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Digital-Spectacular Advertisements

Honours Thesis, March 2007


This thesis is concerned with generically and formally defining the new and emerging television advertising form of the ‘digital-spectacular’ advertisement. It argues that the digital-spectacular advertisement is aesthetically and functionally a fundamentally different form compared to previous ‘classical’ television advertising forms. In particular, the thesis argues that the digital spectacular advertisement is informed and characterised by a logic and aesthetic of spectacle and display rather than the logic and aesthetic of information and narrative that informs and characterises traditional television advertising forms.

The thesis provides an overview and analysis of classical television advertising forms which is then followed by and contrasted to an in-depth analysis of the digital spectacular advertisement form. It looks in particular at each of these forms’ generic elements, aesthetics, modes of audience address and functions. In doing so, the thesis identifies the key elements and features that distinguish that digital spectacular advertisement from classical advertisement forms and allows us to clearly see that the digital spectacular advertisement is a new advertising form.

Digital spectacular aesthetics (PDF)

The Digital Surreal

Essay, September 2007


This article explores the changing spectacular aesthetic of the Hollywood science fiction film, in particular its shift to a far more surreal and spatial aesthetic as precipitated by new digital imaging technologies. Drawing parallels with the ‘cinema of attractions’, this article will analyse these emerging spectacular aesthetic features questioning why the science fiction genre provides a framework that allows audiences to be accepting of these images.

The digital surreal (PDF)