This Examined essay analyzes an advertisement of Muriel Tiplat Cigar , with the use of semiotics and stereotyping , the start of this analysis will emphasis on semiotics by showing the process of connotation in the advertisement leading to the identifying of the signs used ( indexical , arbitrary , iconic ) and by connecting them to Barthes mythologies further to how combining these signs creates a cultural paradigm , in addition to this analysis will show how syntagmatic relations in an advertisement have a significant role in invoking the audience.
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subsequently an analysis on the same advertisement by the use of stereo typing will be conducted relating both on how they affect the consumer visual abstract of the product with the conclusion of how booth aspects have positively and negatively affected the foreplay of the advertisement not to mention the cultural significant role of the timeline which the advertisement was produced at “1970” .Books and journals are the primary sources of this coursework essay where as Internet is a secondary source, this essay is a research essay relying on accurate facts with adequate referencing.
“Advertisers in general bear a large part of the responsibility for the deep feelings of inadequacy that drive women to psychiatrists, pills, or the bottle. (Marya Mannes,But Will It Sell?: 1964)
If a woman is reading the above statement she couldn’t agree any less, the shrewd words of the American writer and critic Mannes have ironically drawn how media affects our lives, critics and commenter’s from every discipline have seized with advertisings potential power. It has been called “ the most potent influence in adapting and changing habits and modes of life , affecting what we eat and the work and play for the whole nation. “(Fox, 1984, p.97) particularly women and especially through advertisement. advertising are predisposed to follow basic format: a slogan, striking image, drawing. Anything that would grasp peoples attention, the body of an advertisement contains factual information about the product or the purpose of the ad where as the logo reinforces the brand /companies identity, even though we may look at an advertisement for two seconds it leaves a mark in our minds and attaches us somehow to the brand or the product.
But when analyzing on a much deeper visual level, an analyses must use a deeper perspective and in this analysis Semiotic and stereotype approach is going to be applied. “Semiotics; Semiology is the study of signs, or of the social production of meaning by sign systems, of how things come to significance” Semiotics, or semiology, is usually traced back to Swiss linguistFerdinand de Saussure, American philosopherCharles Sanders Peirce and French linguist Roland Barthes.” (TMSB, 2006, P: 12) All signs have two aspects: thesignifierand thesignified. The signifier is any material thing that signifies, for example words on a page, a facial expression, a picture, a bit of graffiti. The signified is the concept that a signifier refers to (Kevelson;1977,72 ).
The basic, most essential form of sign, that is, of the relation of signifier to signified, isdenotation nearly, the factual meaning of a sign. But semiotics starts to get appealing when it exploresconnotation which involve signifying signs, signs that become the signifier for a second signified, and this is how advertising appeal to us.
Using the below advertising a semiotic and stereotyping analysis is going to undertake; this advertisement is the publication of Muriel Tipalet cigar. Date of Publishing: 1970.
This advertisement rather playfully foregrounds the process of connotation. One of the first things that catch many people’s eyes when they look at this ad is the smoke which is an indexical sign (a sign where the signifier is caused by the signified) which is the cigar.
This image, combined with the words (arbitrary sign) on it,denotes, a sexual indication between the man smoking the cigar and the women, this way to attract “male audience” and using that when the women inhales the smoke of the Tipalet cigar she’ll follow him anywhere.
In addition to the use of the iconic signs the photos of both the man and women resembling and combing it with “Barthes Mythologies: that every man should be with a glamorous woman and every woman should be glamorous.” (TMSB, 2006, P: 22)
In addition to that the rich attractive description of the cigar at the right bottom of the ad attracts audience especially in using words like “Delicious in taste, in aroma “(symbolic signs).The use of colors as well is eye catching the yellow background with the colorful cigar packs; this definitely draws more attention to the advertisement and works as a foreplay of convincing the consumer to buy this product.
