Media text: reading text, reading world

The world we are living in is a really complex world. Therefore, everything we interact with contains lots of complexities. Those differences are shaped by many elements from demographic to culture. That’s why in different situations and issues, people’s views vary in many distinctive ways. This diversity is an important part of communication of which the main purpose is to convey meaning and reach common understanding. Communicators, in particular advertisers and marketers, have exploited this variation to create creative visual products that are able to convey different meanings. Let us take a look as an example.


Above is a picture in Nike’s promotion campaign supporting England football team in the 2006 World Cup.

First of all, we can see this is a really impressive picture with an eye-catching expression. Featuring in the image is English striker Wayne Rooney, half-naked with his common goal celebration. On his body is a red cross which looks like paint or blood. Nike’s logo and slogan ‘Just do it’ is located on the bottom right corner. It can be seen that Rooney’s expression is really incentive.

This picture can be explained in a way that it supports England football team as the red cross and the white background (both the real white background and Rooney’s skin) represent England national flag. Rooney is the core factor of the team as he is a raising star and a great scorer so his influence is significant. His goal celebration also means victory which is the aim of England team in the World Cup.

Another explanation could derive from Nike’s slogan ‘Just do it’. The red colour of the cross can be related to strength and enthusiasm which are the attributes that Nike wants its athletes and customers to have. Moreover, the material of the cross looks like blood, which represents the efforts and dedication of people to thing they do. ‘Just do it’ – no matter it can be difficult or paintful. Wayne Rooney at that time is a young, talented athlete who can be a great model for the optimistic, fearless spirit that Nike wants to convey.

The example above is just one of a millions creative products that convey different meanings. The variation means that effective communicators have to aware of the similarities as well as the differences of the environments they want to engage with. How people read media texts is how they read the world. They are different because our world is just awesome.


Alan 2015, #TBT June 2006 | Nike put the St George’s Cross on Wayne Rooney, Footy-Boots, viewed 19th March 2016,



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