IMAGE – 1
When analysing an image, the factors to look for are the colours, if any, in the image, although some black and white images may portray strong emotions and make a direct impact on the viewer. In the captioned image, the emphasis of the creator is on creating a contrast between the pink colour in the background and the black silhouette of the gun along with the man wearing an outfit of the same colour. When an analysis of these two contrasting, diametrically opposite shades of life are portrayed on the canvas by a creator, it shows the contrasting thoughts and the conflict going on in the mind of the creator (Linke, 2004).
To carry forward the analysis, take a look at the colours and understand what they symbolise when they are used in an image. Pink colour is a combination of colours red and white and this makes it a combination of ‘action’, which is symbolised by the colour red and ‘peace and prosperity’ which is symbolised by the colour white. Thus it can be summarised that colour pink generates thoughts in human beings about achieving success with harmony and insight. It will not be out of context to state here that colour pink contains the passion and power of colour red which is softened with purity and openness contained in colour white. On the other hand, colour black symbolises darkness in thoughts and a complete lack of human values. This colour connects itself with negativity and creates an urge in human beings to resort to destruction and distraught in society (Linke, 2004).
What a contrast! What a diversified attitude in human thoughts! Can it be imagined that peace and threat can prosper side by side! Can humanity visualise progress and disharmony existing on the same platform! Will society be able to sustain prosperity with destruction! In this single visual, the creator has tried to amalgamate all this in a single frame and the purpose seems to create awareness that if there is a way to sustain all the diversities in the society, it is possible by merging power with humility, strength with humbleness and success with action (Lillis, 2003).
Bringing together two colours, which have diverse values, can have a startling effect on the visual impact it can create. Colour pink symbolises the phrase ‘I will not forget you’. Energy quality of pink can be determined by the content of colour red in it. Whereas white symbolises the potential for fullness, red helps the society in achieving that potential. Hence colour pink combines the two energies. Colour psychologists suggest that a deeper shade of pink, such as magenta, has been effective in neutralizing violence and disorder in society. Colour pink has been found to provide the feelings of self-worth, caring, tenderness, love and acceptance among humans. A strong observation by psychologists is that if colour pink is combined with colours of dark shades, such as dark blue, dark green or black, provides added sophistication and strength to pink (Bignell, 2002).
IMAGE – 2
It is not that only contrasting colours can create a visual impact that can be meaningful, illustrative and conveys a message louder than words. A black and white or a grey image can be equally create a powerful visual impact and this image has the intensity, the message and the impact which can say what thousand words would have failed to convey. The image depicted here shows the dominant nature of human beings, their hidden desire to celebrate their power of dominance through destruction of the social fibre that binds generations into a progressive and developing society. Social scientists and psychologists have been intrigued as well as have felt intimated by the constant strait of destructive tendencies in human beings. It has often baffled them as to how can an individual indulge in celebration of its view point by completely destroying the ideology of another individual. It becomes more baffling and sometimes even more intriguing, when a group of like-minded people show their dominance over another group, simply because the two groups could not agree over a common view point (Bignell, 2002).
It is an established fact that societies comprise of opposing groups having diverse and divergent ideologies and cultural values. Studies have also specified that if any like-minded ideologies are operative in a given society, it is because of the fact that their concept of ideology is of central importance to the people or the dominant group controlling such factions. Social scientists have inferred that ‘dominant ideologies’ are responsible for producing in such groups, social relations which show prominence of domination and subordination. In this context, it is easy to understand that in ‘Ideologies of Class’, the ‘Upper Class’ is the dominant force in social life and the ‘Working Class’ is the subordinate group. Similarly, the ‘Ideologies of Gender’ help in promoting a difference of sexist representation, where men are the ‘Dominant Gender’ and women are considered as the ‘Oppressed Gender’. Societies have also ‘Ideologies of Race’, where racist representations become the deciding factor among people of different colour and minority groups (Lillis, 2003).
Ideologies, because of their discriminative and oppressive nature, make inequality and subordination to appear as natural and also induce consent to recurrence of domination.
Because of such groups representing different races, genders and classes and ideologies which promote different forms of oppression, it is essential to promote ‘Multiculturalism’, which shall affirm the importance and worth of different cultures and cultural groups and promote the validity and importance of the oppressed and marginal voices. This ideology of multiculturalism has been found to show how various group’s voices and experiences are being omitted from mainstream cultures of the society. It has also shown how their struggles to include their diverse views, cultural values and experiences in the form of groups are being excluded from the mainstream ideologies. This is what is making them targets of conservative forces who wish to preserve their existing dominance over the society and limit free expression of the oppressed (Linke, 2004).
IMAGE – 3
The purpose of a print advertisement is to construct believable stories and for this the media employs specific techniques. The attention of the reader is drawn to the advertisement by creating psychological impacts and technical effects. In this respect, it can be safely stated that there’s more to an advertisement’s message than meets the eye. To make print advertisement into an effective communication medium, like other forms of communication, it is essential that it strikes a chord with the consumer, emulating his needs and desires and creating a lasting connection between the two (Linke, 2004).
Majority of print advertisements are published with a simple purpose: convincing the audience in purchasing a product or service although there are other types of advertisements which impart information for public service and those selling ideas, such as those of Greenpeace or National Rifle Association selling ideas of environment protection. In this context the important thing to know is – Who is the target reader for the advertisement? The media has also to keep in view the fact that – Would someone from a different gender or being older or younger or somebody making more or less money or having different social values or from a different race be able to interpret the text and the image with a different perspective? Also important are the factors related to moral and social values which the advertisement may contain (Lillis, 2003).
In the image shown here, the text has been crafted to create a consistent message about the model. It tries to create an impression of symbolic comparison between the product – which is footwear of an internationally reputed and respected brand – and the model, who was, in her prime time, an actress of excellence and a ravishing beauty known for her glamorous looks and curvaceous body. Although the text does not tell us anything about the product, it does make an indirect reference to benefits, lifestyle benefits and factual attributes of the product. The advertisement does not directly sell the product to the reader, instead the text relates it to the attributes of the image (Lillis, 2003).
Although the image is simple, it is worth a thousand words and this should be the very aim of every print advertisement. The image should be able to grab our attention. The personality shown in the image should relate to the lifestyle associated with the product. Print advertisements should be targeted at a general audience, although advertisers do try to categorise them according to region, economic class, race, age and gender, although the categorisation is done on a broad basis. A print advertisement in the magazine Business Week will be for business people and contemporary women will be targeted in Cosmopolitan. For this reason, it is not advisable to print an advertisement of Harley Davidson motorcycle in Cosmo, just like there will not be any advertisement related to champagne in Field and Stream. Finally, it is the combination of the magazine, the product, the text and the image that will make a great advertisement fit for the right readers (Bignell, 2002).
LIST OF REFERENCES
Bignell, J. (2002) Media Semiotics: An Introduction, Second Edition. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Lillis, T.M. (2003) Analysing Language in Context: A Student Workbook. Staffordshire: Stylus Publishing, LLC.
Linke, M. (2004) Semiotics: A critical analysis of three advertisements. Berlin: GRIN Verlag.