Juxtaposition Similarity (and more)

Here are some options, I don’t why my previous post deleted itself :/


I’m leaning towards the twizzler one

safe sex campaign 012 Showcase of Safe Sex Campaign Ads and Posters

^ Fusion opposition?? The only interpretation that could allow this is if we said that the condom is safer than a soldier’s parachute… I admit that might be a bit of a stretch



^ A better juxtaposition similarity?


Evil Thoughts About Poster Text

Now that we’ve eased into our role as the evil group; I have an extremely evil idea that I think is a fair proposition we can take up with Prof. O’Gorman. I hope we also get bonus points for engaging in rhizomatic thinking heh heh.

To my understanding we are technically allowed to omit details in our poster if we are capable of explaining why in our papers. What I’m going to try do here is to present a line of reasoning that I think will be more than sufficient to justify why we are entitled to omit as much text as possible from the poster based on two points. Firstly, the purpose of the poster is predicated upon the goal of creating the most effective way of conveying meaning; I will argue that the inclusion of headings is entirely redundant.¬†Secondly, Phillips and McQuarrie have misrepresented the nature of semiotics by imposing a 9-grid square utilizing only 9 categories as a basis for meaning between visual elements. The categories themselves are insufficient. I understand that this is a visual rhetoric course, but I’m making the assertion that the premise behind the square is wrong if semiotics is taken into account – in this instance, semiotics has to be taken into account because Phillips and McQuarrie are trying to present the processes behind visual meaning.

Anyways, my first point is the one I want to emphasize because it’s the most relevant to the outcome of the poster. Let’s begin: The goal of this poster is the production of a visually informative combination of image and text that conveys Phillips and McQuarrie’s 9 elements. We are being graded on how adequately we can package all this textual and visual information so that it is both aesthetically pleasing and cognitively simple to decode by a viewer. By making this poster, we are essentially asked to engage in a communicative process that involves two moments: the production and reception of meaning. If including text in the poster will not be conducive to the reception of meaning, we don’t need it.

So first, we need to understand the reception of meaning. Through the study of sign systems, we know that meaning is not objective. For example, a knife is cutlery in one context, a weapon in another and art in another still. The meaning of the knife is arbitrary. What we understand about anything is the result of how connotations are assigned to denotations. To borrow a quote from Stuart Hall, television violence isn’t violence, but messages about violence. How can any two people come to similar conclusions about meaning in varying contexts? Through convention. In a superhero movie, there is morally good and morally bad violence. In a gore movie, violence is the entertainment. There are certain cues and patterns we look for within these movies in order to draw these conclusions. Likewise, different types of media are subject to its own respective cues and patterns in meaning production and reception.

Moving onwards – If we are watching a movie that features a woman who is dating a neglectful and arrogant businessman, but by chance she meets a charming yet clumsy man, we know that the sweet guy will oust his arrogant rival despite his idiotic blunders. We understand who these characters are by using a variety of conventionalized cues. Background music, hairstyles, facial features and actors are some of the factors that are utilized in the process of meaning production. The producer and its audience use these conventions of understanding in order to form a symmetrical relationship so that the information that has been encoded will be decoded more or less the same on both ends. This is the same basis that allows us to understand things such as genre. I’m sure you knew my previous example was that of a romantic comedy even before I acknowledged it.

Now, instead of blurting out more theory, I just want to ask if we’ve reached a point in the course where the encoders and decoders have reached a point of symmetrical understanding. That is, if we were to bring a piece of paper that featured 9 advertisements structured into a grid, does every individual within the room have the capacity to understand not only what it is, but what each square means? I think the answer is yes, because the class has already conventionalized the meanings conveyed by the poster. In effect, whether the headings are present or not cannot affect the efficiency of meaning reception. We can still include titles such as “Juxtaposition-Similarity” but all additional text does not aid the poster in conveying meaning. If what I’ve said is valid, then all we need to focus on is producing aesthetics.

The Root of All Evil (Another Ad Post)

Although I’ve found a handful of evil ads since last Thursday, I’m posting the ones that are simple in terms of semiotics (relatively low Sign manipulation) and therefore rhetorically simple. We can discuss if we should replace some of the previous ones after looking at these. EDIT: I just read over the recent posts and I realize some of these overlap
joy_of_pepsi_straws^ Juxtaposition¬† – Opposition; the Pepsi can and “non Coke” can are juxtaposed but Pepsi is the only drink of the two that does not repel the straw.

