Representation of Advertising on the Elderly and Its Signification － IBK Ads Featuring an Elderly TV Celebrity Song Hae －
We are living in an era when the average life expectancy is heading for 100. Since 2000, we have entered into the aging society where the elderly accounts for more than 7% of the total population, and it is expected that we will be in the aged society in 2018 where population aged 65 and above accounts for 14%. The increase in the number of the population of the elderly in our society has already played the role of the subject, not surpluses, and the elderly still plays the major role in production with the Act on Retirement Age Extension to Sixty’ passed at the National Assembly (April 30, 2013) allowing the extension of the retirement age. In addition, it is important to note the fact that active seniors, an independent and active senior group, have emerged and become the leading subject of consumption.
The theoretical review of this study mainly discusses the categorization of the elderly by age and the dependency of the elderly on mass media and advertisements as a source of information.
In mass media, including TV advertisements, the elderly are still described in a stereotypical manner, appearing only as physically powerless grandfathers and grandmothers in traditional families. In addition, the elderly are portrayed as funny characters in the advertisement for IT companies. However, TV advertisements have gradually started to show the elderly who are psychologically and financially independent.
As a research method, this study employed the text analysis from the semiotics of Saussure and investigated signifier and signified in advertisements, and postulated their primary and secondary signification processes.
‘Positive’ here refers to a certain ‘nature’ of the elderly group who are still financially and socially independent with the emergence of the active seniors. This will be defined later when explaining the ‘positive code.’ The ‘positive code’ means the type of being positive, the degree of being positive, and the positive contents of advertisements both in terms of products and services.
This paper is one of a few studies that define the elderly as a mechanism of socialization, regarding TV advertisements featuring the elderly as the cultural contents. The status of the elderly is now changing into that of the independent consumers and the producers of culture, rather than the surplus others. Thus, this paper attempted to open a new horizon of the recognition that the image of the elderly has positively changed, as they are living more positive lives than before.
Studies on the elderly are the imminent subject, regardless of the disciplines. In addition, it is hoped that mass media are increasingly portraying the elderly positively and that studies on the elderly will be conducted in a positive and humanitarian perspective.