Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Semiotic Analysis in An Advertisement of Virginia Slims

By Desak Putu Eka Pratiwi, Dosen STIBA Saraswati Denpasar
Social semiotics in a branch of the field of semiotics which investigates human signifying practices in specific social and cultural circumstances, and which tries to explain meaning-making as a social practice. Semiotics, as originally defined by Ferdinand de Saussure, is "the science of signs in society"

Social semiotics expands on aussure's founding insights by exploring the implications of the fact that the "codes" of language and communication are formed by social processes. The crucial implication here is that the meanings and semiotic system are shaped by relations of power, and that as power shifts in society, our languages and other systems of socially accepted meanings can and do change.

Social semiotics can include the study of how people design and intrepret meanings, the study of texts, and the study of how semiotic system are shped by social interests and ideologies, and how they are adapted as society changes ( Hodge and Kress, 1988).

Advertisement exists in many forms of communication tool such as television, newspaper, radio, and magazines. Advertisement pyals a major role in the distribution of goods from manufacturers to consumers. It is an effective way for the seller to inform the consumer about product and it can also influence the consumers to have an interest in the product.

Advertising works no only on behalf of specific goods and services but also assumes certain characteristics wich are less directly connected to selling. It tries to manipulate people into buying away of life as well as goods.

Words and pictures are the basic elements in constructing an advertisement. here are two types of sign in advertisement; verbal sign and visual sign. Verbal sign is the texts about the product. It can be defined as the language, sentences and words that occur in printed advertisement. The brand name of the product is the first thing which is concerned. Visual aspect consists of pictures such as picture of product, picture of ingredients, and others, which support the product. These pictures also have important role in advertisement since they enable the target audiences to imagine the product, especially those who have not known the product yet. Both of these signs are really important in order to convey the message intended to the audiences.

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