Jointly, all these signs suggesting cigar, sexual relationships form a cultural paradigm, collection of signs which appeal to each other because they are culturally, or paradigmatically, related; Actually putting together two or more elements from a paradigm normally invokes, in the viewer’s mind.
“With the exception of advertisements that actually give us factual information about a product that we don’t already know plugging a product into culturally desirable paradigms, encouraging us to connotatively associate a product with other things we value, is the basic strategy of almost all brand-name product advertising today”(Jones,1999,115).As its shown in this ad the combining of the iconic, arbitrary and indexical signs is a way of persuasiveness, and this is why the ad must rely on another kind of semiotic structure besides paradigmatic relations to make its message work, using syntagmatic relations, If paradigmatic relations make meaning by way of shared cultural associations, women à men à relationships then syntagmatic relations are those in which the sequence of signs creates meaning.
The cleverness in this ad is the establishment of avisualsequence that builds a clear relationship to reality and connects a pack of cigars to a lifetime situation but yet with their “product” the man is assured to get what he wants (the women), And thus, the advertisers are capable to relate their Cigars, not only with paradigms of relationships, life, sex, but with amazingly taste and satisfaction as well.
Visual representation of reality, as seen through mass media, is accredited by sociologists to be significant in shaping people’s views of the world. Our everyday realities are expressed mostly by what we see in the media. The role of advertising in this construal of reality is crucial. The target audience’s self-identification with the images being a basic condition for an advertisement’s effectiveness, makes advertising one of the most important factors in the building of behavior models and values systems.
“Media stereotypes are inevitable, especially in the advertising, entertainment and news industries, which need as wide an audience as possible to quickly understand information. Stereotypes act like codes that give audiences a quick, common understanding of a person or group of people ;usually relating to their class, ethnicity or race, gender, sexual orientation, social role or occupation” ( Media Awerness:2009)
Gender stereotypes in society, reflected in advertising, are so familiar we hardly notice them:
v The male ‘hunk’, pursuer of women
v The female ‘babe’, seductress
v The father wage earner – head of the household
v The housewife/mother figure – protector of home and children
The following table shows how common stereotypes relate and affect to Muriel Tipalet Cigars Ad/Consumer:
Common and Related Stereotype.
Relation to the Muriel Ad and Advertisement Generally.
Influence on the consumer.
Women are dependent on men.
In the advertisement you can see by the use of the quote “blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere “that the man is holding the dominant role and upon his order, she’ll follow. “Its like women are treated like children; In 1973-1974 study by Erving goffman he concludes that women are weekend by advertising portrayals in the 1970’s, ads are highly ritualized versions of the parent-child relationship, with women treated largely as children and that is diminishment damaging” (Goffman:1979,27)
It creates a dilemma of temptation to the Male consumer, since every man wants women to follow his lead and demands.
A good way to attract the male consumer rather than the female consumer.
Women are beautiful and are sex objects.
In the advertisement the female used in the image is a beautiful brunette with the perfect “media” image: In more sense “Portrayals of women in advertising are not potentially debilitating and demanding, they are also inaccurate. We don’t have demography of demigoddesses. Women today (and during the time frame of many of the research studies) are considerably more than flawless decorative objects , depended upon or defined by men” (Creedon:1993,201)
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A good way to attract male consumers and convince where as it creates a social conflict to the female society and their need to be appealing to me, living up to the standards of these beautiful women in advertisements.
Cigarettes make you “Hip” or “ Interesting “
“Within two avenues of advertising, tobacco and alcohol product marketing, there are a variety of layered issues surfaced in ad imagery. Gender representation and roles, values of age and class, representations of race, political and sexual orientation, fashion, sexuality, health and disease, drugs, fetishism, exoticism and colonialism are but a smattering of issues raised in these two categories of advertising. Not surprisingly, these advertisements are targeted towards a large consumer group, one might say toward society at large, since their effect is to teach children how to be as adults, to suggest to adults how to be hip, and to show seniors how hip they once were and could still be. This is not to say that all groups are pictured in these advertisements. But all groups can have associations through them, wanting to be like those consuming glamorously, even though reality may be that the purchasing consumer may not be of the same ethnic type, physical build, gender, or social status of the figure experiencing pleasure in the advertisement.”( Gender Issues in Visual Media” : David Jacobs)
Everyone is craving for the long lasting young hip life , so by giving the assumption that the Muriel Cigarette will grant that in a way , it will attract consumers on a wider range and age group.
