Postman's Claims on YouTube Ads. Essay Sample

Published: 2023-08-20
Postman's Claims on YouTube Ads. Essay Sample
Essay type:  Analytical essays
Categories:  Advertising YouTube Analysis Conflict resolution
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1111 words
10 min read

Postman enables us to differentiate between a medium and technology. He describes technology as a mere machine and a medium as both social and intellectual settings developed by a machine. Non-YouTube can be viewed as a medium in this case as it provides an intellectual setting for ads. Based on the ‘Snickers Australian commercial - Hungry Builders ad, supports gender equality, which is highly attributed to the builders being hungry. Regarding the YouTube ad, Neil Postman’s analysis still applies.

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The primary source is a YouTube ad that uses both texts, images, background sounds, compliments, and clothing to depict the meaning of the context. A text pops up, saying, “You are not you when you are angry” (top10commercials, 00:01:10). The ad is in the form of a video, and the main characters are construction men who randomly give positive compliments to women who are passing near the construction site. Their mode of clothing also helps us to understand that they are constructors. The information portrayed by the ad is not clear as the context does not relate to the builders being hungry. They make random compliments to ladies, and that does not explain detailed information about the objective of the ad. It carries hidden meaning as most people would acknowledge that it is meant for complimenting ladies and not about the snickers.

I would use two of Postman’s analyses, where he made the phrase “now this” (Postman, 100). Through this analysis, it would be easy to acknowledge that it is a mistake to think that the medium used is neutral, as it has inherent biases. The phrase is meant to acknowledge that electronic media has speeded up what the world understands, that it has no order or meaning, and that it should not be taken seriously. It is a phrase emphasized by newscasters, and it indicates that one has thought long enough about previous matters, and you must switch your attention from one segment of news or commercial activity on TV to another. The YouTube ad is a complete event, and it is structured to take a maximum time frame of almost 2 minutes (top 10 commercials). It is a fragment of greater commercial news, and just as Postman explains, presently, we are equipped with both fragmented and non-contextual news. Postman explains that we are presented with the news without consequences and also lack essential seriousness (Postman, 103). From the primary source, the ad cannot be taken with seriousness; it appears to be mere entertainment.

The perception of the ad relies heavily on the acceptability of the viewer. It is a tough position for a viewer because the context of the ad defies the whole essence as to why it was made. It is because the aspect of TV gives a new definition of truth, which relies on the credibility of the teller (Postman, 104). In our case, the credibility of the ad relies on the builders; they present the ultimate test of truth. They represent the broadcasters on a TV. The background noise and sounds made by running machines that are embedded in the ad are essential as they give the meaning of why construction men were chosen.

The attractiveness of the ad also relies on the shortness of it as it makes its coherence impossible (Postman, 104). The time frame of the ad is small, and it gives viewers a hard time understanding the essence of the ad. However, the aspect is essential for TV, entertainment shows, and ads. There is a trend that viewers have developed concerning the weight of information depicted in a TV show. No matter how grave or essential the information carried out in the show appears, they are always a series of commercials that follow shortly. The series of commercials destroy the importance of the prior news made.

Based on the YouTube ad, it carries vital information about gender equality and how women are important and should not be objectified. Shortly after that, the ad terminates by describing that snickers satisfy. Through this, the ad is rendered banal as it is predictable, just like Neil Postman explained. Postman describes that this is a critical element in the structure of almost all news programs, TV shows alongside YouTube ads. It is a claim that can be used to refute any ideas that can be used to identify the seriousness of TV news. Neil claims that TV news is designed without any severe form of public discourse (Postman, 106).

As per Neil’s explanation, the result of this is that Americans are the best entertained, right from YouTube ads, TV shows, together with the TV news. He throws shade at them by saying that they are likely the least informed people in the Western world (Postman, 110). It is achieved by the TV altering the meaning of “being informed” as they are busy creating a species of information that can be called disinformation. According to Postman’s analysis, everyone has an opinion to make about what they like and the events that they are “informed” about (Postman, 111).

Postman explains that through this, we are losing our sense of the meaning of being well-informed. A question about ignorance can be incorporated into the subject matter. However, ignorance can always be correctable; what should we do if we assume it to be knowledge? (Postman, 112).

Moreover, this falls on the category of exclusive assertions and contradictions even though they cannot be used in the same context and be correct. It results in making the context disappear hence lacking the essence of it altogether. Through fragmenting the ads, the contradiction disappears. The ad correctly supported the fundamental assumption of “Now This” as described in Postman’s analysis (Postman, 112). The ad is not coherent; instead, it presents a discontinuity. Postman’s analysis describes that in a world of discontinuities, a contradiction would not be useful so long as a test of truth is unavailable. According to the ad, contradiction does not exist (Postman, 112). Also, from the ad, it is evident that TV has achieved being the paradigm for our conception of public information. Also, Postman explains how it has obtained the power to define the form of how the news would be presented. Through this, it also defines how to respond to the news. TV has induced other media to do the same in terms of the information they present to the public.

Work Cited

Postman, Neil. “Chapter Title.” Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, Penguin, 2006, pp. xx-xx. (other chapters will be cited similarly; simply replace chapter title and page range)

top10commercials. “Snickers Australian commercial - Hungry Builders”YouTube, uploaded by top10commercials, 30 March 2014,

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