Mass media criticism - semiological analysis from ads - Essay Example

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Diesel, a popular lifestyle and fashion brand of international repute, has recently launched a unique advertisement campaign called “Be Stupid” that celebrates the fun of being stupid as opposed to being smart. The said campaign contains a wide range of innovative and…
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28 Jan Mass Media Criticism: Semiotic Analysis of an Advertisement Diesel, a popular lifestyle and fashion brand of international repute, has recently launched a unique advertisement campaign called “Be Stupid” that celebrates the fun of being stupid as opposed to being smart. The said campaign contains a wide range of innovative and eye-catching ads that stand out due to how they challenge the popular notion of smartness. Therefore, for the purpose of this assignment, the following ad titled “Smart Listens to the Head, Stupid Listens to the Heart” will be considered.
(Source: Diesel Jeans Advertising Campaign, 2013)
The designers of ads attempt to communicate to their audience by shaping and lending significance to their “experience of reality” through the use of “non-verbal semiotic messages” (Najafian & Ketabi 64-65). The ad under discussion also uses images and text effectively to lure its audience to the product through its appeal to their sense of semiotics and aesthetics. The ad is set in pitch black background that highlights both the red font of the text message as well as the red jacket of the female in the picture. This tactic draws the viewer’s attention to the image and holds it there as he or she will feel intrigued to know what the whole story is about.
On the other hand, the man’s face only is clear, which prompts the viewer to look closer and pay focused attention on the image. Once the audience gets a clear idea that the couple is attempting to kiss, leaning out of their cars going in different ways, it makes them think about the message. Obviously, what Diesel want to say is, “We even unite people from different levels through our product,” or “No matter where people head, our product makes them pause and take notice.” The image provides a sense that the man and woman, despite their different purposes and intentions, are united by the singularity of the brand’s appeal to them.
The brand mostly targets youngsters and the image as well as message will immensely appeal to such an audience. The text message “Smart Listens to the Head, Stupid Listens to the Heart” challenges the popular notion that smart is better by appealing to the emotions of the audience rather than their intelligence. Besides, the image connotes to a carefree attitude and a liberal way of life, which will also have immense appeal to the younger generation as well as the older generation who think differently. Similarly, the ad also accentuates a passion for life, and Diesel’s motto of doing things “differently from others” (Saviolo & Marazza 100).
Thus, while reflecting the lightheartedness of youthful abandon, the ad distorts the reality that people driving in opposite directions will not actually stop to kiss in a dangerous situation in the middle of the road, leaning out of their car windows, on a rainy day. However, rather than questioning the probability of such an eventuality actually happening, the audience will most likely become influenced by the image due to its appeal to their aesthetic senses and romantic aspirations. Thus, by using different semiotic elements in the ad, the designer has successfully been able to not only draw the attention of the audience but also to hold it, and thereby influence them into buying the product.

Works Cited
“Diesel Jeans Advertising Campaign.” Homepage of Design Your Way, 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2014
Najafian, Maryam & Ketabi, Saeed. “Advertising Social Semiotic Representation: A Critical Approach.” International Journal of Industrial Marketing, Vol.1 (1): 63-78, 2011. Print.
Saviolo, Stefania & Marazza, Antonio. “Lifestyle Brands: A Guide to Aspirational Marketing.” Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Print. Read More
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