Define the product as a commodity; interpret the product as a commodity form.

Semiotics (advertising) – Research paper

The process of writing this paper should lead the writer to look deeply into an ad and by extension, come to a better understanding of advertising as a social and discursive practice.

This analysis should demonstrate an understanding of the Marx, Williamson and Goldman readings and apply some of their ideas and concerns to  an analysis. Demonstrate that  the readings have been done carefully,the author’s central arguments and major points,  most importantly,  apply those ideas and critical approaches to  analysis of an ad. These short essays should be in formal prose and include a bibliography or works cited page.
Follow Williamson’s and/or Goldman’s examples;  draw upon their ideas and approaches to the analysis of advertising. Williamson, for instance, offer dozens of examples of advertising analysis and Goldman has an extensive discussion of the logic of perfume ads. Both authors demonstrate how to apply their ideas to writing about ads.

The following brief questions should be used as a guide.  Don’t answer or address all of the following question but make sure to incorporate some of the keywords into  writing and demonstration that  to understand these terms by applying them to a sophisticated analysis of representation in advertising.

• Define the product as a commodity; interpret the product as a commodity form.
• What role does this ad play in the process of exchange? How does it create a structure or nexus for symbolic exchange?
• How does the ad rely on abstraction and equivalence?
• How does the ad reproduce commodity fetishism and/or reification?
• How does the ad reproduce social relations among things and material relations among people?
• What are the symbolic properties of the product? How are these properties constituted by the ad?
• What is the logic or framework or formal structure of the ad?
• What is the ideological function of this ad?
• How do signs, signifiers and signifieds work in the ad?
• What is the referent(s) of the ad?
• How is the product differentiated?
• Discuss the ad as it creates any of the following:

o Objective correlative
o Product as signified
o Product as signifier
o Product a generator
o Product as currency

• How does the ad position, address or appellate (interpellate) the subject?
• How might the ad generate pseudo-individuality?
• How are sign-values produced by the ad? What sign-values are produced in the ad?
• How is meaning transferred?
o Describe the process of translation

o How can meaning act as a kind of currency