Semiotic Analysis of 3 Magazine Advertisements Essay

Words: 2399
Pages: 10

In this modern world that allows consumers access to dozens of instances of media advertisements per day (consciously, or sub-consciously), it is important to be able to recognize and interpret advertisements on a deeper level. These advertisements are comprised of several codes and conventions that are designed to attract attention to certain attributes of a product in order to sell it to the chosen target market. One effective method of targeting and selling a product to a specific demographic is through magazine advertising. Magazines have very specific niche markets in which consumers purchase a magazine based on their individual hobbies, wants, needs, social class etc. This allows marketers to target a specific market by placing an ad …show more content…
A very visible aspect of the ad is the large circles and ‘scribbled' text that is written on the face of the model in the ad. This text and circled elements are meant to look as though they were written on the ad with chalk or a marker. There are various circles on the model's face that are tied to text that reads for example "prevent grey skin" and "limit smoker lines" (see figure B). These marks are meant to look as though they were placed there by a doctor circling physical aspects that will be altered (Machin, 2006) - similar to a pre-plastic surgery consultation (Parasecoli, 2005). The signifiers of the ad are the image of the young, pretty woman coupled with the ‘scribbled doctor's changes' that combine to form the signified idea of the end result of a woman improving her physical appearance by quitting smoking. A paradigmatic analysis ‘involves comparing and contrasting each of the signifiers present in the text with absent signifiers which in similar circumstances might have been chosen, and considering the significance of the choices made' (Pardigmatic analysis website). A paradigmatic analysis of this ad can be carried out to determine why the creators decided to go with the ‘doctor's scribbles' method rather than simply stating the positive attributes associated with quitting smoking. The answer can be found when examining the culture in which the ad exists – one that