Semiotic Analysis of an Advertisement Essay Sample

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In the recent years, Gucci released a new fragrance called Guilty. Stemming from their release of their fragrance for men, Gucci Guilty Pour Homme, they decided to add to the collection and release a fragrance for women. This particular advert relies solely on photographic imagery. Although this doesn’t physically represent the actual product, it basically gives us a representation of what the product is and what it should potentially stand for. In this ad, there is a couple engaging in the act of foreplay over a dark background with amplified colour contrast. In this photo, you can see that the woman in the ad is being kissed on the neck. The denotative meaning of the sexy image is that of a couple getting frisky. The connotative meaning is that she’s irresistible. The signifier is the couple and the signified is the lust. This ad is geared toward a young adult, female audience because of the emphasis on the female subject’s lustful look at the reader, apart from the words under the product reading, “Gucci Guilty a new fragrance for her”.

If you look closely, there is an amplified colour contrast on the eyes of the female subject showing the audience that there is a somewhat youthful appearance however a very sexy and deviant individual. In addition to the subjects’ pose, there is an iconic image of the product strategically positioned underneath the female subject’s head, indicating that it is her “guilt” that we are witnessing. The signifier, then, would be the product and the signified would be the luxury that Gucci represents. It is simple to deduce in two ways the meaning of this advertisement. First, it’s safe to say that there is a couple engaging in an adulterous relationship and the emphasis on her eyes could imply an extent of guilty pleasure. In the actual director’s cut of the commercial, you see a very sexy lady driving a fast car at top speed towards a bar. There is a fast cut to her and a male counterpart making out roughly and vivid silhouettes of her undressing. When the commercial ends we see that the action was just a simple fantasy of guilty pleasure.

Secondly, the fact that they are mid to late twenty-looking year olds, implies that their target consumers would be within the same age range. In addition to these points, the use of dark colours in the commercial was pertinent because it created a scene of mischief and mystery. Now in comparison to the print ad, the subjects both had deep, olive toned tans with the female rocking a reddish lipstick. With red being the colour of seduction, you can assume that the ad is basically exemplifying the tag line, “sex sells”. The advert also has the subjects’ semi-nude, boasting sexual activity.

Her makeup is what is called a Smokey-eye with heavy eyeliner that contrasts her icy blue irises indicating a very dark erotica. The ad invokes the cultural myth that sex is the biggest market and will attract those who can relate to sexual activity. It also suggests that those who wear this fragrance will be as irresistible as the young lady in the photo. This ad was found in Elle magazine as a trifold with a sample of both the men’s fragrance and the women’s fragrance. The collection was called Gucci Guilty Intense. On one side of the trifold was the men’s fragrance with a different photo and the other with the women’s fragrance. In the middle, both lines were shown and you could see the emphasis on the target audience by the subjects’ focus to the reader.

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