Advertising draws both from non-linguistic elements and linguistic cues designed to communicate a desired message to a targeted audience. Communication transpires through decoding and encoding levels of messages from the sender to the receiver via a particular medium. The overall connotative meaning of the message perceived, potentially impacts from one’s cultural perspective. This essay examines the advertisement of the Katy Perry perfume ‘Killer Queen’ in terms of a semiotic analysis. The advert itself is a conglomeration of symbolic signs, indexical signs, connotations, denotations, paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations combined. The implementation of Ferdinand de Saussure view on signs and his approach of signifier and signified assisted in decoding this advert along with Peirce’s ‘doctrine of signs’ known as iconic, indexical and symbolic dimensions. Lastly, Barthes views on cultural influences, on interpreting the connotation from advertisements assisted in decoding the Katy Perry advert with a deeper perspective on the intertextual cultural level overall meaning of the advertisement.
This particular advertisement depends solely on a photographic image. Although this doesn’t physically represent the actual product, it provides a representation of what the product is and what it possibly stands for. The photographic image is of singer and celebrity Katy Perry, sitting on a toppled throne, holding her new perfume ‘Killer Queen’. The paradigm code of the advertisement is a perfume ad. The advert originated from the United States, with the medium chosen through the mass media via a television ad, magazine ad and billboards. The female gender represented the targeted audience.
Ferdinand de Saussure approach known as the st...
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...e of freedom, prosperity and justice that women have culturally fought for throughout history. The basis of the selling pitch of the advert is sex, beauty and wealth. A contradiction perhaps, is an alternate meaning with the syntagm “Own the Throne’ intentionally placed underneath her genital area with Katy’s legs crossed. This may signify a deeper meaning that she is truly the one that ‘owns’ her sexuality not the advertiser. It is crucial advertiser’s understand that accomplishment of linguistic and non-linguistic communication is a result of the integrated system of cultural norms that allows potential buyers, to organise their world and give collective representations. In order to permit the reader to receive and successfully decode the persuasive messages sent by the advertiser and achieve their ultimate goal of selling their product to their targeted audience.
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