Advertising Dissertation Paper

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The purpose of this dissertation paper is to explain the ideologies behind advertisements, and to explain the uses of semiotic terms. Ads are deliberately constructed by companies, to connote certain things in order to appeal to their target audience as to sell their products. To understand these connotations it is necessary to deconstruct the ads. Three ads have been chosen for the brand Christian Dior for both fragrance and fashion in order to explore their meanings.

The thriving, highly successful designer label Christian Dior opened its main house of couture in 1946 in Paris; by 1958 there were stores in over fifteen countries. Dior was said to have introduced a new look to the world by stressing femininity and elegance. Now Dior's designs and products are used even by A-list celebrities such as Charlize Theron.

On a denotative level, advertisement number one consists of white and baby pink shades. The ad is dominated by the presence of a young woman kneeling amongst a variety of bags all in pink and white. The background is very plain and one can vaguely see what appears to be the outline of a bed and some pillows. The bags all have the same pattern and colours but are all different styles. There is also a small teddy with the same design between the woman's legs. The woman looks to be in her early twenties. She looks very seductive and sexy dressed only in her underwear, which is also in the pink and white colour scheme. She has medium brown, slightly messy hair. She is slim, tanned and beautiful. She appears to be on a bed, with the bags surrounding her. She is holding one to her chest and she has a pair of pink sunglasses in her briefs. She has a very seductive look on her face and is wearing little make-up, except for her eyes which have been lined with black eyeliner giving a smoky effect. The headline Dior, can easily be seen written in pink at the top right of the page in bold. There is also a list of stores at the bottom of the page. The layout of the ad is simple and not too cluttered.

On a connotative level the models expression, her bed-head like hair and the way she is seated portray a seductive image, while the girly colour scheme and cute teddy imply innocence. The baby pink colour conveys a sweet and pretty likeness. The white in the ad represents purity and freshness. The mount of bags reflects the idea that females have an infatuation with fashion and shopping. The fact that the model is attractive and slender can enhance its appeal to women who are body conscious or feel inadequacy in their appearance; it also plays on the idea in today's society that image is everything. By placing a model in the ad who looks so appealing in and amongst the Dior range, is a clever marketing strategy which positions the reader to believe that the products will have the same effect on them. She is looking directly at the camera; this gives the appearance that she is confident and secure. As a whole this ad suggests that these products are what you would wear if you are both flirtatious and feminine.

In advertisement two a young woman is walking while carrying shopping bags and shoe boxes, aswell as a black handbag. She is wearing a distinguished suit with matching heels. She is wearing tinted sunglasses and is looking to her left. In the background is a building, in front of it are footpaths and manicured plants. The main colours used in this ad are white and black. The heading Dior is easily seen at the top of the page in bold black lettering, directly beneath the woman are the words Christian Dior also in black. Ad three signifies the top half of a woman's trim and tanned body, she is looking over her shoulder and part of her face can be seen as a reflection. She is wearing navy blue, lacy underwear. On the bottom right of the ad is a perfume bottle. Directly beside it are the words ‘Admit It'.

Ad two connotes sophistication and style, the woman appears very confident and independent in the...
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