The Work Of Shaun Jacques

Semiotic Analysis:

For this week’s task we were asked to work in groups to semiotic analyse three advertisements, in denotation, connotation and myth. I worked in a small group consisting of myself, Laura Garwood and Sam Soane in which we looked at one contemporary advertisement, one old fashioned advert and one foreign.

We started off with the contempary ad which was chosen by Sam, this was the latest Heineken advert which can be seen below.

In this very short advertisement a number of different denotations and connotations are shown and the many connotations come together to create myth, for example we discussed the stereotype that women want to show off and are impressed by another woman’s wardrobe (particularly shoes) we also noted that the ‘host’ of the party on the female side, seemed to stand out a bit more in terms of dress style and poise suggesting that the woman was aiming to show off rather than involve her guests, which is in stark contrast to the ‘screaming men’ in the room down the hall, the men all seem to be excited together and the implied suggestion of the ‘walk-in fridge’ is that the male host has said something along the line of ‘what’s mine is yours’ this is implied by the equal sense of joy and group hugs, etc…which was less apparent in the wardrobe. The scream of the men themselves is a joke of the advert that seems to imply a sense of irony as the men act more effeminate from the sound and when we see them seem to be acting like children. there are also signs of gender stereotypes in the closing shots as the ‘male’ side of the kitchen/corridor is messy, covered in half eating food and empty beer bottles, whereas the side that the women are entering from is stunningly clean. The reccuring theme of the advertisement i think is that heineken brings people together.

The next advertisement was one from Laura which was a 1950’s advertisement for Fairy Liquid

This was an advert which provided some interesting discussion. as mentioned before the advertisement was made in the 1950’s when gender roles and expectations in society were completely different, (although judging by most adverts i’d disagree with that in the media at least.) one important note is that there is not one person with a Y chromosome in the advert, the ad presents the idea of a ‘perfect’ family, the housewife (and she is defiantly a wife due to the wedding ring, no single parents here) is seen washing her dishes in her stunningly clean kitchen, even the dishes she’s cleaning don’t seem too dirty, while her daughter is playing with some empty fairy bottles, suggesting that fairy has been in their life for a long time and brings the family together, there’s no shouting or raised voices for the full bottle back either, it’s all very polite. This advertisement brought some anger out of the girls in the group and it’s not hard to see why, as the implied myth is that the husband is out doing the labor while the woman must stay at home, it’s implied by the wedding rings and the nicely dressed wife almost as if she’s preparing for her husband to come home to comfort him from his working day. this obviously wasn’t as big of a deal in the 50’s and an advert like this would have been perfectly acceptable. Sam also shown me ‘the good wife’s guide‘ which was another 50’s article that played to this myth.

Finally was an advertisement I chose from italy.

This was an advert for Mediaset Premium, which is essentially Italy’s equivalent to Sky Sports or ESPN. the advertisement starts off with a poster which implies that trials are taking place for 07/08 this is the denotation, the conontation or implied meaning is that this is for the upcoming football season, this is backed up further when we see a person doing ‘keepy-up’s’ with a football, we see a judging commitee in a darkened room which seems to imply a lot of pressure as well as the counter appearing overhead. judging by the numbers on the board (4 0’s) it’s implied that the player must reach 1000 kickups, a ridiculous task that would take years of practice to recreate if at all possible. however the player takes this pressure and ignores it, he seems to make the challenge seem easy, he gets to 999 when someone else walks in causing him to lose concentration and fail 1 off, the seemingly easy nature of the task is backed up once again when he asked (by football legend ‘Pele’) to start over, instead of moaning and complaining he takes it in his stride before the channel is advertised, I believe that this is a stark contrast to the other adverts, the other ads were implying that if you bought this product you’re life would be just like theirs, whereas this advert seems to be saying, these people are incredible and the only way you’re going to see what they do for real rather than in training is to purchase our TV channel’s viewing rights. there have been adverts used by TV companies before suggesting buying the channels could improve your social life, but this certainly not one of them, this advert seems to build up the myth of footballers as superhuman beings above the common worker or even general athlete and the audience for the most part buys into it.


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