Connotation, Denotation etc.

today i will talk about how advertisements communicates the message that it is trying to portray to its viewers....

advertisements no matter how creative or how simple it is, always follows few basic principles. these principles form the basis of communication, visually. let me give you a brief of those principles first:


'Denotation' tends to be described as the definitional, 'literal', 'obvious' or 'commonsense' meaning of a sign. In the case of linguistic signs, the denotative meaning is what the dictionary attempts to provide.

Connotation is a subjective cultural and/or emotional coloration in addition to the explicit or denotative meaning of any specific word or phrase in a language, i.e. emotional association with a word.

The Gestalt effect refers to the form-forming capability of our senses, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of just a collection of simple lines and curves. In psychology, gestaltism is often opposed to structuralism and Wundt. The phrase "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts" is often used when explaining Gestalt theory”.


let me show you how these principles are used here to communicate to the viewers:
DENOTATION: Here the denotation would be a girl drinking a fruit drink, which is almost over and she is wishing for more.
CONNOTATION: The connotation or the implied meaning here suggest the emotion of the girl attached with Rasna. By reading this speech box we can understand that Rasna is a favorite drink of hers every summer. She probably waits a whole year to get that drink. Thus she is wishing that summer would last forever so that she can have Rasna throughout the year.
MYTH: The myth associated with this ad, is that Rasna is a life saver in the summers from the scorching heat of the sun. probably the only drink to have been survived as a favorite for many generations.
GESTALT THEORY: there is a girl who has almost finished her drink. But she is still waiting to taste the last drop of Rasna in her glass. The speech box suggest that she is wishing that summer would last forever. The overall ad tells us that Rasna is a favorite drink of every girl during summer. 

lets see some few more examples:


DENOTATION: The moment we look a the picture, we see a girl eating cars. This is the most direct meaning any person will get at a first sight.
CONNOTATION: This image is actually an ad for a big Austrian chain of motorway rest stops, Oldtimer,  found almost at regular intervals. The phrase “ all you can eat” suggest that the rest stops affordable and provide tasty food for the travellers.
MYTH: The myth that can be associated with this ad, can be that “Oldtimer” is probably the best rest stop for traveller which provide affordable and sufficient food to suit everyone's appetite.
GESTALT THEORY: here we see a highway, through which few cars are moving. At a sudden look it appears as if a giant girl is eating all the cars, but when examined closely we see a poster of a famous motorway rest stop.


This is a still life photography taken from the cities of Rajasthan.
DENOTATION: The denotation here, is a camel drinking coca-cola.
CONNOTATION: Various connotations can be derived from this image.  it can be that the camel was thirsty and only got a bottle of coke to drink or it can be his favorite drink, which he drinks all the time.
MYTH: The myth is probably that coca-cola I not only the favorite drink of humans but also animals.
GESTALT THEORY:  here we see a camel drinking coca-cola. This image is the foreground, while the trees are shown in the background. The camel is probably meant for tourists in some urban city.


DENOTATION: The denotation here is a boy sitting on a bench.
CONOTATION: The kit-kat painting on the bench suggest that this boy is taking a break and relaxing.
MYTH: The myth is perhaps that whenever we take a break, whether we are eating a kit-kat or not, we are always with a kit-kat. In other words taking a break is incomplete without a kit-kat.
GESTALT THEORY: In this image there is a boy sitting on a bench, probably relaxing. The bench is painted like a kit-kat  chocolate bar. This is intentionally done for the product promotion. At the background we see a busy street with one or two cars.


DENOTATION: Here we see a burning shoe, from which smokes are coming out.
CONNOTATION: This is basically an ad for a fast food center, “the food express”. It claims to be the hottest fastfood and hence is shown that a person is literally burnt after having the food from this place.
MYTH: The myth is that “the food express” sells the hottest fastfood ever.
GESTALT THEORY: the gestalt theory here is a very simple one. Against a black backdrop, we see a smoking shoe. Below are few text which suggest why the shoe is smoking. This is actually an ad for a fast food joint, which claims to sell the hottest fastfood. In fact its food is so hot, that it can literally burn down an entire person, with only its shoe remaining.



DENOTATION: a broken onion and a chili.
CONNOTATION: the broken onion and chili, refers to the crispiness of the onion and chili chips of Pringles. It tells us that the chips are so crisp that it can even make an onion brake.
MYTH: Pringle’s chips are the crispiest chips in the world.
GESTALT THEORY: overall a broken onion and chili is shown. But actually it shows that a vegetable when made hard and crispy can brake instantly. Thus Pringle chips are never soggy.  It also tells the flavours in which Pringle chips can be found.


DENOTATION: a woman with band aids on both side of her lip.
CONNOTATION: this image is in reference to the huge-sized burgers of burger king. This ad suggest that the burgers are so huge, the woman had to cut her mouth to eat a burger and that is why she has band aids on both sides of her lip.
MYTH: the myth is that, Burger King sells the biggest burgers in town.
GESTALT THEORY: a woman with band aids on her lips. This is the most emphasized part of the ad. This image is in reference to the huge-sized burgers of burger king. This ad suggest that the burgers are so huge, the woman had to cut her mouth to eat a burger. 


DENOTATION: we see a normal sized human hand holding a glass of Pepsi.
CONNOTATION: this image is an ad for Pepsi mini cans. The big proportion of the hand and the small size of the glass is shown in order to make us understand the quantity of the drink. The word ‘mini’ is used for the same reason. Reduced size of the cans also suggest a reduction in price.
MYTH: here the myth is that Pepsi has developed the smallest can in the world. Now Pepsi can be enjoyed in small doses.
GESTALT THEORY:  this ad can be viewed from two perspective,  either a very gigantic hand is holding a glass of Pepsi or a normal human hand I holding a very small glass of the drink. However the later is applicable in this ad.  This image suggest the size of the Pepsi can which is now available in the market.






















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