Every man should be masculine.
The look on the man face in the Muriel advertising indicates, the mysterious , attractive guy: A way of suggesting that not only women should be attractive but men as well.” The Traditional role as ‘a man as masculine and the women as feminine’ is constantly reinforced in Advertising.
To attract consumers as the cigar will make them more attractive to women , and that these cigars will enhance his look-wise role in the society.
Men are dominant over women.
Males are depicted as ‘authority figures’ in 60% of commercials. Women were used in 21% of Radio Advertising for voice over’s.(Ref)
In this Cigar the dominance of the male character is shown by the use of the slogan “blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere “ its giving the male the suggestion of empowerment over the women and by that its combing both the stereotype of the dominance of the male and the sexual aspect of female , concluding by the abidance of the female to the male .
Not to mention the cultural paradigm this advertising was published at 1970, where women still didn’t have their voice empowered over the media .
A way to attract male consumer into giving them the suggestion that these cigar will give you the dominance over women , and that will follow you around .
“It must be said that without advertising we would have a far different nation, and one that would be much the poorer-not merely in material commodities, but in the life of the spirit.”
(Leo Burnett on the American Association or Advertising Agencies’ 50th anniversary, April 20,1967)
To conclude, media analysis is systematic and objective, it begins by defining a set of signs and decode them to a cultural system and interpret them to how the audience is addressed particularly in advertising (Grossberg: 1998, 156), in addition to that semiotic emphasizes that our perception of reality itself is constructed and shaped by the words and the signs we use, We are nurtured daily with the male and female stereotype so it is no wonder that we react with fear or shock or disbelief or unacceptance when we don’t see the typical male or female stereotype.
The Advertising Industry continues to follow rigid stereotypes because we are brought up with them and it is too difficult to exert something different than the accepted stereotype. whether we admit it or not we re using semiotics and stereotyping in every second that is passing.
In addition to the fact that “ There is a constant presence of media in our everyday lives , as we switch in and out , on and off , from one media space to one media connection to another , from radio , to newspaper , to telephone . From television, to Hi-fi, to Internet, in pubic, in private, alone and with others” (Silverstone, 1999, P: 6). “We cannot evade media presence, media representation. We have come to depend on our media , both printed and electronic , for pleasures and information , for comfort and security , for some sense of the continuities of experience and from time to time also for the intensities of experience”(Silverstone,1999,P:1/2)
1. Branston, G / Stafford, R. 2006, The Media’s Student Book, 4th edition, originally published on 1996, London and New York, Routledge.
2. Grossberg, L/ Wartella, E / Whitney, D, 1998, Media Making: Mass Media in a Popular Culture, London, Sage.
3. Silverstone R, 1999, Why Study the Media, London, Sage.
4. Quote Garden, Quotes about Advertising, Marya Mannes, 1964. http://www.quotegarden.com/advertising.html
5. Streeter T , University of Vermont ( 18th april/2005) http://www.uvm.edu/~tstreete/semiotics_and_ads/the_sign.html
6. Alouette, Amazing old fashioned advertisement, June 26th /2007. http://www.unsoughtinput.com/index.php/2007/06/26/amusing-old-fashioned- advertisements-cigarette-ads/
 Alouette, Amazing old fashioned advertisement, June 26th /2007.(Date Accessed : 31st Oct /2009) http://www.unsoughtinput.com/index.php/2007/06/26/amusing-old-fashioned-advertisements-cigarette-ads/
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