w03 Roland Barthes

Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:50 pm

Re: w03 Roland Barthes

Post by jessicalaw04 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:31 am

The Pepsi advertising image is very powerful in coded iconic way since the cans are basically the signature of these drink. Showing their own can with a enemy look alike(Coca-Cola) can using a background color of blue which is known as the Pepsi color shows a contrast. The audience would easily get that the other can does not belong to the image. Also, the linguistic message shows that even the straw does not enjoy being in a can of Coca-Cola. When you take away the red coke can, it is just an normal image of a straw in a can of Pepsi which people see almost everyday. Making the "other" looks unusual creates the contrast that shows the product selling from the advertisement more believable. And, the words "Joy Pepsi" makes the message even more obvious. In commercials and advertisements, these kind of images are to make the message sent more obvious, convincing, and efficient intentionally. What about an image from everyday life?

In the picture taken after a dinner celebrating Chinese New Year with my friends and I, there are also some elements that shared our happiness and wishes to others. In the photo, we were all wearing red which is an iconic color for Chinese New Year or even in a Chinese community. Red equals luck and good. As I post the photo to a social network site, I added a caption saying "Lunar New Year dinner with friends" makes it even more clear that we were celebrating Chinese New Year, and we dressed in red purposely. All the images are somehow planned when they are being created. An everyday photo may not have as much intentions as an advertisement, but there are still some ideas rooted in the photographer's mind as a picture being taken.

Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: w03 Roland Barthes

Post by brenna.osborn1 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:11 am

Ad Analysis
I found this print ad online for a refrigerator that has a clear compartment in the door which serves as another area to store things. The compartment, however, is also transparent so you can see past it into the actual fridge or you can see it when you open the full fridge door. This ad is apparently trying to play on the transparency of the door-in-door action.

There is a linguistic message in this ad in the caption on top "Fridge Voyeur, you have always been one" and bottom "LG Door in Door; So you can stare at it over and over." The text is anchoring the viewer to a specific perception of the image. A single ketchup bottle in a window can connote a number of things - like a giant ketchup bottle is just living happily in the city. The addition of caption above serves as to set the tone of the image and includes the audience as a part of its message. Suddenly the viewer of the ad becomes a voyeur, or someone who gains pleasure out of looking. This recalls a number of film as well as pop culture references of a person looking out of an adjacent building into the window of the opposite apartment. With the mention of the voyeur and the message being addressed directly to the viewer, we become one. The caption at the bottom makes the viewer make a connection between the pleasurable voyeuristic action and the fridge being advertised. We now know we would take pleasure at staring at a fridge. A linguistic message could also be found on the Ketchup bottle. It's not just a regular ketchup bottle, it's specifically Heinz ketchup. This holds significance to those who have grown up with the brand - like Americans. It is a brand that is common and plays on the nostalgia of the audience.

The image of the ketchup bottle also connotes nostalgia. It plays on the fact that it is a common item found in many fridges across the U.S. and therefore evokes a sense of relatability to the ad. The overall image also connotes voyeurism. The ketchup bottle is also personified by being positioned so it's facing slightly to the left and not in the center of the window frame. It's as if the ketchup bottle is just going about it's business and walked into the window frame without noticing the gaze of the viewer. This is exactly what the viewer would see if he were a voyeur across the street in an adjacent apartment building. This type of voyeuristic image is also common in popular culture and film. We often see images of people looking across the street to watch the beautiful woman, or sometimes man, undress. So this ad brings to mind the unseen viewer who is gaining pleasure out of watching someone across the way. Through the positioning of the camera angle it goes another step and creates an identification between the viewer and this voyeur figure. The image at the bottom shows the actual fridge and extends the viewer's voyeuristic state to this new object - the actual product. It's also positioned in a way that looks overpowering and looming, as if it's an all-powerful being just waiting to be worshipped and watched.

The non-coded iconic image is just the literal connection between the images and actual objects. We see the ketchup bottle as a ketchup bottle because of our real experience with it. Even though it's larger in relation to its surroundings, the viewer still accepts it as a ketchup bottle. Even the fridge at the bottom is out of place but the viewer accepts it because of the text that surrounds it. It becomes another part of the ad that is supposed to be read in a different way because of its position in relation to the other parts of the image.

