4. Danish advertising – cultural value analysis
4.2. Method and purposes
In a previous section dedicated to the characterization of Danish culture according to various sources: geographical, economical, political data, self-portrays furnished by Danish authors or discussions with natives subjects, a series of hypothesis have been formulated about the content and the executional strategy used in Danish advertising. Such hypothesis will be tested by the confrontation with a corpus of 125 (112) television commercials which have been coded, according to a number of variables, by Danish native respondents.
The commercials have been collected from TV 2, which according to Danish legislation is the only national channel allowed to broadcast advertisements and sponsored programs  . The company TV2 Reklame A/S, set up by the Ministry of Culture, sells advertising time on TV2 and supplies blocks of advertisements and teletext advertisement to the TV2 broadcaster  . The option for TV 2 is also justified by statistical data showing that TV 2 is the most watched television channel in Denmark with a share of market of 38%, towards DR (21%) and TV 3 (11%). The data are slightly different if only the households with access to all three main television channels are considered.
The corpus restricts only to commercials delivered in primetime during 4 weeks in November and December. The notion primetime covers in this study the interval between 18 – 22 (local hour). Along this span time commercials were distributed in blocks of 12-14 commercials covering an interval of 10 minutes or in blocks of 4-10 commercials covering an interval of time less than 10 minutes. Expected inserts of advertisement are: before the news of 18'o clock, between news and weather forecast from 18:13, 18:16; after the news at 18:25, before the news of 19. Local news programme is also preceded by a block of local advertisement; the latter have not been taken into account for the present study. Another insert is expected after the main news programme of the evening, usually at 19:55. According to Danish Broadcasting Act advertising cannot interrupt a programme and thus they have to be delivered only in blocks between the programmes.
Respondents were provided with a questionnaire including for parameters of description: cultural value, gender role, executional strategy and the use of humoristic effects in the commercial. A table including Pollay's list (see appendix 4) of cultural values with a short description of each value and a table providing a number of possible executional strategies were also available to each respondent. Coders were instructed to read carefully the tables appended before filling the form and while watching commercials to associate each commercial with one or maximum two values from Pollay's list and with one executional strategy. In previous research respondents were instructed to map the commercial with only one value from the table provided, but often they were hesitating between two values to ascribe to one message and the need to eliminate one of them could have been considered an important source of error. In fact the two values ascribed have often been found to correspond to only one value in the systems proposed by other authors. Coders have been also instructed to pay attention to gender role in commercial and to describe it as traditional or less traditional according to the cultural paradigms they have internalized. In the case of non-traditional roles they were instructed to provide a short explanation. Finally they were asked to mention whether the commercial has a humoristic effect on the audience and to specify the source of it.
 The Danish Broadcasting Act, chapter 4, art. 18.
 Idem, chapter 4, art. 31-33.
Copyright©2002 Gabriela SAUCIUC, all rights reserved.
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