Preserving the Moment, Commodifying Time, and Improving Upon the Past: Insights Into the Depiction of Time in American Advertising
Format of Original
Journal of Communication
Original Item ID
Despite its pervasiveness in ads, the depiction of time in American advertising remains one of the least understood cultural values, perhaps because of its complexity and its taken-for-grantedness. Using a sample of magazine ads, this study adds to the existing knowledge and provides new insights into 5 time categories: limited time, marking time, more time, planning time, and oriented time. Examples and frequencies of time categories are provided with an analysis of use across product categories. The study also provides insights into how advertising as a cultural product sends “unintended” messages about cultural values. Despite the availability of alternative time concepts, the time categories observed in this study exclusively support the monochronic culture (Hall, 1983), making it appear as the only time system available.