Microanalysis of an Advertisement Through Semiotic Interpretation: A Study Presenting an Ad Heptameter Schema and its Resourcefulness to Practitioners

Microanalysis of an Advertisement Through Semiotic Interpretation: A Study Presenting an Ad Heptameter Schema and its Resourcefulness to Practitioners

Vasupradha Srikrishna (Founder and Director - Research Culture; Fellow - Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA), Ahmedabad, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJSVR.2018070104

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to understand how a semiotic analysis can spell out implications for practitioners in the advertising industry. The article presents a microanalysis of a television commercial, frame by frame, based on constructs identified from literature proposing a schema called the ‘Ad Heptameter.' This schema through its seven units - signs, codes, myths, syntagm, paradigm, denotation and connotation, facilitates in the questioning of meanings and serves as an entry point to engage with the advertising content or message. This work presents a theoretical overview of semiotics to practitioners and is also proposed as a venue for effective partnership between academia and practitioners in advertising. A semiotic Ad Heptameter is put forth to address the theory-practice gap. It has the potential to evaluate, assess and revisit storyboards, pre-production or production phases thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the advertising message.
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2. Understanding Semiotics: A Theoretical Outline For Practitioners To Situate The Discipline

Semiotics is a discipline by itself. One of the many definitions of semiotics describes it as “a science dedicated to the study of the production of meaning in society” (Keir, 1980). The discipline’s quest in studying meaning, reality or knowledge, mostly inferred through arrangement of signs or symbols, makes it accommodative, characteristic of having a wide-ranging relevance transcending disciplinary boundaries and enabling inter-disciplinary applications. Semiotics is used in a number of disciplines like linguistics, advertising, marketing, cognitive science, social science, anthropology and it is not uncommon to come across cyber-semiotics, film semiotics, biosemiotics, ethno-semiotics, organizational semiotics, musical semiotics, food semiotics or urban semiotics while wading through the scholarly texts on semiotics. The overwhelming conceptualizations and trajectories time and again, possibly poses a challenge to scholars and practitioners who would see value in using semiotics to aid their research.

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