Monday, 22 March 2010

Portfolio Task 4 - Semiotic Analysis

Text A

Text B

Brand identity and individuality are key to a companies success in the ever growing cut-throat, consumer market. The two texts above are advertisements for car companies. Text A is an advertisement for Bentley; a high end, automobile brand. Most commonly associated with wealth and power, this text depicts these same attributes, but coincides in a somewhat unforgiving manner. Harsh shadow and bright spotlights create focal points and also mystery within the darkness of the background. Black is the most prominent colour, a colour already identifiably in keeping with the brands identity and a colour which signifies elegance and sophistication. The light contrasts against the darkness and creates a glossy, sultry ambience within the text which is mirrored in the subjects body language. His somewhat relaxed composure, coupled with his smug grin and hand gesture connote wealth, power and status; all attributes of a high class business man. Who doesn't want to be a wealthy business man? The use of reification links the subject's highbrow facial expression and the strong hand gesture, which could mimic the car's performance or persona. The conscious decision to picture a man instead of a car in a car advertisement is very striking and shows confidence within the brand.

Similarly in text B the focal point isn't the car that is wanting to be sold, instead it is a dog. The only colour which stands out is the colour of the dog and its lead with the main interest of the advertisement, the car, sinking into the background. The use of a dog (man's best friend) creates an emotive connection instantly before you even look at the product being sold. Relating the car to a dog denotes family, fun and a trustworthy car. This significantly shows how a commodity culture influences society by relating images to products creating emotional attachment and a false want/need for the product. In the second text, there is a reoccurring use of colours. Darks and lights help create shadow and depth, however, in this text the contrast and ambience aren't quite so tense and dramatic. In comparison this text is noticeably more emotive and directed at 'every day people'. It uses a simple line to reassure the audience that 'it's got everything'. Having this in a bold, larger font makes this seem like the only information you need to know about the car.

Both of the advertisements use distracting methods to make you buy their products. The dog and potential wealth, neither of which relate seemingly to the cars, but at the same time it is pictured to connote these aesthetics will be included with the cars. Lighting has been used very cleverly in both texts to emphasise certain attributes, in text A the hand gesture is in focus signifying a smug, arrogance and also relating to the powerful performance of the car. In text B alike, the dog is the focal point instead of the car proving that you can sell, figuratively speaking, almost anything with the right associations with other objects.

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