^ Replacement – Connection; The Post-It note is an extension of memory. It can be assumed that the guy will forget her name unless the Post-It is there to conveniently remind him.


^ Fusion – Similarity – This gum is cold as ice


^ Juxtaposition – Similarity; the MagLite is similar to the glory of a spiritual halo


^ Replacement – Connection or Similarity? This ad is slightly evil. The Hulk is wearing a band-aid, suggesting the product is good enough for superhuman injuries but it can also be said that the user feels like Hulk upon wearing the band-aid.

Here are also three more, which I think are duplicates of some of the categories I just presented –

Picture-5Document 5Picture-4


Hey again, I’ve been informed that we’re looking for some examples of Opposition. I’ll be sporadically updating this post as I go along and find relevant examples.


The opposition exhibited in this ad is probably felt as an ironic appeal by the viewer – the ad turns against its own message by appearing on those stairs, but this advertising agency/tabloid promises that its services are more effective than conventional ways of marketing. Do we have a Replacement – Opposition here? It replaces what the ad would have been if it were just another staircase ad.

Other possibilities – ray_ban_bronx_never_hide_1956



Typology of Visual Rhetoric

Hey everyone, sorry for this delayed post I’ve been really sick for the past few days despite stocking up on medication and undergoing hibernation-like states of sleep. I’m still under the weather so bear with me as I try to write in a cohesive manner. In the meantime (and on a more positive note) I’d like to share a few ads I’ve been looking at and their relevant analyses.

Before I begin sharing these ads I’ve noticed that Phillips and McQuarrie’s classification of visual rhetoric is best applied to advertisements that only have relatively few levels of signification (in terms of semiotics). I’m bringing this up because Prof O’ Gorman briefly brought it up in class when we first looked at the article. Anyhow, I’ve noticed that the less steps that a viewer has to undergo to derive meaning from the image makes it a more likely candidate for Phillips and McQuarrie’s method of analysis. For instance,

I would argue that this advertisement has difficulty finding itself into the nine categories because there are at least three levels of signification at play here. Firstly, the viewer must associate the meat product with its animal counterpart in its natural environment; secondly, the viewer must associate the cheetah as the referent of the term “carnivore”; and thirdly, the viewer must associate the cheetah in the winter jacket with the frozen food department. Whereas Phillips and McQuarrie can only offer us an analysis that posits A in relation to B, this ad might require processing that puts A in relation to B as well as to C and so forth depending on each ad’s “layering” of meaning.

Moving onwards – the first ad (of the three that I will post for now) is this one:


This ad depicts the destruction of two ceramic figures and the super glue bottle with the word “Rewind” suggests that the super glue can make the destroyed figurines as good as new. I would say this image is a Replacement because it represents the act of reparation and subsequently, its meaning operation is Connection since the act of repair/product is associated with moving backwards in time. The reason I say it’s Connection is due to the relationship between the degree of destruction and the passage of time and here, the product serves to modify the passage of time. What do you guys think?

Second ad:


This one is interesting. At first it appears to be a Fusion of chocolate and grumpy woman perhaps through Opposition but on second thought, Kit Kat isn’t trying to assert itself in relation to the woman, it is trying to position itself in relation to the breaking of the woman and more specifically, with the aim of dismantling her grumpiness. The ad might be trying to say that Kit Kat chocolate dismantles tense people/situations. If the latter is true, then this ad might be Replacement – Connection? I would not go so far as to suggest that this would be Replacement – Similarity since the literal breaking of humans does not bode well for chocolate goodness.

Third one:


This is the last Replacement example I will post for now, I promise. The mini camera is replacing the much larger, standard DSLR cameras which explains why the model’s nose is contorted. The ad is telling the consumer that the mini camera has all the functionality of high end cameras despite the absence of physical bulk. In some ways, it can be said that this add connotes both Similarity and Opposition because in some ways it is both similar and dissimilar to the bigger cameras.

Here’s a link which you guys might be interested in checking out for more ad ideas – http://www.presidiacreative.com/75-award-winning-creative-advertisements/