Saturday, July 08, 2006

Framing 101: Early advertising on core messages

As a follow-up to the previous posting, here are two advertisements that currently run in German print media. My colleague Matthew C. Nisbet over at framing science already explained how some of these ads can be used to frame public discourse and change the interpretive schema that audiences use to think about scientific breakthroughs.

What’s most interesting about these ads is the lack of focus on a specific product or innovation. They are all about corporate image and about the notion of scientific breakthroughs serving the common good. The IBM ad, for example concludes by saying:
“This service of the IBM Computational Biotechnology Center is only one of many resources that is also available to you, should you ever need it. Interested in innovation for results? Talk to the company that inspires innovative thinkers: IBM.

What makes you so unique? IBM.”

The phrase “innovation for results,” of course, frames the core message: Emerging technologies have direct, measurable benefits for individual consumers. In fact, the IBM ad explicitly refers to the idea of individualized medications based on a patient’s DNA code.

The second ad is the one that was featured on framing science before. Sponsored by pharmaceutical firms, it features patients who survived severe illness because they underwent various innovative treatments. The consistent message across all different versions of the print ad: Research is important and research will benefit everyone.
“We are already able to help millions of people. But we can’t help everybody yet. That’s why we continue to do research. And we think everyone should get the very best medicine.”