Creating Effective Advertisement with Semiotics

06 April, 2021

The shortest definition for semiotics is that it’s the study of signs. Semiology is used to investigate the nature of signs and the laws that govern them. It became a major approach in studying different cultures during the 1960s.

Semiotics, although, is not only important to cultural and anthropological studies but also in marketing and advertising. Along with some other things, semiotics is used for grabbing the attention of an intended target market that includes people of different age groups. It can be used as a unique way to visually represent and get across a brand’s message to their potential consumers.

Signs can be considered as a universal language. Humans, at their core, respond to signs making semiotics a possible way to communicate past the barriers of language and illiteracy and provides the ability to reach a much larger and varied audience.

Different Ways to Use Semiotics in Advertising

Semiotics has been used in many different ways to advertise brands according to their product type and marketing goals. The most common use of semiotics is, of course, the visual elements. The use of logos, colors and specific designs to express a business’ intended message is familiar to all of us.

Another popular and effective way of using semiotics in advertising is the verbal expressions that include tag lines and catch-phrases. These are usually used along with the visual representations to make them much more effective.

Clever Use of Metaphors

Metaphors are a very unique way to advertise your product or service. It is one of the most effective ways of using semiotics and usually uses visual elements to get your message across.

An amazing example of the use of metaphor is this advertisement of Dettol Hand Sanitizer. The image used in the advertisement is more than enough to make one realise the need of carrying a hand sanitizer at all times and, therefore, encouraging customers to buy their product.

There are many other usage of metaphors that we have seen from both large and small brands, like those advertisements of beverage companies where a person would become highly energized as soon as they consume their drink. This type of advertising is often crucial for brands to convince people in buying their products.

Use of Images

Images are more powerful to place in advertisements than words, as they are much more noticable and can be located from a distance. Recurrence of images and symbols that a brand wants to be related with is often seen in advertisements. The most common way of implementing this is putting together a unique logo and using it in all of the advertisements by your brand. Logos are one of the easiest ways to make your brand stand out from the others. For example, we have become inherently familiar with the Grameenphone logo and will immediately recognize it anywhere because of their continual use of it since its launch in 2006. Of course, it’ll take a long time to make your logo as popular but the brand recognition it will develop is usually worth it.

Along with that, some brands have also developed a certain aesthetic of images that they use on their billboards or other advertisements. A billboard by Aarong is recognizable without even looking at the logo or words just from the aesthetic of it. This makes a much more efficient outdoor advert when viewed from a greater distance.

Use of Sound and Music

While sounds are not commonly implemented in outdoor advertisements, they are always a big part of advertisements on television, radio or even social media. There are people in your potential target audience who remember and relate to sounds as much as visuals, if not more. A music sequence or specific sound that is unique to your brand’s adverts can gain you recognizability.

We are all familiar with the short jingle that plays in every advertisement of Fair n Lovely that exists on earth - be the language of it Bangla, Hindi or English. Music is a probable way to cross the boundaries of language difference.

Use of Colors

Color is the strongest form of semiotics. This is the first thing you need to implement in your advertisements, your website, your social media posts - everywhere. We all subconsciously associate brands with colors. Most brands use colors to separate themselves from similar brands. For instance, Coke is red and Pepsi is blue.

Distinguishing colors is an inherent quality in most people. This is why we used to color code our notebooks in school. Colors are much more noticable and quicker to interpret in our minds. A strong color scheme for your brand will help consumers relate to your advertisements much faster.

While choosing a color scheme for your business, you should consider the overall vibe of the brand you are trying to build. As many colors are associated with emotions and ideas, it’s up to you whether you want to pick a cheerful pastel or a dramatic bold.

Relation to Social and Cultural Values

Even though signs are usually recognized on a universal level, there are some signs and symbols that might mean different things to different groups of people. Cultural etiquette will shape the way people respond to semiotics, so it’s important to make yourself familiar with the popular usage of symbols while introducing them to a new society or culture.A well-informed decision on this regard will make your advertisement well-accepted and reduce the risk of unintentionally hurting or disrespecting the cultural and social values of your target audience.

Semiotics is a complex concept with many layers to it and it’s been being studied by semiologists for decades now. But a bit of knowledge and attention to the basics of semiotics can impact on your brands’ advertising strategy as the role of it in marketing and advertising is quite obvious.

Interested in creating effective advertisement for your brand with implications of semiotics? We can help you design the perfect advertisement and promote them to the right audience. Connect with us using the contacts listed below.