The Production of Meaning & Semiotics

Logo SemioticsSemiotics is the study of signs and symbols and the way we interpret them.  In the short film Adbusters there is a whole section on the brands that we take for granted everyday.  Company logos like McDonalds, Fritos, Marlboro, CNN, Ford, and Apple are all symbols of some aspect of the American way.  In the film it says we are targeted by over 3000 marketing messages everyday.  The way semiotics is used with these companies is for example the symbol of the “golden arches” automatically is associated with Mcdonanalds, Big Macs, fries, milkshakes, etc.  In fact the golden arches are more recognizable then the Christian cross.   In the film they make it seem as though we are just a walking advertisement for all these companies when we consume these products.

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  There is another section of the film that goes through a few different products such as Tommy Hilfiger cologne, Calvin Klein underwear, Mac computers, and Marlboros.  It is a direct mockery of the semiotics of the brands, because the commercials for these products make you feel a certain way.  For example Calvin Klein underwear will make you look all buff and in shape, because everyone in the commercial is buff and in shape.  Another example is Marlboro cigarettes they say they want to be more rugged so they started smoking Marlboros, because all the ads for these cigarettes are with cowboys doing manly things.  The connection we have between these products and brands is a semiotic connection.  The message I got from this film was to stop buying these products and look at the consequences of our actions, over consumption is the problem for all the environment problems.  

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