Signs tend to change meaning over time:1980 Hostage CrisisYellow ribbons hung “we want you back theme”.Sign taken from 1972 songPersian Gulf WarYellow ribbons hung carried the same message.Though presence of shameful acts or forgivenessPride in victory
Every ideological sign isresult of two interconnectedsign systemsFirst is descriptive –Denotative sign systemDescriptive sign withoutideological contentConnotative sidestepKey to transformationSecondary (connotative)systemConnotative sign systemA mythic sign that has lostits historical referent; formwithout surface
1972 SongForgiveness to stigmaHostage crisisWe want you backPersian GulfPride in victoryPost 9/11Support of nationalism
Connotative Sign“We’re number one” War meant ghastly DEATH
1998 NBA PlayoffsMichael Jordan Gatorade CommercialMJ/Gatorade
“Like Mike”Denotative systemSell GateradeConnotative systemThe ad becomes culturallylinkedAfrican American childSinging “that he is me”Look of yearningAudience invited toparticipate in ad.
Commercial functions as aglorification of unfulfilleddesireLife Lesson + Theirproduct = strong consumerresponseFuels capitalist systemMaintain the dominance ofthose who hold the reins ofcommerce and power