Essay on Semiotics And Identity Adtext Analysis Jeol Efthimiou Eftjy001

Submitted By jeolefmo
Words: 1572
Pages: 7

“Semiotics -provides useful tools for understanding and analysing adtexts – their meanings and the sociopolitical effects they produce. Using critical tools such as sign, signifier, signified, connotation, denotation, myth, representation, discourse etc., critically analyse three adtexts: discuss the ways in which meaning is made, as well as the possible effects of such meaning.” The purpose of this critical analysis is to compare and contrast three magazine adtexts using the understanding of semiotics. Sebeok describes the scope of semiotics and its subject matter to include the exchange of any messages of the systems of signs which underlie them (Sebeok 1976). Semiotics is known to include the study of a sign (signifier and signified), denotation, connotation, codes, conventions, cultural knowledge and myth. Each of these will be discussed in detail in relation to the three chosen adtexts. The chosen adtexts are examples of magazine advertising from three different brands of the same type of product, in this case automobiles. Each brand has both similar and contrasting ways in which they choose to promote their own product, each of which will be discussed throughout this critical analysis.
In regards to semiotics, a ‘sign’, according to Saussure, is made up of two components. These components consist of the form (the actual word, photo, image, etc.) and the idea that the form brought with it. Saussure named the concept of form the ‘signifier’; and the second element - the coinciding thoughts which the signifier provokes - the ‘signified’ (Hall 2003). Each of the chosen adtexts share two of the same types of key signifiers: the actual vehicle they are selling and the company’s logo. Due to Audi’s identity and reputation, each time the receiver recognises the company’s logo they will automatically assume the product advertised is of high quality, elegance and stature. On the other hand, Land Rover’s emblem represents a rugged type of vehicle, fit for use on all terrain and conditions. Abarth’s label brings the reputation of a racing bred car manufacturer, which is completely different to the previous companies mentioned.
Usual use of the term 'myth' refers to a belief, which is usually false, but the semiotic use of the term does not necessarily suggest this (Chandler 2000). We can assume that because these companies are culturally known, their reputation will automatically be reflected in the product they have manufactured, whether it is true or not. When this occurs, we can recognise the myth at work.
A vehicle’s literal meaning of the signifier, otherwise known as denotation (Chandler 2007 p.137), would be a machine capable of transporting passengers and cargo from point A to point B. However, on closer inspection we are able to see that each of the cars advertised signify many contrasting connotations. Audi’s adtext shows the vehicle in high gloss black paint under stunning studio lighting, which clearly accentuates its shine. The windows shown are tinted black, indicating privacy similar to that of a limousine. Both of these factors signify the type of elegance expected when speaking of an Audi made product. Land Rover’s magazine adtext portrays its product in a different way to the Audi. The vehicle is far from clean, and is displayed parked in somebody’s driveway. As it is covered in icicles and frost, one could assume that this car is capable of handling the roughest conditions possible. Contrary to both Audi and Range Rover’s displayed vehicles, Abarth shows its product back to back with the original 1963 version of the same model. This displays the car company’s obvious pride of its successful racing heritage. Although each of the chosen adtexts are advertising the same type of product, cars, the key signifiers and what they signify are quite different.
Along with the two key signifier types the three adtexts share, there are a few signifiers none have in common. For example, the centrepiece of Audi’s full