Authors: Nebahat Akgün Çomak and Nilüfer Pembecioğlu
Images of ‘WATER’ and ‘bottling water’ are becoming one of the most important concepts of the 21st century. Since the life is becoming more and more complex, the concept of water is changing from the traditional one to the modern. The very core of the human being and life, water, is now sold in a bottled way and usually under certain brands. Most of them are under the brands of national or international drink companies which are associated with trust. The sense of being in touch with the nature and healthy nutrition of the individual are most common topics to take place in any water commercial. Having an emphasis on the crystal water drops, it is possible to have scenes of springs in nature. The greener side of the world is represented and youth is usually associated with the images one could come across via the water commercials. However, looking at the water commercials in the television, different textual elements could be noticed.
Apart from the reality and specific value of water today, some of the commercials concentrate on the past and mythical values attributed to water. This paper questions the water issues concentrating on what is experienced in real life and how the truth is changed in the television commercials. As Barthes pointed out, the interpretation of a pictorial requires not only an understanding of its context and the (anchoring) verbal context, but also of ‘the different kinds of knowledge invested in the image (practical, national, cultural, aesthetic knowledge)’ as well as of the conventions surrounding the genre to which the representation belongs. Regarding the content of the commercials a classification of Barthes is used as it is simplified into five categories: Code of Actions, Code of Puzzles, Code of Connotations, Code of Culture, and Code of Symbols.
This paper concentrates on national and international wellknown and highly acclaimed television commercials broadcasted in Turkey and European countries. One of the main aims this paper is to see how the water brands and commercials are associated with the myths of the past and the other aim is to have discourse and content analysis of these commercials. The texts are analyzed through the action coded and function coded approaches positioning the mythical characters as opposed to the human – real character to each other regarding the relevance and appeal of the behaviors, actions or functions within the given story. The myths of the past provide intertextual elements which could also be hard to decipher in case of lack of information that might cause misunderstandings or misinterpretations.
Having the primary goal of revealing the discourse analysis of the commercials, the paper discusses how the myths are created in the 21st century and how are sold through the well known brands. The audiences are not only positioned as the viewers or the consumers but also the learners. This paper aims to present the different images and myths associated with the water and within the examples of Europe wide the commercials are analyzed.
Keywords: Myths, Water, Representation, Traditional, Modern