Decoding Advertising Lecture Notes
Signifier (Initial Stimulus) + Signified (Mind’s representation) = Denotative Sign, + connotative signifier
Words & Images have different levels of reading:
“Ads ask us to participate in ideological ways of seeing ourselves and the world.”
Ads are particular to time & place and reflect current political ideals/ social ideas/ cultural trends. Ads function within their context.
Ads reinforce particular cultural myths which are often presented as “natural” but represent a cultural norm or dominant ideology. There’s a reinforcing agenda surrounding advertisements.
Moral values – cultural norms and behaviour. Desirable traits are depicted as popular and normal within advertisements.
Representation of gender, class, & ethnicity.
Consumerism & Status – ideas that are reinforced as good for individuals. Constant competition for status amongst peers: buy status by consuming desirable products.
Semiotic decoding: Separate image and text
Decoding Advertisements Task - Panzani
A variety of fresh goods in a string bag, accompanied with the branded products spilling out of a string bag.
The text refers to Italy directly, and the pseudo-Italian brand name alludes to Italian origins. This message is reinforced by the Italian colour scheme. Primarily image-specific, elements of convergent anchorage, text compliments the primary image message.
Frame of reference
1960’s French magazine, Sunday issue.
Reinforces a perception of an Italian stereotype.
Decoding Advertisements Task - Joy By Dior
Youthful woman wearing a jewelled necklace backlit by sunlight submerged to her shoulders in water. Superimposed image of product in the bottom right of the image.
Convergent anchorage – the text connects the image content to the message
Frame of reference
The weekend guardian magazine, February 2019. Doubtless other magazines with a primarily female demographic.
Decoding Advertisements Task - Burger King
Printed Advertisement campaign launched in 2017.
Elliot Watson, Illustrator with a background in historical swordsmanship and all the weird and wonderful trappings that entails.