Narratives and Stories

In adverting, every picture tells a story. These stories are encoded in such a way that the receiver can decode it with ease, perhaps even subconsciously. Advertising is reliant on the receivers understanding of the narrative presented in the ad. For example, the following advertisement (Fig 1.1) is for Levi Jeans.

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(Figure 1.1 Levi Jeans Advertisement)

The narrative that may be decoded from this ad is that a woman is in motion, possibly running, through a field. She is topless, and there is wind blowing her hair. The connotations of this image could be liberation or freedom. However, if we were to isolate the model without the caption or branding, it may be a more sinister image. Perhaps she is running away from someone. The indexical signs are the association between the open field and topless model, to give this idea of freedom. The language attached is important to make it clear that it the jeans are “all I need”. The story created is that a woman has all she needs, the jeans, and is freely moving through an open space. While this may not be common practice to the audience, it can be understood to be a freeing act and an adventurous act.

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