In this term paper I will analyze an advertisement of the chocolate dessert Kinder Bueno from the year 2011 and I have chosen to use the semiotic approach to do it. Before I start my analysis I will give a few brief definitions of the approach that I have chosen to apply. 2.Semiotic technique of media analysis
In his book “Media Analysis Techniques”, professor Berger says that semiology is the science of the signs and that it is often associated with the works of the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce, and the semiology theories of the Swiss philosopher Ferdinand de Saussure. In his book “A Course in General Linguistics”, Saussure is defines semiotics as “a science that studies the life of signs within society is conceivable it would be part of social psychology and consequently of general psychology”. According to Saussure, signs consist of two parts: a signifier (the form which the sign takes) and a signified (the concept it represents). Saussure argues that the relationship between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary, unnatural and unmotivated. According to his theory, “concepts are purely differential and defined not by their positive characteristics but negatively by their relations with the other terms of the system” (p.ll7).
In Saussure’s system, “the word symbol has been used to designate the linguistic sign, or more specifically, what is here called the signifier. …One characteristic of the symbol is that it is never wholly arbitrary; it is not empty, for there is the rudiment of a natural bond between the signifier and the signified. The symbol of justice, a pair of scales, could not be replaced by just any other symbol, such as a chariot.” (A Course in General Linguistics, p.68) Peirce, on the other hand, has a different concept of semiology. He says that a sign is “is something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity”. In his theory of semiotics, he points out that there are three kinds of signs: icons, indexes and symbols. While Saussure argues that the signifier and the signified have an arbitrary relationship, that is based on convention, Peirce believes that both the indexes and the icons have natural relationships with what they stand for.
3. The Advertisement
This is the advertisement.
The advertisement is set in Venice. It is a peaceful night. There is a mysterious figure, who walks through the night. Later, this figure turns out to be a vampire, who is played by the Italian actor Pedro Perestrello, and who is gazing at a woman. The woman is eating the chocolate dessert Kinder bueno. The vampire, unable to resist the temptation sneaks up from behind her and kisses her in order to taste the chocolate dessert. The song features in the commercial is “This world” by the Belgian singer Selah Sue. The message in the commercial is “Indulge in seduction’ and the advertisement is part of Kinder’s campaign “Not only for children.”
4. Semiotic analysis
– Venice – The fact that the commercial is set in Venice could suggest a romantic atmosphere. – Night – The night could be viewed as mysterious, dangerous, peaceful, romantic. – River – The river could signify danger, something unknown, mysterious, something in constant movement. – Bridge – The bridge could be viewed as something connecting two different coasts. Or maybe connecting two different worlds – the world of the unknown and the dead, which is the world of the vampire, and the world of the living, where the woman resides in. -Smoke – Smoke is usually associated with fire, and fire is associated with passion or with destruction. – Vampire – The vampire in the advertisement could be viewed as a dangerous creature, but in the advertisement the danger and the passion are merged into one, when he gets seduced by the scent of the dessert. – The vampire’s appearance – The vampire, played by the Italian model Pedro Perestrello has a black short hair and a pale complexion of the skin.
In the beginning of the advertisement he is portrayed next to the unmoving statues and he can be described to be just like them – unable to feel, unable to love, unable to move. However, all of that changes, when he catches the scent of the chocolate dessert – he is suddenly awakened and he is intrigued by it and he can be viewed as an awakened statue brought to life by the magical scent of the dessert. And the bridge that he passes through can be viewed as the connection between the world of the living and the world of the dead. – The vampire’s clothes – The vampire’s clothes are black, which could signify something dark, mysterious and evil. – The vampire’s expressions – At first, as he walks through a gate, he appears to be summoned by something. He senses something new, something that he doesn’t understand something that makes him feel alive. Anxious to find out what it is, he jumps to second store of the building and watches a woman, eating a Kinder Bueno, and he is instantly attracted to her and to the chocolate.
He goes to her house and he kisses her in an attempt to taste the strange and the new thing, that had summoned him there. – The woman – The woman is slim and currently enjoying a chocolate bar of Kinder Bueno and she is looking in a mirror. – The mirror – Mirrors are usually described as windows to the souls of the people. Only those who have souls can see their reflections in the mirrors, so the fact that the vampire didn’t have a reflection in the mirror, suggests that he doesn’t have a soul. – The woman’s dress and surroundings – The woman’s dress is in light colors, in contrast to those of the vampire. She is dressed in a long, light red dress and she is in a light yellow colored room. Red and yellow are usually associated with fire and passion. – The woman’s hair and eye color – The woman is with a long light brown hair and blue eyes. Light brown color is usually friendly and approachable, genuine and honest.
Blue is the color of trust and honesty. – The woman’s expressions – At first the woman seems calm. She is unaware of the fact that she is being watched. She becomes slightly worried when she sees the door of closing by itself in the mirror, but she still appears unaware of the fact that there is another presence in the room. But yet, when the vampire kisses her and tastes the chocolate from her lips, she doesn’t seem to be afraid at all. It is like she has been expecting him all along. And this way it could be viewed as if she knew all along that the vampire would come to her, and that she had in fact set a trap for him and seduced him with the chocolate.
And this completely changes the traditional roles of the predator and the victim, since in the traditional sense, the woman is supposed to be the victim of the vampire. However, here, the vampire becomes her victim. – Colors – While the colors in the commercial are dark, which could suggest mystery, the woman’s dress and the room she is in, are in warm colors, which could suggest passion, which creates contrast between mystery and passion. – Music – The song used in the commercial is “This world” by the Belgian singer Selah Sue. It is sensitive and it is passionate.
Berger, Arthur Asa , “Media Analysis Techniques” Sage Publications