Analyzing print ads (fidji perfume ad)


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Analyzing print ads (fidji perfume ad)

  1. 1. Analyzing Print AdsFidji (chapter 8, Berger)
  2. 2. What is there to analyze in an Ad?Design (balance, asymmetry)Copy/Design relationshipWhite spacePhotographic angles (significance, look up, down orequal to subjects)Lighting, shadows (mood)Colors (which and significance of)
  3. 3. Imaginary Ad with a Man, Woman and TextFacial expressions, hair color and style, fashion, props,gender, age, race, signs of occupation, relationshipbetween figuresWhat is the ‗action‘? What is the narrative or momentwithin a broader narrative?Signs, symbols, basic themes, contextHow is language used? (arguments, associations,analogies, typeface)Product or serviceValues and beliefs (patriotism, motherly love, success,power, taste)
  4. 4. Analyzing the Fidji AdSemiotic Analysis: how do sign, symbols and codesgenerate meaning?Psychoanalytic Theory: appeals to unconsciouselements (psyche, anxiety, sexuality,id/ego/superego)Sociological Analysis: class, gender, race, status androle (how does product reflect about social concerns)Historical Analysis: part of campaign? Relates tohistorical events? (political?)Myth/Ritual Analysis: does ad relate to ancientmyths?
  5. 5. Semiotic Interpretation: Ferdinand de SaussureSaussure‘s signs are made of signifiers(sounds or images) and signifieds (conceptsor ideas)Expressions, body language, clothes, voices--nearly everything we do—function assignifiers of something (moods, feelings,beliefs, religion etc)Relationship between signifiers and signifiedis arbitrary (based on convention and must belearned, not natural or universal)
  6. 6. Semiotic Interpretation: C.S. PierceSigns that signify by resemblance, oricons (photographs)Signs that signify by cause and effect,or indexes (smoke rising)Signs that signify by conventions, orsymbols (flag, star of David)
  7. 7. Semiotic analysis of Fidji Ad Formal, good deal of white space, which is typical in ads for upscale, expensive products We see only the bottom half of the woman‘s face, which allows women to put themselves into the picture Lips are partly open suggesting sexual passion or excitement Woman appears Polynesian
  8. 8. Semiotic analysis of Fidji Ad Extreme lighting, strong darks and lights, emphasizes long neck Dark, long hair connected with sexual passion Name of perfume works with other elements to suggest the tropics The use of French (snob appeal)―Concepts are purely differential and defined not by theirpositive content but negatively with the other terms in thesystem… being what the others are not.‖ -Saussure
  9. 9. Paired oppositions in Fidji AdFidji vs Civilized world (Fidji perfume vs other perfumes)Polynesian woman vs White womanParadise vs HellEscape vs ImprisonmentDark hair vs Light hairFree sexuality vs Repressed sexualityMagic vs Rationality
  10. 10. Psychoanalytic AnalysisSnakes are phallic symbols in Freudian psychology(snake is wound around woman‘s neck), an iconicrepresentationSnakes and women are part of the Adam & Eve story,mythological significance (snake tempted Eve andshe convinced Adam to eat from the Tree ofKnowledge)Anxiety related to snakes and deep seated fears inwomen of being penetrated by men‘s genitals, maybe argued that perfume can be seen as venom withmagical qualities (most important making womenirresistible to men)
  11. 11. Psychoanalytic AnalysisThe snake forms an ―S‖, the thin black cording onbottle forms an ―E,‖ and the woman‘s fingers form an―X‖; thus the word sex is hidden in the ad (this theorywould hold that subliminally we would be affected bythis and feel more inclined toward sexual activity)The orchid is a sexual symbol, flowers being thesexual apparatus of plants, we use flowers to makeexciting scentsFreud‘s structural hypothesis of the psyche (being inthe tropics and away from civilization, which works tocurtail the id impulses). –page 146, BergerId/Ego/Superego applied to advertising
  12. 12. Sociological Analysis of Fidji AdBased on the woman in the ad, we can conclude thetarget audience is young, sophisticated women who feelfrustrated by the constraints of their everyday lives incontemporary urban society and who want, in fantasy, toescapeEscaping involves nature and romantic love, Polynesianwoman as more passionate, less inhibited than whitewomenBuying Fidji means being an elite, if not economically, interms of lifestyle or taste culture (wearing a refinedperfume may define one‘s socioeconomic class)Fidji attracts a sexual partner and consolidates the beliefthat the wearer is sophisticated and desirable, confers
  13. 13. Marxist Analysis of Fidji AdThis ad reflects graphically the exploitation of peoplein the Third World by people in the First World, andby bourgeois capitalist societies that encouragecapitalist corporations like Guy Laroche, maker ofFidji perfumeAccording to Marxism, capitalism has survived byexporting its problems, thus the ad if for capitalistimperialism, not perfumeThe ad is an example of bourgeois consumer cultureexcesses, including sexuality, which can be usedagainst us to make wasteful purchases in the nameof glamour
  14. 14. Marxist Analysis of Fidji AdIndustry has political mission to distract us from civicculture to focus on private expendituresWe revel in our personal luxuries and take refuge in gatedcommunities while society spirals into chaosWe attempt to assuage our alienation by creatingconsumer cultures, which creates greater profits for thosewho own the channels of production and distributionMarxist approach, however, is doctrinaire, and hasimploded as Soviet societies are now feverishlyconsuming, lacks resonance even if correct
  15. 15. The Myth Model and the Fidji Ad The Myth (Medusa) An historical event related to the myth A text or work from elite culture based on the myth A text or work for popular culture based on the myth Some aspects of everyday life based on the myth-see page 150, Berger
  16. 16. Feminist Interpretation of the Fidji AdWe live in a phallocentric society dominated by malesMales are blind to their power and the role of thephallus in society, assuming that power structures arenatural and logicalThe Fidji ad is a perfect representation: a woman witha snake (phallic symbol) draped around her neck.The woman is accessible to the male gaze (a look bymen that reduces women to sexual objects). She isholding the perfume that will make her irresistiblethus participating in her own subjugation. A return toparadise in in effect a return to being dominated bymen.