Semiotics! Ad Breakdown



Absolut Vodka Ad in Las Vegas

The ad shown is by a popular vodka company, Absolut Vodka.  In this ad, semiotics, or the study of signs and meanings, plays a major role.  To begin, there are many signs present in this ad.  Each of these signs has a signifier, or the actual item having meaning, and a signified, or the meaning of the sign.  One example of a sign is the pharoah statue at the front of the pyramid.  The signifier is the pharoah statue itself.  The signified is the meaning behind the statue.  Pharoahs are seen as powerful, mysterious, God-like, and ancient creatures.  They are also intriguing and interesting.  Another sign in this ad is the replica Washington Monument.  The signifier is the monument while the signified is the representation of power, prestige, and wealth.  A third sign is the words “absolut world”.  The signifier is “absolut world”.  On the other hand, the signified is the representation of “absolut world”.  Absolute world indicates a world where everything is perfect, full, and all including and encompassing.  Or, this could also indicate a unified world.  In addition, the color of the pyramid is a sign.  The black, glossy color of the pyramid is the signifier while its representation is the signified.  The color black represents mystery, privilege, class, and prestige.  Finally, the material that the pharaoh is a sign.  This stone material is the signifier while the signified is the representation of wealth, power, and strength.  Overall, there are many more signs in this ad.  Everything can be seen as a signifier with meaning behind it.

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