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By Davinia Obedih, 0801026 Advertising Coursework, August 2010 Bsc Business Enterprise University of Buckingham
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University of Buckingham 25th August 2010 Advertising Coursework 2 of 12 .
. Contents .University of Buckingham Table of . . . . 2 2 4 5 25th August 2010 INTRODUCTION The ‘Make Mine Milk’ Advert Take a Break Magazine What is Semiotics? THE ANALYSIS Brand Context Overall Category Context Popular Cultural Context Audience Interpretation 6 6 7 8 9 CONCLUSION 9 Advertising Coursework 3 of 12 . . . .
Advertising Coursework 2 of 12 . before concluding with a summary of the potential value of semiotics to the advertiser. pop star Pixie Lott and R n B singer Usher Raymond. The ‘Make Mine Milk’ Advert The £7. The celebrities all sport milk moustaches on the adverts above the slogan ‘Make Mine Milk’. there are also adverts with chef Gordon Ramsay. that have appeared on poster sites.5m ‘Make Mine Milk’ campaign launched in April. The A Team are the newest popular icon to be in the adverts. 2010 across the UK in a bid to promote the consumption of milk. buses. I shall identify signs and codes from the advert and then examine them in three semiotic contexts. and is one-third financed by the European Commission. the brand context. The adverts are run by the Milk Marketing Forum of trade association Dairy UK. Then show how this information allows me to accurately anticipate the target audience’s interpretation of the advert. It is designed to re-ignite the British milk industry. to increase declining sales figures and to position low-fat milk as the “drink of choice” for young people and their families. I will do this by conducting a semiotic analysis of the A Team ‘Make Mine Milk’ advert from Take a Break magazine.University of Buckingham 25th August 2010 ‘Make Mine Milk' Campaign Understanding the Value of Semiotics in Advertising Introduction The purpose of this essay is to help the reader understand the value of semiotics in advertising. online and print mediums around the country. to promote the benefits of low-fat milk to teenagers and mums across the country. overall category context and popular culture context.
July 2010. “Since the mid-nineties milk sales have plateaued in Great Britain. These are shown on the A Team advert in the white text box. a website. The initiative aims to turn around declining sales of milk.Sandy Wilkie. 1 Joe Thomas: ‘Pixie Lott and Gordon Ramsay front new milk campaign’.University of Buckingham 25th August 2010 The campaign follows on from a ‘White Stuff’ campaign in Scotland. This campaign will spark a shake-up of attitudes to milk.4% increase in milk sales. putting it firmly back on the map and in the fridge of consumers across Great Britain.dairyuk. during which time the perception of milk amongst the public has become outdated. which featured the voices of Chris Eubank. Chairman. Figures show there has been a 1% decline in milk consumption each year between 2001 and 2008.org) To support the adverts.689 ml per person per week.co.makeminemilk. www. April 2010. down 1 from 1. The United States also has a similar and very popular celebrity fronted ‘Got Milk?’ campaign. Prince Naseem Hamed and the late George Best and resulted in a 3.555 ml . to 1. which is still running. Geoff Platt: ‘Usher and The A-Team to front Make Mine Milk’ . ‘Make Mine Milk’ is also being launched on Facebook to tap into large quantities of young people. Milk Marketing Forum (www. Rolf Harris.” .uk has been created where anyone interested in the campaign can find out more. Advertising Coursework 3 of 12 .
food. 1 true-life weekly magazine’) has been the biggest selling women's weekly in the UK for nearly 20 years. sourced from publisher’s website . As the four actors are handsome men of varying ages they are going to appeal to the predominantly female readership of the magazine.000 2.000 C1C2 women age 25-55 with children Weekly March 1990 80p The full page advert appeared on p.uk See The Analysis section below. I believe it was well placed in this medium to capture the attention of a broad cross-section of their target market 3 teenagers and families . they are likely to own their own home and to be married. beauty. confectionary.http://www.bauer.uk Take a Break's mix of real life. Its universal appeal is confirmed by the strength of its reader relationship. and they are often in advertorial style to blend in with the reality focus of readership. home.University of Buckingham 25th August 2010 Take a Break Magazine Editorial Positioning of Take A Break magazine Take a Break (described as ‘the world’s No. Advertising Coursework 4 of 12 . public services. Circulation Adult Readership Female Readership Target Market Frequency Launch date Price 855. .co. 24. One in ten women in the UK read Take a Break every week and it sells 2 copies every second. health. The table below shows the magazine’s intended target 2 audience. Other adverts in the magazine tended to be for family.co. Readers can be anything from 18 to 80. making it the 4th largest women's weekly in the world.322.795. travel and competitions attracts a hugely varied readership.bauer. home.www. 2 3 Bauer (Take a Break publisher) website .372 2.because the A Team advert stands out from the rest of the magazine. and many have children. near the middle of magazine and opposite a ‘Readers Reality’ section about a young mom and her baby (the right audience for the advertising message). etc. fashion.
