Media Theory Revision Guide

"...essential for all media students"

All A level theorists covered alongside revision summaries and exam practise exercises.





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Genre difference


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Tide’s 1950 advert conforms to the advertising expectations of the period. Its use of Z-line layouts and illustrated imagery delivered familiarity to its audience; yet the product also tests advertising expectations of the time - using, notably, an intertextual reference to the iconic 'We Can Do It' propaganda poster in a bid to provoke a nostalgic or patriotic response from the product's female consumers. 


Contrary to the WW2 call for female labour, however, this poster’s female lead firmly repositions its readers within the domestic sphere - echoing the social changes wrought through wartime demobilisation. Neale would suggest that the poster, in this sense, offers genre driven familiarity, yet the unusual use of intertextuality also tests those expectations. The poster also departs from genre driven norms as a result its social and historical context.

Z-line layout

An advertising layout that places important information at the top and bottom of the page with a strong diagonal composition connecting the two elements.

Media terminology used


The referencing of another media text within a media product. Intertextuality rewards knowing audiences or can provoke audience nostalgia.

Audience nostalgia

Referencing products or ideas that prompt audience to think of their past. A powerful narrative strategy used by media makers to engage audience interest.

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Media Theory for A Level
The Essential Revision Guide