This essay will analyze the advertisement in terms of their status as signs, whose associative meanings not only gave a favorable impression of the product, but were also compatible with, and complementary to, the masculine context in which they were situated; thus illustrating Roland Barthes claim that the reader can identify three â€œmessagesâ€ from a given image; the linguistic message, which means the words; the denoted image, which is the literal image; the coded or iconic message, and the connoted image; the symbolic image; the uncoded message.
The advertisement I will use as an example is 'Extreme Polo sport by Ralph Lauren. ...view middle of the document...
Although the advert projects a strong relationship between the product and the machismo of the subject, the fact that the two images exist in separate environments, respectfully understates this link, attributing the recipients with the intelligence to form it for them. Furthermore, the fact that iconic resemblance of the product is far larger than the subject, allows us to view the product as an entity in its own right, therefore placating our masculine sense of practicality. Although this advert appears to be simple, its connotative meanings allow our interpretation of it to be a pragmatic one, in that its signifiers have particular relevance with regards to the context of the advert. One such group of signifiers is the advertisement's colors. The Extreme Polo Sport is consists of a bold, aggressive color scheme of black) white, red and dark blue; and together with the silvery, metallic appearance of the product, this color scheme serves as a significant group of signifiers which attribute the brand with the same sense of masculinity which is projected by the subject, and the context (the magazine') Hence, the role and importance of this color scheme in both adverts shows that these colors are part of an organized system of signifiers who form significant cultural and aesthetic codes. In the case of the 'Extreme Polo Sport' advert, this code Mows the product to appear to be as indicative of masculinity, of the masculinity of the subject, and the masculinity of the recipient (the reader of FHM). In order to clarify this point, the aesthetic code which implies that red, black and silver, are masculine colors, is the same code which implies that pink and white symbolize femininity and purity.
Thus this advertisement is a strong example of the way an advert uses shared prior cultural experience to attribute meaning to its...