton-Toscani Effect”, Buy This Book, Routledge, NY, 1997, pp 64- 83
10) Commodity Bricolage Examples from Jeans Market Photographic Hyperrealism Levi’s and the art of Corporate Bricolage Reading: Robert Goldman, “Levi’s 501s and the Knowing Wink: Commodity Bricolage”, Reading Ads Socially, Routledge, NY, 2000, pp 173-201
11) Presentations The student will conduct extensive research on a topic assigned by the instructor and prepare a presentation she/he will make in class
12) Presentations The student will conduct extensive research on a topic assigned by the instructor and prepare a presentation she/he will make in class
13) Presentations The student will conduct extensive research on a topic assigned by the instructor and prepare a presentation she/he will make in class
14) Presentations The student will conduct extensive research on a topic assigned by the instructor and prepare a presentation she/he will make in class
15) Presentations The student will conduct extensive research on a topic assigned by the instructor and prepare a presentation she/he will make in class


Course Notes / Textbooks: • Nicholas Holm, Advertising and Consumer Society: A critical Introduction (2017), Palgrave,London.

References: Adbusters
Advertising Bibliographies
Commercial Closet
False Advertising
Media Awareness Network
Zap a Vision

Evaluation System

Semester Requirements Number of Activities Level of Contribution
Attendance 10 % 10
Homework Assignments 1 % 20
Presentation 1 % 10
Midterms 1 % 20
Final 1 % 40
Total % 100
Total % 100

ECTS / Workload Table

Activities Number of Activities Duration (Hours) Workload
Course Hours 12 3 36
Study Hours Out of Class 17 3 51
Presentations / Seminar 2 5 10
Homework Assignments 3 5 15
Midterms 1 7 7
Final 1 10 10
Total Workload 129

Contribution of Learning Outcomes to Programme Outcomes

No Effect 1 Lowest 2 Low 3 Average 4 High 5 Highest
Program Outcomes Level of Contribution
1) To be able to critically interpret and discuss the theories, the concepts, the traditions, and the developments in the history of thought which are fundamental for the field of new media, journalism and communication.
2) To be able to attain written, oral and visual knowledge about technical equipment and software used in the process of news and the content production in new media, and to be able to acquire effective abilities to use them on a professional level.
3) To be able to get information about the institutional agents and generally about the sector operating in the field of new media, journalism and communication, and to be able to critically evaluate them.
4) To be able to comprehend the reactions of the readers, the listeners, the audiences and the users to the changing roles of media environments, and to be able to provide and circulate an original contents for them and to predict future trends.
5) To be able to apprehend the basic theories, the concepts and the thoughts related to neighbouring fields of new media and journalism in a critical manner.
6) To be able to grasp global and technological changes in the field of communication, and the relations due to with their effects on the local agents.
7) To be able to develop skills on gathering necessary data by using scientific methods, analyzing and circulating them in order to produce content.
8) To be able to develop acquired knowledge, skills and competence upon social aims by being legally and ethically responsible for a lifetime, and to be able to use them in order to provide social benefit.
9) To be able to operate collaborative projects with national/international colleagues in the field of new media, journalism and communication.
10) To be able to improve skills on creating works in various formats and which are qualified to be published on the prestigious national and international channels.