Semiotic Analysis

The print ad to the right was created by the mobile phone network, Claro Americas, which serves customers in both Latin and South America. This ad has such a powerful message yet it is so simple that even people who are not familiar with this particular phone company can understand its meaning. The ad is straight forward and is not clustered with too much detail so you are able to focus on exactly what the company wants.

This particular ad is directed towards anyone who owns a cellphone and drives which is a huge chunk of the world. The myth they are playing on is that everyone is so obsessed with technology, especially with their phones, that they can not seem to put them down for even a second. Unfortunately, technology has become such a huge part of our lives that this cultural myth is not that far off. However, it is still a myth and people can in fact stop using their phones long enough to drive from point A to point B which is what the ad points out. It almost feels like the ad is challenging us to prove this misconception wrong.

This ad has a few very important parts that need to be understood in order for the overall meaning to be heard. There are the words “One letter is all it takes. Don’t text and drive” which literally tell you that this was created to warn and remind people of the dangers of driving while texting. There is also a picture of a stretched out letter A that represents both the road and the one letter they refer to in the text. At the end of the road is a very small and very colorful picture of a mother pushing a stroller while another child follows along behind her. These two images are the main focus of the ad. They let us know that even though you might think you are in control of the vehicle, looking away for just one second to type whatever it is you think is so important could be fatal to you and anyone around you. Both the text and the image of the mother with her children are signifiers that help us reach the overall meaning of the ad which is to leave the texting until after you have reached your destination. All of these things together make the sign.

The only person in this ad that does not appear, even though this person basically has control over the entire situation, is the one behind the wheel. However, the driver is still present. Instead of incorporating him or her into the ad, they make it so that we as the viewer are put in his place. By putting the road directly in the middle and by making it seem like it stretches on, the viewer feels like they are the one driving the vehicle. This also gives us the sense that we are the one texting behind the wheel. Automatically we are put in the position we know is being scolded which makes the ad that much more effective. The viewer feels like he or she is doing something wrong already even if they are not actually behind the wheel which makes the ad that much more effective.

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