How The New Economy Has Changed Advertising And Brand Strategy Examine Using An Contemporary Television Advertisement

1510 words - 7 pages

In the New Economy it is no longer necessary for all advertisements to use methods of direct product promotion to sell; rather some advertisements are simply intended to work towards promoting brand awareness, often through an entertaining means. Is this method of brand promotion an effective means of communicating with the target audience? It will be argued that companies using the new economy principles of brading advertise messages which are inherently ambiguous and do not demonstrate a call to action. The notion of branding in the new economy will be explored by deconstructing an American Express television commercial using the tools of communication by means of semiotic analysis. This ...view middle of the document...

However the focus of this essay will be to look a single one of these advertising campaigns featuring English actress Kate Winslet.
New economic conditions have fostered different communication strategies in terms of the way firms interact with their target audience. Fiske loosely defines communication as “social interaction through messages.” (Fiske, 1982, 3) In communication studies there are two schools of thought, one which analyses communication in terms of the transmission of messages and the other, Semiotics which is concerned with the production and exchange of meaning. This essay uses the latter method to understand “how context, audience and cultural differences shape communication and how messages…interact with people in order to produce meaning.” (Gallagher, 2007)This thirty second television narrative shows Kate Winslet, meandering through London’s Camden Market, as she reflects on the various roles she has played during her career. Thus the advertisement relies heavily on intertexuality, primarily a pastiche to Winslet’s films. At first I did not recognise Kate Winslet and I thought of the advertisement more in terms of a movie trailer for a drama, primarily due to the tragic narrative that Winslet tells-“At 17 I went to prison for murder, by 19 I was penniless and heartbroken…” To an audience who is not familiar with the content of the movies roles to which Winslet is referring, the advertisement is simply an entertaining narrative up until the very end when the American Express logo is displayed. Therefore semiotic codes come into play in interpreting how American Express communicates with its audience.
Semiotic analysis suggests that we must interpret advertisements by ‘examining the construction involved in media messages.” (O'Shaughnessy, 1999, 65). The Founder of Semiotics, Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure understood all communication to be based on a system of signs which communicate through codes and conventions. (Culler, 1976, 93). In analysing the American Express advertisement one must be aware of what particular signs stand for and connate as well as the context in which these signs are placed. Certain signs in the advertisements communicate more effectively with the target audience as they connotations carry provide more recognisable stimuli. The most recognisable and effectively communicated sign in the advertisement is Winslet herself; she is a sign for Hollywood prestige and power. Other signs include Winslet picking up a green hat whilst talking about being in Neverland. Western audience who would have grown up with the tale of Peter Pan would immediately associate with this cultural connotation. Another shared cultural meaning that can be found in the advertisement is when Winslet stands on top of a bridge speaking of how she ‘almost drowned’. Again we associate water with drowning then think of Winslet role in the celebrated movie Titanic. Thus language works in conjunction with other visual stimulus so...

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