A semiotic analysis of a made up advertisement ('Silken Vodka')

Essay by grasshopper902University, Bachelor'sA-, October 2004

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VIC120: Introduction to Semiotics and Communication

Course Assignment - An Analysis of an Advertisement

August 6, 2002

The advertisement is one for 'Silken Vodka' (a made up company). The Vodka bottle was taken from the 'Smirnoff' website and the model for the ad was taken from 'Cosmopolitan' magazine (June 2000 issue). Additionally, the slogan was taken from the 'Find Your Voice' campaign for 'Virginia Slims'. The meaning that is being sent out is a statement of female independence and self-sufficiency while still retaining the exterior beauty and luxury associated with being female.

'Silken Vodka' attempts to make the advertisement as ambiguous as possible in order to add power to the ad. Through minimalization of the positive space, the negative space (and its lack of detail) enhances the subject. The first impression of the ad implies any number of suggestions that discreetly hint at every possible product targeting women, including makeup, perfume, jewelry, or beauty aids.

However, upon closer inspection, the article is in fact an advertisement for alcohol.

Initially the viewer's eye is first drawn to the face of the women. From there, a subtle string of font leads the viewer's eye to towards the product name and slogan. This small line of words acts as a visual guide (an index), rather than as text, finally pointing the way to the iconic signifier (i.e. the vodka bottle). The icon seems to gleam silver (a colour often associated with sleek, subtlety and strength) greatly drawing the attention of the viewer towards the product.

When the viewer finally focuses his/her attention on the text, he/she will encounter a vague catch phrase that can be interpreted on infinite levels. This message willfully strikes the consciousness and provokes thought. "NEVER let the goody two shoes get you down." One can only assume...