from their logo to the colour. When used in market research. odours. flavours. Daniel: Semiotics for Beginners. words. In order to fully understand the meaning of brand signs one must study them in context. ‘semei-‘ meaning ‘sign’ or ‘signal’. acts or objects.the concept it represents e. article on Aberystwyth University website http://www. I will focus solely on Saussure’s model in this essay.g.ac. The sign is the whole that results from the association of the signifier with the 4 signified. 4 Chandler. and the 'signified' . the word 'open' (when seen by someone on a shop doorway) as being composed of: • • a 'signifier' . and in advertising semiotics focuses on three main contexts: • • • The brand The overall category i. promotions. shape and feel of the product’s packaging.e.University of Buckingham 25th August 2010 What is Semiotics? The name ‘semiotics’ comes from the Greek.g. semiotics looks at how signs operate in a brands’ products. colours.the form which the sign takes e.html Advertising Coursework 5 of 12 . to communication language. Signs can be words. sounds. Everything connected with a brand is a sign. Saussure offered a 'dyadic' or two-part model of the sign. but such things have no intrinsic meaning and become signs only when we invest them with meaning. the word open.uk/media/Documents/S4B/sem02. He defined a sign e. advertising. etc and also how signs operate in popular culture. Semiotics therefore is the study of a system of signs. packaging. images. competitors Popular culture The two dominant models of semiotics are those of the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure and the philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. website.aber. website layout and staff uniform.g. that the shop is open for business.
These include feeling that the milk product has similar characteristics of being of superior quality. 5 timelessness. The table below identifies other important signifiers and what each intends to signify (signified) about the ‘Make Mine Milk’’ brand. This knowledge allows the advertiser to ensure: • • • Strategic coherence between all brand elements Competitive distinctiveness at a time when attention is in short supply Cultural relevance in all strategic communication with their target audience The Analysis • • • The brand context The overall category context i. known as codes. the product and the brand transfers certain audience perceptions from the former to the latter. and goodness . Advertising Coursework 6 of 12 . cool. aspirational. exclusive and is very desirable. The A Team are also the main actors in a July 2010 Hollywood remake of the iconic ‘Alpha Team’ which has been watched and loved since 1983. stylish. The A Team is a sign in the advert made up of: • • a signifier: the image of the A Team wearing milk moustaches.University of Buckingham 25th August 2010 Semiotics is beneficial to the advertiser in understanding advertising communication because it reveals unspoken cultural rules. The image of the A Team is a signifier that signifies strength. a signified concept: that the product and brand are utilized by the A Team When celebrities are used as signs in adverts. There are many signs in this advert that are intended to communicate specific messages to their target audience about the product and brand.e. the signified association between the celebrity. Celebrities are commonly used in luxury advertising because they are out of people’s reach. timelessness 5 See Popular cultural context below. Signifiers The A Team image Signified Strength. By using the A Team in the advert. competitors Popular culture context Brand Context The brand being promoted in the A Team advert by advertisers the Milk Marketing Forum of trade body Dairy UK. that underpin contemporary communications and determine how people make sense of what others are talking about. is ‘Make Mine Milk’. cool. these traits become associated in the audiences’ mind with the brand and the achieves the advertisers goal of making milk a cool choice for the audience they aim to attract.
welcoming community Open. showing the food item (whether in a positive or negative light). and comparison with poorer alternatives amongst others. 6 A play on Mr T’s classic phrase. “I pity the fool!” See Popular Cultural Context section below. using the persuasion and informational model of consumer influence. authoritative logos. Advertising Coursework 7 of 12 . usually images of ordinary people if any at all. Some communication codes in the government adverts below include. Other Food Adverts 1. welcoming community ‘Low fat milk.University of Buckingham 25th August 2010 Milk moustaches ‘Make Mine Milk’ logo ‘Drink up fool’ text 6 Identity. repeated use of specific icons (such as heart shape in Ad1 and Ad2 below) for recognition. 2. unified cause Desirable choice Tradition Healthy International authority Open. less than 2% fat’ logo EU logo ‘Join the ‘M’ team’ text ‘Visit facebook fan page’ text Overall Category Context By examining the signs in other public organisations advertise their healthier food messages one uncovers some obvious ‘unwritten rules’ or conventions that are followed in this particular market sector.
