Semiotics in a 1949 Salem Cigarette Ad

This Salem Cigarette Ad attempts to encourage all people to smoke Salem cigarettes.  The use of semiotics, including signs, signifiers, and signifieds, is present throughout the entire commercial.  The biggest sign in the commercial is the Salem cigarettes.  This is the item that the ad is trying to sell so it is important to use this as a sign.  An example of a signifier would be the doctor.  Another example would be the women who smokes a cigarette and smiles towards the end of the commercial.  The signified is what the doctor represents. He represents power, wealth, prestige, and intelligence.  The advertiser clearly wants individuals to identify with the doctor and strive to be like him.  A doctor has an important reputation and the fact that all doctors prefer Salem cigarettes hopes to encourage other people to smoke Salem cigarettes as well.  In addition, the women represents sexiness and beauty.  The advertiser tries to convey that smoking Salem cigarettes will make women be like her and make men have women like her.  Overall, semiotics plays an important role in this Salem ad.


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