Presentation on theme: "Convention Tabulator – Semiotic Tool #2 of the series Breakthrough using recombination Useful for: Marketers Innovators & Advertisers."— Presentation transcript:
Convention Tabulator – Semiotic Tool #2 of the series Breakthrough using recombination Useful for: Marketers Innovators & Advertisers
Take at look at this picture, you probably recognise the style. Semioticians call this a Code, namely, Impressionism. Lets explore a bit of jargon to get going.... semiotic-analysis – see 2 Semiotics is the science of meaning
Z Semiotic codes operate as a system with scale E.g. Zeit Code – Culture versus nature Uber Code – Western high culture Meta Code – French high culture Code Device - Women holding sun umbrellas Sub Code - Park scenes Code - Impressionism Meaning units
Codes operate on different scales going from mega big to very small and precise. A Zeit code – is a broad set of metaphors operating internationally. E.g. The idea of culture being civilised versus nature as uncivilised. An Uber code operates across a continent or region that has cultural similarities and describes a common concept e.g. Western high culture A Meta code is an overall theme within a Uber Code e.g. French High Culture which often brings to mind art (painting) A Code is expression of that theme e.g. Impressionism as an artistic movement expressed by painters such as Seurat or Monet A Sub Code is a further atomisation or expression of the Code which is common to that Code e.g. scenes in parks were common Codes of Impressionism A Code device is a part of a Sub Code which is recognisable as a part of the whole as you see it again and again e.g. People holding umbrellas to create shade from the sunshine. Bear in mind some definitions to begin unwrapping semiotics
Lets get back to the picture Most people look at the picture and see a French impressionist painting You dont consciously have to look at the umbrella, the clothes, the river, the use of colour (Sub Codes) – you just instantly know this overall style Theres a lot of information here you dont consciously process (Sub Codes) but they are essential to understanding the overall picture So - a meaning of genuine impressionist painting that most people would agree on is refined culture Yet this is trash can impressionism! The painting is made up of soda cans which transforms this visual into something else entirely Its meaning becomes pop-art impressionism, effectively perverting intellectual culture. semiotic-analysis – see 5 Semiotics is the science of meaning contd
Often we dont understand how we arrive at meaning so quickly. We just do it Semiotics breaks down meaning into units (Sub Codes and Code Devices) which can be recombined to create new meanings So you can make the familiar strange very quickly by using different meaning units (e.g. soda cans) Check it out - the cans are easy to see in the umbrella in picture A below and become less obvious as you move to picture B and C respectively semiotic-analysis – see 6 Semiotics is the science of meaning contd ABC
All you have to do is take the basic structure (the Code – in this example, Impressionism) and change meaning fast by using different meaning units (e.g. Soda cans) So in this example we move from a meaning of refined culture for a pure impressionist painting And end up at a meaning of pop culture impressionism or more specifically trash can impressionism simply by using soda cans to create art Applying recombination in this way is a low risk, high reward approach to generating breakthrough comms & products and services semiotic-analysis – see 7 Semiotics is the science of meaning contd
Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs. cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! Those whacky kids at Cambridge, what will they come up with next? semiotic-analysis – see 8 Language is a complicated multi layered code. Its so powerful that our unconscious recognises the code even when its been messed with. You have just experienced the power of your unconscious to recognise codes and meaning. Demo of the power of your unconscious to recognise codes & meaning Read this....
semiotic-analysis – see 9 And de-code intuitively if a pizza restaurant is authentic, fashionable or status driven You tap into knowledge that sits there in the background and read these different pizza restaurants. How? You read the pizza restaurant Code overall to get a feeling without even consciously thinking about it You dont look at all the Sub codes (e.g. Floor type + furniture type + pictures) add them up and go ah this is a so and so type of pizza restaurant Instead you are an instinctive semiotician – the trouble is you dont know what you are doing and how to apply it systematically or how to escape your unconscious assumptions around Codes.
Bear in mind... To do this at a high level takes years of practice! However anyone can do this basic exercise and benefit hugely from it The end result of the exercise is it allows you to spot new ways of recombining standard codes of advertising The reason you might want to do this is a follows - it can create breakthrough territories to explore at low risk – this is a real example which came through from agency training Example of semiotic recombination Lets... semiotic-analysis – see 10 1.Find the Codes of an advertising category; and 2.Use them to create breakthrough advertising
To begin, we will identify the standard themes (Sub Codes) you would expect to see on air travel ads (Code). To warm up, heres some visuals for some key themes youll spot Breakthrough with semiotics - Step 1 DiscoveryComfortService
We fill in the Sub Codes across the top of the grid as noted below, leaving the left hand column blank until Step 2. Step 1 – Figure 1 – Sub codes semiotic-analysis – see 12 Sub Code = Discover Sub Code = Comfort Sub Code = Service
Breakthrough with semiotics - Step 2 You need to get your head into the category fast – so: Look at 10 typical airline ads on YouTube When you watch the adverts, have front of mind the airline Sub codes noted in Step 1 – discover/ comfort/service – which are being communicated in the ads (the what) Jot down any other Sub Codes (ie the different expressions/ways used to communicate the Codes) you see And then jot down any examples of those Sub Codes that appear again and again (Code Devices) Figure 2 overleaf shows a table generated from doing this exercise
semiotic-analysis – see 14 Step 2 - Figure 2: the Sub Codes of airline advertising Sub Codes / Code Device Sub Code = Discovery Sub Code = Comfort Sub Code = Service Code DevicePlanes flying in the sky People asleepWelcome Smiling hostess Code DeviceHoliday Beaches Roomy SeatsHigh Quality Food Code DeviceExotic Destinations Staff Putting Pillows out for those asleep Luxury Environments
semiotic-analysis – see 15 Step 2 - Figure 2: the Codes of airline advertising Codes / Sub Codes Sub Code = Discovery Sub Code = Comfort Sub Code = Service Code DevicePlanes flyingPeople asleepWelcome Smiling hostess Code DeviceHoliday Beaches Roomy SeatsHigh Quality Food Code DeviceExotic Destinations Staff Putting Pillows out for those asleep Luxury Environments Look at Figure 2 below. A client found an interesting Rubiks recombination by considering the Sub Code of Service – (Code Device = Smiling Crew) and Sub Code of Discover (Code Device = Exotic Destinations). This created a new Sub Code of Authentic Destinations
Step 2 - Figure 2 New Sub Code created Authentic Destinations semiotic-analysis – see 16 Where we go This Qantas air stewardess is holidaying in Fiji where Qantas fly to Code Device: Where our staff go on holiday
Overall you are looking for interesting combinations Imagine you had a Rubiks cube and.... Each side of the cube is a Sub Code And each square on each side is a Code device Now - rotate the cube at random and youll create a new set of Sub Codes by combining Code Devices – just like we did in the air travel example completed in Step 2 Using this approach allows you to stand out (e.g. From Step 2 - staff profiled in adverts) yet stand in (pictured in paradise) Breakthrough with semiotics - Step 3 semiotic-analysis – see 17
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