University of Washington Tacoma

Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship

Author Biography

Zandria Michaud is a senior at the University of Washington Tacoma pursuing a degree in American Studies with a minor in Global Engagement. She is particularly interested in critical theory as it relates to popular culture and politics.

Document Type

Undergraduate Research Paper


Family vacation advertisers want parents to believe that their destination will create memorable moments families cannot experience anywhere else. They want parents to believe their life will be better for choosing those experiences. But underneath advertisers' overt messages are hidden meanings related to their product and society. By looking at three contemporary TV family vacation advertisements, I discover the obvious, and not-so-obvious, messages these companies are sending viewers. These three advertisements commodify family by using elements of governmentality and nostalgia while hiding deeper ideologies like patriarchy and globalization. Critically studying these ads reveals cultural ideologies and norms. This essay begins with a brief description and basic semiotic analysis of each advertisement followed by a more in-depth analysis of the ideologies found in the ads. This study tries to expose, for parents, the real causes of their desire for idyllic family moments while also easing their fears that pricey vacations are necessary for creating the most meaningful memories.


University of Washington Tacoma


TGH 302 Global Imaginations: Global Image Culture


Joanne Clarke Dillman