Bambang Sukma Wijaya(1*)

(1) Brand scientist, strategist, and culturalist at the Department of Communication Science, Bakrie University
(*) Corresponding Author


The study of branded reality show is still very limited, especially in the perspective of discursive psychoanalysis. In fact, the phenomenon of reality show is currently growing in the television industry, so brands are inspired to create similar programs. This paper aims to analyze the desire and pleasure of success are presented and disclosed by branded reality show ‘Diplomat Success Challenge’ on a national TV channel in Indonesia. Using discursive psychoanalysis method in the Lacanian perspective, author found that participants in the ‘Diplomat Success Challenge’ saw competitors (other participants) as ‘other’ in imaginary phase which is the object of desire in having the pleasure of success, while the audience used the praticipants as reflection of their desire and pleasure of success. There are two tendencies of the spectatorship style in responding to the discourse. In one hand the audiences tend to be more emphatic and figural, while on the other hand they tend to be more logic and systematic. In addition, the desire and pleasure of success in the ‘Diplomat Success Challenge’ becomes a powerful discourse that alienated negative issues related to the Diplomat as a tobacco product brand. Thus, the politics of reality through a discourse of success in the branded reality show has successfully infiltrated into the subconscious and control the public consciousness.


Desire and Pleasure of Success, Branded Reality Show, ‘Diplomat Success Challenge’, Discursive Psychoanalysis, Spectatorship

Full Text:



Adi, I. R. (2006). “A Symbolic Reality of American Television: A Case Study of the Jerry Springer Show”. Jurnal Humaniora, Vol. 18, No. 2, 191-199.

Alasuutari, P. (1999). “Introduction: Three Phases of Reception Studies” in P. Alasuutari (ed), Rethinking the Media Audience: the New Agenda, 1-21. London: Sage Pub.

Alcorn, M. W. (1994). “The Subject of Discourse: Reading Lacan through (and Beyond) Poststructuralist Contexts” in M. Bracher, M. W. Alcorn, Jr., R. J. Corthell & F. Massardier-Kenney (eds). Lacanian Theory of Discourse: Subject, Structure, and Society. NY: New York University Press.

Aslama, M. & Pantti, M. (2006). “Talking Alone: Reality TV, Emotions and Authenticity”. European Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2, 167-184.

Bennett, W. L. (2005). “News as Reality TV: Election Coverage and the Democratization of Truth”. Critical Studies in Media Communication, Vol. 22, No. 2, 171-177.

Billig, M. (2006). “Lacan’s Misuse of Psychology: Evidence, Rhetoric and the Mirror Stage”. Theory Culture Society, Vol. 23, No. 4, 1-26.

Bonsu, S. K., A. Darmody & M. A. Parmentier. (2010). “Arrested Emotions in Reality Television”. Consumption Markets & Culture, Vol. 13, No. 1, 91-107.

Bourdieu, P. (2001). “Television”. European Review, Vol. 9, No. 3, 245-256.

Brioux, B. (2008). Truth and Rumors: The Reality behind TV’s Most Famous Myths. USA: Praeger.

Coles, G. (2000). “Docusoap: Actuality and the Serial Format” in B. Carson & M. Llewellyn-Jones (eds), Frames and Fictions on Television: The Politics of Identity in Drama, 27-39. Exeter: Intellect.

Cornwell, T. B., M. S. Humphreys, A. M. Maguire, C. S. Weeks & C.

L. Tellegen. (2006). “Sponsorship-Linked Marketing: The Role of Articulation in Memory”. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 33, No. 3, 312-321.

Deery, J. (2004). “Reality TV as Advertainment”. Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1-20.

Feagin, S. L. (1984). “Some Pleasures of Imagination”. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 43, No. 1, 41-55.

Fink, B. (1996). The Lacanian Subject, Between Language and Jouissance. USA: Princeton University Press.

Flitterman-Lewis, S. (2005). “Psychoanalysis, Film, and Television” in R. C. Allen (ed), Channels of Discourse, Reassembled: Television and Contemporary Criticism, 152-185. UK: Routledge.

Grassl, W. (1999). “The Reality of Brands: Towards an Ontology of Marketing”. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 58, No. 2, 313-359.

