Ads and Their Meanings

untitled.pngSemiotics has to be one of my favorite topics to discuss when it comes to the ad industry. I don’t know how many of you have taken persuasion here, at RIT, but it looks at the ELM model which breaks down how we think as consumers. There are two routes a central and a peripheral. The central route is geared more towards avid thinkers. People that do a lot of cognitive thinking when trying to be persuaded by an ad for example. Then there is the peripheral route which is geared more toward people that don’t really think too much when it comes to being persuaded. They like to use peripheral cues which include, attractiveness, credibility, non-verbal behavior, and much more. If we see an ad with a well credited celebrity we are most likely going to be persuaded to buy that product featured in the ad.

Semiotics is very similar. We like ads that have attention grabbing detail. Color, looks, placement, the meaning all play a part. When looking at an ad you the literal meaning (denotative) and the meaning that pops into our mind when we think about it (cognitive). In this ad you can see the color pink a lot, so we instantly think girls, which means this ads target market is girls. We see smooth legs with not a lot around them so that the focus is on the legs and then we see little people touching the legs. Then the tag line that says “Legs so amazing, its like we’re at work even after you shave.” So we see physical things: A human y that seems to be a lady, with the focus on the legs, the color pink, the little people, a bathroom. These are denotative. The cogitative is thought process of seeing the legs that look to be smooth and soft, and people touching them and then we read the tag line so it helps us guide our mind to see that its a shaving ad. They didn’t over power the ad with color which is smart because the consumer eye would be all over, but it also helps our eye go right to the people who are wearing pink. What’s interesting to me that I would question to you or anyone is what about transgender people? would they maybe change this ad to market a little better to them? This ad is targeting women but do you guys think this ad could have been made to fit all aspects? or do you think they could have tweaked a few things to make it that much better? Just curious to see what you guys think!


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