Diesel Print Adverts

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Today we will be using Barthes’ model of semiotics to analyze how certain elements within ads have been selected and organized to convey meaning. Also we will be critically evaluating the effectiveness of the ad as a piece of visual communication. The print ad which I have chosen is by an Italian clothing manufacturer, Diesel. Diesel is well known for touching on global issues in a signature over-the-top and often surreal way. In 2007 they launched the campaign “Global Warming Ready” that highlights the consequences of global warming all over the world and I have selected a print ad from this campaign for my analysis. The main purpose of this advertisement is to sell Diesel clothing in such a way that it represents a future image of ourselves and everything we desire to become. These adverts are placed in glossy magazines such as Elle and Vogue which are primarily focused on the latest fashion and beauty. Such magazines are aimed at women from any ethnic background and aged between 18-35 years old. This said, however, it is important to remember that in most cases magazines are not only read by the purchaser but often a variety of other readers that do not belong to the group of women which the magazine targets. These ads are aimed at a sophisticated audience who are expected to have knowledge of the location of the ad and the effects of global warming, without this knowledge they become meaningless. By doing this they defined their target audience. The overall message that I obtained from this advert is, that if you wear diesel clothing you can still look good and embrace the effects of global warming. Now let’s look at how this message is being communicated using Barthes’ model of semiotics. The first order of signification or denotation is the most obvious, straight-forward interpretation of the sign. Within the ad non coded images include the women, tropical birds and St. Mark’s Square in Venice. The second order of signification or connotation is the...
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