“Young Love” vs. “Chanel No.5” a Comparison Between Two Perfume Commercials with Regard to Semiotics, Language and Representation

Topics: Television advertisement, Nicole Kidman, Infomercial Pages: 11 (3504 words) Published: July 13, 2012
“Young Love”
“Chanel No.5”

A comparison between two perfume commercials with regard to semiotics, language and representation

Written by
Julia Lammer

Table of Content

2The use of semiotics in commercials3
3.1How music is used to influence the addressee5
3.2The role of representation6
4The power of language in commercials6
5The differences between Young Love and Chanel. No 57


No matter if we are walking along the streets, driving in a bus or just watching TV we are constantly confronted with commercials. People tend to follow the latest trends and commercials do play an important role with regard to their consumer behaviour. Our society is constantly influenced by advertising. While ambitious people put a lot of effort in their work, the audience of commercials often tries to avoid them and is annoyed by the amount of advertisements they have to stand in order to watch their favourite TV series. Today they have become a part of our life and the competition to produce an effective commercial is enormous. A reason for the increase of advertising is certainly the pressure to produce a product that sticks out in the market and like the product itself, also the commercial of it should be unique. Especially TV commercials are used to attract the addressee and the addressers spent a lot of money and time to obtain the attention of the viewer. The most glamorous commercials are certainly those of perfumes. Therefore this paper is going to focus on two perfume TV commercials and the features that are used to produce an effective advertisement and thus show the amount of work that lies behind it. One will be a TV commercial of 1962 that deals with the perfume “Young Love” while the other represents the “Chanel No.5 “production of 2006. These are chosen to point out the difference with regard to the use of modes and signs that are essential for the development of a commercial. It will also demonstrate how language influences the addressee. But why did I choose those two? The reason for the choice of those is that one is a usual TV commercial of 1962 and the other is the highly expensive Chanel No.5 promotion of 2006. Not only the features of a commercial but how those have changed over time will be compared. With this paper I want to show that a lot of effort and quality lies behind the production and therefore advertisements should be appreciated rather than ignored by our society.

The use of semiotics in commercials

A TV commercial usually consists out of language, pictures and sometimes incorporates music. All these features seem to be essential for the production of an advertisement. The viewer of the commercial would get the impression that this is enough to sell a product, but behind advertising lies much more than only the combination of the former mentioned points. A commercial works with semiotics which deals with the use of signs in a language. The function of signs is defined as” something which stands to somebody for something else, in some respect or capacity” (Cook. The Discourse of Advertising: 74). In general a distinction can be made between iconic, symbolic and indexical signs. “Two of these, which would be the indexical and iconic signs, are particularly useful in the analyses of advertising “(Cook. The Discourse of Advertising: 74) .An indexical sign therefore would be a sign that points toward to something else, whereas an iconic sign resembles what it stands for. (cf. Index, Icon and Symbol (Short Version. 2000.).These signs can be identified with the knowledge that people have with regard to the world. In the TV commercial Young Love a lot of signs are used to attract the audience. At the beginning of the...
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