5. who portrayed the character of B. The show also served as the springboard for the career of Mr. The ‘Make Mine Milk’ advert definitely challenges some very established rules that are conventionally used in public organisations food advertising. Using a popular film in advert.University of Buckingham 25th August 2010 3. the ATeam always acted on the side of good and helped the oppressed. such as using celebrities instead of ordinary people. The popular show ran for 4 years in the 1980s and it remains known in popular culture today with the July 2010 Hollywood remake being used in the advert. Using logos and identifiers (low fat logo. Baracus. 4. Popular Cultural Context The A-Team is an American action adventure television series about a fictional group of ex-United States Army Special Forces personnel who work as soldiers of fortune. milk moustache). Advertising Coursework 8 of 12 . T. Despite being thought of as mercenaries by the other characters in the show. While staying true to other advertising conventions including using the Persuasive model of consumer influence. A. Social/community building via facebook / Join ‘M’ Team. Using authoritative logos so in fact looks at first glance like a government ad because of EU logo but is a commercial advert for trade association Dairy UK.
for example re-branding the image of milk to increase industry wide sales. semiotics allows the advertiser to strategically develop its communication strategies to achieve maximum differentiation from competitors. By uncovering unwritten rules used in advertising by competitors in a market. These include transference of the coolness and ongoing popularity of the A Team to the product. especially Mr T. Advertising Coursework 9 of 12 . give forceful advise for people to do the right thing ‘or else’. as seen with the A Team advert. which is currently underutilized. semiotics enables the advertiser to align packaging and advertising with a specific brand proposition or marketing objectives. By recognising and employing it. Audience Interpretation As well as successfully interpreting the popular context of the advert it successfully puts across the advertisers message that low fat milk can be drank regularly and is a cool. where semiotic analysis is used to gain valuable insight into what made a piece of communication successful so it can be repeated.University of Buckingham 25th August 2010 around whom the show was initially conceived. such as "I pity the fool!" by Mr T. socially acceptable choice of drink for a younger and older generation to make. have also made their way onto T-shirts and other merchandise. It is clear that semiotics is a powerful tool to advertisers. the idea their strength and long lasting life has come from choosing milk all these years and the message that milk is good for people of all generations. Also the A Team. Conclusion I have shown semiotics in action and one can easily understand its value to the advertiser. Some of the show's catchphrases. Part of this value is retrospective. By studying the popular culture within which the A Team exist one can interprete conscious and subconscious messages the target audience are likely to pick up about the advert. the advertiser sets himself apart from the competition. as in this essay. This is communicated in the advert text ‘Drink up Fool!’ and audiences will pick up on that as well. And finally.
html Dairy UK website: www.http://www.http://www. 5 July 2010.campaignlive. Daniel: Semiotics for Beginners. . References . (3).uk/media/Documents/S4B/sem02.ac.dairyuk.bauer. 12 April 2010. 25th August 2010 Rachel Lawes: ‘Demystifying Semiotics: Some Key Questions Answered’ . Vol. . . International Journal of Market Research.aber.http://www.http://www. Article on Aberystwyth University website . . .44.University of Buckingham .251-266. Article on Campaign website . .uk Chandler.org Geoff Platt: Usher and The A-Team to front Make Mine Milk. ONLINE Bauer (Take a Break publisher) website .com .co. 2002 Article.com/news/usher-and-the-a-team-to-front-makemine-milk Joe Thomas: ‘Pixie Lott and Gordon Ramsay front new milk campaign’.foodbev.uk/news/995974/PixieLott-Gordon-Ramsay-front-new-milk-campaign/ Advertising Coursework 10 of 12 . .co. Article on FoodBev. pp.