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Gutlay, K. Z. (2017). Seeing double: The real and the reel Escolta in selected television commercials (Unpublished undergraduate thesis). University of the Philippines Diliman, College of Mass Communication.

This study sets out with the aim of examining how selected television commercials construct the image of Escolta through production techniques. Guided by hyperrealism, this study explores the relationship between real and imagined elements in the constructed image of Escolta in six television commercials and assesses whether these result to a hyperreal Escolta.

Building from concepts in media geography and urban studies, this study employs a two-level analysis. First is a textual analysis derived from Mennel's (2008) procedure of reading cities in film wherein the production techniques in each shot of the six commercials are identified and described. In the second level of analysis, I apply Lynch's (1960) elements of the city’s image in interpreting the data gathered. To further enrich my analysis of the relationship between the reel and the real Escolta, I trace Escolta’s identities as constructed in historical accounts and also take a trip into the real Escolta.

The findings of this study indicate that the six television commercials interweave reality and imagination to construct a hyperreal image of Escolta. Although the six commercials possess real elements, they each commodify and glamorize the landscapes of Escolta to the point that the Escolta on television and the Escolta in the real world become two different places—thus, creating what Fletchall, Lukinbeal, and Mchugh (2012) call the paradox of two places in one location. Ultimately, the findings of this study hope to enhance the understanding of the power of places in television commercials especially in creating and strengthening stereotypes of places; which in turn might urge media producers to be more conscious of the implications of the images they create and disseminate.

Keywords: hyperreal, Escolta, television commercials, media geography

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