Week 9 – Do Visual Media Work Differently to Other Media Forms?

Yes, visual media do work differently to other forms of media to a certain extent. Things have to be perceptible by the sense of sight in order for them to be considered as visual. Media, on the other hand, is the means of communication through televisions and newspapers to name a few. Apart from the obvious difference that visual and non-visual media require the use of different senses such as seeing and hearing, I think that their audiences would also have dissimilar perceptions and are most likely to engage themselves with these respective forms of media on different levels.

Visual images in commercials displayed on television screens play a dynamic role in influencing perceptions of their targeted audiences based on how persuasive or appealing their content is. These commercials have the advantage of combining both visual and sound into promoting their products and are usually successful in altering perceptions of viewers into thinking that the advertisers are always right. As mentioned previously in the lecture, visual technologies are thought to “dominate by separating us from our embodied experience, and giving us a distant ‘world view’ or ‘world picture’”. Engagement with visual media is very high because of the need for viewers to watch and listen to be able to fully understand the key messages that advertisers are trying to put across. With full concentration on the television screen, the viewer is vulnerable to taking in information and visuals that may alter his perception to this “distant ‘world view’ or ‘world picture’”. This HTC advertisement from 2011 is an example of a combination of visual and sound media to capture the attention of its target audiences.

A radio, on the other hand, may not be able to make an impact strong enough to change audiences’ perceptions as successfully as compared to a television. Rather than having to sit or stay in a position to watch a television, radio-listeners are able to multi-task. For example, an individual may be driving while tuning in to a radio station in his vehicle. This results in less concentration on the radio and the inability for listeners to absorb everything that they hear from the medium. Therefore, level of engagement is usually not as high as compared to visual media.

In addition, since the radio is a form of media that is non-visual, the supplied content is thought evoking and also gives listeners the freedom to create their own perceptions from what they hear.

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