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Reading Advertisements. The Advertising Business. professionalized & competitive – highly creative, well-educated people studied semiotics (Brit ad agency called Semiotic Solutions) makes ads more effective large sums spent on it thought to be effective. Review: Semiotics. signs codes

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The advertising business l.jpg
The Advertising Business

  • professionalized & competitive – highly creative, well-educated people

  • studied semiotics (Brit ad agency called Semiotic Solutions)

  • makes ads more effective

  • large sums spent on it

  • thought to be effective

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Review: Semiotics

  • signs

  • codes

  • conventions

  • denotation

  • connotation

  • myth

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Myth

  • ways of thinking re people, products, places, ideas

  • structured to send messages

  • We combine signs in complex ways to endow denoted objects with mythic meanings

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Meaning

  • semiotic analysis assumes that meanings designed to speak to audiences

  • shape & lend significance to experience of reality

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Analysing advertising self-evident

  • 1st separate ads from their normal environment

  • then ID visual & linguistic signs

  • see how signs org’d - note how they relate to each other thru coding systems

  • see what social myths ad draws on – reinforce or challenge?

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Semiotic Critique of Ads self-evident

  • step 1: note various signs in ads

  • a.t. that carries meaning = sign

  • also connotations – meanings that come from culture

  • mythic meanings – larger concepts that images rep

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Ideology in ads self-evident

  • ad constructed in such way that mythic meaning appears automatic, unsurprising

  • Yet it’s always a product of structure

  • message communicated by structure of signs

  • code: particular language or system of signs

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The ideology of ads self-evident

  • ads give meanings to products, buyers & readers of ads – also to social world – process

  • central: way ads address us as readers/consumers

  • beer, jeans, perfume become indexical signs of soc ID - signify s.t. re consumers

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NEW271Y consumption as positive activity that grants us membership in lifestyle groups


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Multiple elements l.jpg
Multiple Elements consumption as positive activity that grants us membership in lifestyle groups

  • linguistic signs (wds beneath pic) ‘anchor’ meanings of image – control ways of decoding

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intertextuality consumption as positive activity that grants us membership in lifestyle groups

  • borrowing signs & meanings from another media text

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intertextual reference consumption as positive activity that grants us membership in lifestyle groups

  • targets specific group

  • positive mythic meanings attained by those who can decode ad

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Multiple Possible Meanings consumption as positive activity that grants us membership in lifestyle groups

  • ads can be read diff ways

  • no single or fixed IDs

  • sites where several coded meanings overlap & oscillate – don’t need to decide on single meaning

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Use of irony consumption as positive activity that grants us membership in lifestyle groups

  • denoted meaning

  • connoted meaning contradicts denoted meaning

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Multiple Meanings consumption as positive activity that grants us membership in lifestyle groups

  • no one correct meaning – not self-contained structure

  • meanings inflected & altered by intertextual field of other ads

  • have to factor in social context of ads & of readers

  • multiple meanings – polysemic

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Intermission consumption as positive activity that grants us membership in lifestyle groups

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Bibliography consumption as positive activity that grants us membership in lifestyle groups

  • J. Cannon, P. O. de Baubeta & R. Warner (eds), Advertising & Identity in Europe: The I of the Beholder (Exeter: Intellect, 2000)

  • G. Cook, The Discourse of Advertising (London: Routledge, 1992).

  • G. Dyer, Advertising as Communication (London: Methuen, 1982).

  • E. Goffman, Gender Advertisements (London: Methuen, 1979).

  • R. Goldman, Reading Ads Socially (London: Routledge, 1992).

  • G. Myers, Words in Ads (London: Edward Arnold, 1994).

  • G. Myers, Ad Worlds: Brands, Media, Audiences (London: Arnold, 1999).

  • K. Myers, Understains: The Sense and Seduction of Advertising (London: Comedia, 1986).

  • S. Nixon, Hard Looks: Masculinities, Spectatorship and Contemporary Consumption (London: UCL Press, 1996).

  • J. Umiker-Sebeok (ed), Marketing and Semiology (Amsterdam: Mouton de Gruyter, 1987).

  • T. Vestergaard & K. Shroeder, The Language of Advertising (Oxford: Blackwell, 1985).

  • R. White, Advertising: What It Is and How To Do It (London: McGraw Hill, 1988).

  • J. Williamson, Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising (London: Marion Boyars, 1978).

  • J. Winship, Inside Women’s Magazines (London: Pandora, 1987).

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Useful Websites consumption as positive activity that grants us membership in lifestyle groups

  • Emergence of Advertising in America 1850-1920: scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/eaa/search.html

  • Historical Picture Collections: history.sandiego.edu/gen/documents/clipsources.html

  • RareAds.com: www.rareads.com

  • Semiotic Analysis of Images: www.newcastle.edu.au/discipline/fine-art/theory/analysis/semiotic.htm

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