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Semiotic analysis is useful for examining texts to unravel structures of meaning beyond mere presence or absence Van Zoonen 74 In this essay semiotics will be used to discuss ways that gender is represented in a Nescafe advertisement published in CLEO The idea of first second and third orders of signification as outlined by Liesbet Van Zoonen can be used as one way to analyse this advertisement by describing the literal elements of the image denotation interpreting the associations that the image draws upon connotation and finally identifying the manifest expression structuring the overall meaning of the advertisement Identification of relevant signs and their dominant aspects is the first step in making a semiotic analysis This advertisement for Nescaf Espresso Coffee features male GreekAustralian celebrity Nick Giannopoulos aka The Wog Boy striking a pose on the dance-floor He wears a white t-shirt black pants shoes belt and leather jacket His pose partly conceals a background logo with only the words Strong Spirited and Dark being fully recognisable In the denotative sense these words represent the strong dark and spirited flavour of Nescaf coffee Nescaf is printed boldly across the top of the page with the words Express Yourself across the bottom of the page denoting that drinking Nescaf allows you to Express Yourself There is no real mention of coffee in this advertisement - if the audience didnt know what Nescaf was they may have trouble understanding the ad There are no pictures of coffee and no coffee colours eg brown are used Second order signification examines potential cultural values and beliefs expressed by a sign Van Zoonen 76 The denotative signs provoke numerous connotative meanings The words Strong and Spirited reflect the personality of the celebrity while Dark could be in reference to his ethnic background His clothing both the style and colour are stereotypical of many young ethnics The words Express Yourself reflect the celebritys personality his stance and facial expression
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