Hill, A. (2005). Reality TV: Audiences and Popular Factual Television. Oxon: Routledge.

Kirshner, L. A. (2005). “Rethinking Desire: The Objet Petit A in Lacanian Theory”. Journal of the American Association Psychoanalytic, Vol. 53, No. 1, 83-102.

Kjus, Y. (2009). “Idolizing and Monetizing the Public: The Production of Celebrities and Fans, Representatives and Citizens in Reality TV”. International Journal of Communication, Vol. 3, 277-300.

Komberger, M. (2010). Brand Society, How Brands Transform Management and Lifestyle. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

La Ferle, C. & Edwards, S. M. (2006). “Product Placement: How Brands Appear on Television”. Journal of Advertising, Vol. 35, No. 4, 65-86.

Lacan, J (1997). The Language of the Self: The Function of Language in Psychoanalysis. Translated by Anthoni Wilden. USA: John Hopkins University Press.

_____. (2006). Ecrits (the first complete edition in English). Translated by Bruce Fink in collaboration with Heloi’se Fink and Russell Grigg. NY: Norton & Company.

Lehu, Jean-Marc. (2007). Branded Entertainment: Product Placement and Brand Strategy in the Entertainment Business. USA: Kogan Page.

MetroTV (2013). ‘Diplomat Success Challenge’ Episode: 1-GF. Retrieved on January 31, 2014, from

Miel, J. (1966). “Jacques Lacan and the Structure of the Unconscious”. Yale French Studies (Structuralism), Vol. 36/37, 104-111.

Nabi, R. L. (2007). “Determining Dimensions of Reality: A Concept Mapping of the Reality TV Landscape”. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Vol. 51, No. 2, 371-390.

Ott, B. L. (2004). “(Re)locating Pleasure in Media Studies: Toward an Erotic of Reading”. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, 194-212.

Papacharissi, Z. & A. L. Mendelson (2007). “An Exploratory Study of Reality Appeal: Uses and Gratifications of Reality TV Shows”. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Vol. 51, No. 2, 355-370.

Ragland, E. (2000). “Dreams According to Lacan’s re-interpretation of the Freudian Unconscious”. Parallax, Vol. 6, No. 3, 63-81.

Reiss, S. & J. Wiltz (2004). “Why People Watch Reality TV”. Media Psychology, Vol. 6, No. 4, 363-378.

Ruddock, A. (2001). Understanding Audiences: Theory and Method. London: Sage Pub.

Russell, C. A. (2007). Advertainment: Fusing Advertising and Entertainment. USA: Yaffee Center for Persuasive Communication University of Michigan.

Ruti, M. (2010). “The Singularity of Being: Lacan and the Immortal Within”. Journal of the American Association Psychoanalytic, Vol. 58, No. 6, 1113-1138.

Saukko, P. (2003). Doing Research in Cultural Studies: An Introduction to Classical and New Methodological Approaches. London: Sage Pub.

Shusterman, R. (1982). “Aesthetic Blindness to Textual Visuality”. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. XLI, No. 1, 88.

Vasseleu, C. (1991). “The Face before the Mirror- Stage”. Hypatia, Vol. 6, No. 3, 140-155.

W. R. (1835). “The Pleasures of Hope”. The Dublin Penny Journal, Vol. 4, No. 177, 163-164.

Wijaya, B. S. (2011). “Model Komunikasi Berasa dalam Komunikasi Pemasaran: Studi mengenai Iklan Ambient Media dalam Meraih Kepercayaan Khalayak Konsumen”. Journal Communication Spectrum, Vol. 1, No. 1, 55-74.

_____. (2013). “Dimensions of Brand Image: A Conceptual Review from the Perspective of Brand Communication”. European Journal of Business and Management, Vol. 5, No. 31, 55-65.

Winston, B. (1995). Claiming the Real: The Documentary Film Revisited, London: British Film Institute.

Wismilak-diplomat (2013). About the Competition. Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from

Zizek, S. (1997). The Plague of Fantasies. NY: Verso.


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 856 | views : 984


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 Bambang Sukma Wijaya

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 ISSN: 2302-9269 (Online)

web counter View My Stats