CONTENT ANALYSIS OF MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS: A CASE STUDY (ICE CREAM ADS) PUBLISHEDIOSIM IASMINA None firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper analyses the content of media communications (in this case, ice cream advertisements). Content analysis is not very popular among Romanian researchers, despite its wide range of uses: age issues, climate change, communication, cognitive science, cultural studies, economic studies, education, ethnography, gender issues, health, information and communication technologies, literature, marketing studies, media studies, political science, psychology, rhetoric, sociology, etc. In this paper, the authors make an analysis of ice cream ads to show researchers in marketing studies how important content analysis (conceptual analysis + relational analysis) can be in the promotion of products and/or services. Eighty-nine ice cream ads for 46 American ice cream brands were targeted for the content analysis presented below. Content analyses relied on two basic methods – conceptual analysis and relational analysis Conceptual analysis (which establishes the existence and frequency of concepts represented by words of phrases in a text) shows that there are four groups of explicit terms referring to ice cream in our corpus: explicit terms (ice cream types, ice cream ingredients, ice cream features, and ice cream shapes) and four categories of implicit terms (terms that are related to humans, terms related to human feelings and emotions, terms related to location, and other terms that could not be grouped into distinct groups). Relational analysis (which goes one step further by examining the relationships among concepts in a text) identified what other words related to ice cream appear in the corpus and the different meanings these words bear (terms related to humans and location. Three conclusions could be drawn from the study: despite the wide range of fields in which content analysis can be used as a research method, we found that the most frequently analysed were health and media studies (in most cases, they go hand in hand); ice cream ads make up the proper corpus for content analysis and the number of implicit terms related to “ice cream” is twice as big as explicit ones because both manufacturers (who agree with the ads they pay for) and advertisers focus on suggestion rather than on reality. Content analysis of ads are twofold beneficial: first, because it can help companies understand the vision of their competitors, and second, because it can help companies better advertise their own products and services.
Content analysis, media communications, theoretical aspects, methodological aspects