Across all over the world, advertisements have played a huge role in the media industry, they inform us with daily news, advertise our loved products and inform us about the available brands in the market, also it is the best way to communicate with the customers. Advertisements have become a tool or weapon to sell products to the public.In this assignment I will conduct a semiotic analysis on the dove advertisement, considering whether the advertisement challenges the hegemonic representation of gender, race and class. I will also define and apply key concepts on ideology, semiotics and hegemony..
Semiotics (also knows as semiotic studies), is the study of mean-making, the study of sign process (semiosis) and meaningful communications. Semiotics includes the study of signs and sign processes, indications, communications, etc. It is also known as the science of signs and sign systems. Ideology is a comprehensive set of normative beliefs, conscious and unconscious ideas, that an individual, group or society has. A sign is any signal that communicates something to us, a sign consists of a signifier and signified. A signifier is any material form used to convey a message i.e images, letters, sound, etc. A signified is the concept that the material conveys. Semiotic analysis was created to study language and communication. Semiotic analysis is classified in two levels, connotation and denotation. Connotation refers to the emotions, values and associations that a sign gives rise to/in the reader. It can be expressed by quickly jotting down what it reminds you of or makes you feel or imagine. Denotation is the act of indicating or pointing out by name. It is the obvious level on which a sign communicates and it refers to the common sense meaning it can be expressed by describing the signs as simple as possible.
An Ideology is narrower in scope than the ideas expressed in concepts such as worldview, imaginary, ontology. Hegemony is the political, economic, or military predominance or control of one state over others. A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as inherently distinct by society. It was firstly used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations, then by the 17th century the term race began to refer to physical (phenotypical) traits. Gender politics are about the roles of men and women, it is issues like rights or treatments of minorities (like transsexuals) , it has to do with sex and what behaviours related to sex are acceptable (for example, the definition of rape or sexual assault).
In my own perspective, this advertisement seemed to be more focused on women, first of all in this advertisement we can only see women, no men. In other words, the advertisement might not attract men since it doesn’t have an image of a men, the target audience are seemed to be women. This advertisement supports female gender, it deals with women who have a negative personal image and who want to have a beautiful skin. The two brown boards behind the women represent the skin, it show the difference before using the Dove product and after using it, it shows that it recovers skin cracks and makes the skin to look even more beautiful. The reason why the women in the advertisement are wearing towels is to show that their skins have been recovered or healed after using the Dove product. The aim of the advertisement is seem to empower participants (women) by promoting the idea of “being yourself” and create new ways to view beauty, body image and self-esteem. However, there’s also a hidden aim of this advertisement, it promotes, convinces and encourages consumers to buy this product. This advertisement is eye-catching because it shows beautiful women with beautiful skin, and in this advertisement only bright colours (white) are being used so that the reader can be attracted.
In this advertisement there are signifiers (what you see) and there is also signified (what you interpret). Signifiers are: Text ”before” and ”after”, they give an interpretation of the product before and after using the product. There is a strong white contrast, this seems to stress skin beauty on women. It shows the women smiling, telling me that after using the product you won’t regret yourself, you only get perfect results.
1. Michael O’Shaughnessy, Jane Stadler (2012). Media and Society. Oxford University P ress.