This week we were looking at decoding advertisements and how ads are particular to time and place as well as good methods for reinforcing cultural ideas/cultural norms. Examples of this include ideas of family values, representation of race and gender, and also positive attitudes towards consumerism and status.
We examined two advertisements below denotatively and connotatively to see their messages.
Some notes from the lecture on decoding advertising, in accordance to the magazine ads above.
The next task required us to research or own advert and decode it. For this I've chosen a McDonald's ad (or rather one ad in three parts), which can be found below (Fig 1).
Denotatively, the ad simply gives us directions. Pretending we are someone who does not know anything about McDonald's or what they are, all we can gather from this are a series of shapes, instructions and colours. Looking closer, if we apply the directions to the shapes we can clearly see that the shapes become a road. The first panel says "next exit" and gives us a split line which reads as a fork in the road, therefore we can tell that this is a sign which would be displayed to drivers on a busy motorway. The second panel gives us the instruction "on your right", indicating to take the right hand side exit. The third panel displays "just missed us" with a yellow arch. If these shapes are roads then this is a clear indicator that the driver must take a U-turn because they've traveled too far up the road.
Colour wise, the red and yellow used on the advert are rather vivid. This is a good choice if it wants to stand out to drivers. The colours are also very warm and therefore inviting to the eye, making the person who sees it want to pull over and take the directions shown on the sign. Warm and inviting colours usually indicate comfort, and when driving on a busy road for a while most people seek a break and a comfortable sit down. This is also normally associated with a food break.
Now that we now the sign is an indicator for the viewer to take some rest and recuperation, we can gather that is most likely an advert for a fast food restaurant (most probably fast food since it's at a road side).
Because McDonald's and other fast food joints are so ingrained in our culture and seen in our everyday lives, the ultimate conclusion is that this is an advert for McDonald's. If you'd never seen McDonalds then you'd only be able to know this once you got to the destination, as the only conclusion you could draw from this advert is that it is a fast food joint.
Cosette. (2018) Follow the Arches. Available at: https://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/outdoor/mcdonalds_follow_the_arches(Accessed: 27 April 2020)