The strength of media text and content in advertising campaigns. Let’s take a look!
What firstly come to your mind when looking at this image?
Two people facing each other in a weird pose, isn’t it?
What else can you see?
Can you see the shape made of by the two?
Is it a headphone? Why it needs to be a headphone but not something else?
Are the two different ones or just one individual?
Who is he?
Why is he wearing such the ancient clothes?
What is he opening his mouth for? Is he talking to himself, wondering why I’m so handsome?
Well, take a glance through the image, we can all obviously see a headphone made up by two men with the 19th century hairstyle wearing the 19th century clothes, face to face each other. Can you recognize who is he? He’s Oscar Wilde, a famous Irish playwright, novelist and poet whose works has inspired people from all around the world for centuries.
Looking at the bottom of the image we see a logo which helps us know that this is an advertisement for Penguin audiobooks. This explains why there is a headphone, which is a sign for something people can listen to. But things are not that simple. The meaning we’ve seen is just the tip of iceberg, the denotation. Have a look at the man. He is a famous writer, Oscar Wilde. His books are precious, inspiration and the foundation for the world’s literature. He is there, his mouth is whispering to our ears the stories from the books and his eyes are watching if our brains have received the message of the stories and understood it. The shadow beneath the headphone sign can be connoted as the remarkable fame of the writers or otherwise, the quality of the Penguin’s audiobooks collection. In addition, the advertisement is designed in grey and black, which are always defined as classic and makes us feel more of the atmosphere of the previous days when all the scenes in books take place.
The advertisement promises to bring the consumers the experience of listening to people reading books like the writers are telling their stories, which is more fantastic than sitting for hours flipping over pages. The feeling will be real and worth trying. How awesome it will be lying on bed after a long day working hard, listening to one of the most famous ‘writers’ from the 19th century telling his stories and imagining ourselves were there in the old scene, live with it.
As we can see, from just a seem-to-be undemanding image, we can discern from different perspectives the meanings of it. ‘A picture says a thousand words’. The way people see the signs and define it will depend on their cultural knowledge or ‘ideological’ positions. However, from my perspective, a successful image, specifically the images used for advertising, must be unique, meaningful and recognized in order to impress the consumers.