Personal Image Analysis
The denotative message in this image is it's literalness. There are people on the left side standing in a group. Some are holding equipment while others are just standing or sitting. I have headphones on while watching something in my hand. There is a white backdrop on the right side of the screen and a little girl, sharply lit, in front of it and close-up.

The connotation of this image shows this is a film set. The man sitting down holding a camera and pointing it at something. The way that everyone is crowded around and looking at the camera suggests that no actual filming is going on. There is a boom operator standing nearby while the sound person (me) is ready to capture sound. Since the boom operator hasn't set up his boom pole this also connotes that no filming is going on at the moment. The sharp lighting also connotes that it is a night shoot that is using lots of light. The little girl in the foreground could connote a number of things. She could be the kid of a crew just hanging around but the night setting refutes that. A more plausible connotation would be that she is an child actor waiting off set to film. She is holding a cup as well - as if she is taking a water break. There is no real linguistic message other than the barely visible writing on the water bottle on the floor which just connotes that the water was left there by a crew or cast member who is done with his break.

Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:54 pm

Re: w03 Roland Barthes

Post by kendallecrawley » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:43 pm

In Roland Barthes article “Rhetoric of the Image” he describes the three messages that every image consists of, the linguistic, the coded ionic, and the non-coded ionic. He classifies the image as a representation that conveys meaning to the viewer and discusses ways the image gives across a meaning.

I have chosen an advertisement from an anti-pollution campaign to discuss Barthes idea of the meaning behind an image. The image features of a young boy dressed in white lifting up the curtain of the ocean and revealing all the trash and pollution underneath it.

In this ad, the linguistic message Barthes talks about would be the caption on the upper left side that says, “just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean its not there”. Written very small in white it blends into the background so you can barley see it, mimicking the meaning of the image. A muted font was chosen to reinforce to the viewer that just because we often can’t see the impact we have on pollution, it still exists. Although the faint type can barley be seen, its linguistic message has a large impact on the viewer.

The coded ionic message is in the background and the boy dressed in white. In the background we see a beautiful clean ocean and sky and a sandy beach with a crab and sea life, all displaying the beauty of the ocean. The young boy is dressed in all white and is portrayed as very clean and innocent. This makes us think that although he may be very clean he may not realize the impact little things can have on the ocean.

When the little boy lifts up the ocean we can see there is a layer of trash and pollutants underneath the oceans surface. This is the non-coded ionic message telling us that we are polluting our ocean. It is to make us become aware that every time we litter, although it might not go straight to the ocean, it all adds up. The image causes us to realize the impact we have on our environment and to become more careful and respectful of it.
The snapshot I chose is a photograph of my AYSO soccer team in our uniforms posing for a group picture in 2003.

The linguistic message can be found in the sign at the bottom of the picture that states our city, the year, and our team name “Lard”.
I think the team name gives off the most important message and also parallels the picture. The fact that we name our soccer team “Lard”, another term for fat, instead of an intimidating name for example the Charging Tigers, shows that it is more silly than a serious competitive soccer team. Also the fact that its “AYSO” soccer, also stated in the sign, and not club soccer or a higher level gives the message that we were not very serious soccer players.

To further implement the message that this was more of a funny relaxed team than a gung ho one are the expressions on the players faces. All of the team members are making silly faces instead of smiling and looking proud for our group picture. Usually everyone tries to look there best and smiles for these type of pictures. Also the coaches faces with big smiles show they do not really care that we aren’t serious and it is more about having fun to them to. Instead of yelling at us and trying to make us smile for the picture they just kind of go along with it and laugh at us.

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:15 pm

Re: w03 Roland Barthes

Post by Essgeepayne » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:18 am


1) Linguistic Message
As this is a magazine cover, there is a large amount of text. So, I will focus on the text that is most relevant to the non-textual sections of the image. As the largest word and only scripted section, the word “Woww!” is the most noticeable. Denotatively, this is the name of the woman pictured, but connotatively, this word is almost identical to the often used exclamation, “wow.” The audience of this magazine is primarily young adult men, so the exclamation is perhaps meant to echo the commentary that the viewer will surely make when seeing the busty, bronzed, seductively-posed woman. If there was any doubt as to what is the appropriate response to the image, the text will tell the viewer: this is what you should think when you look at J-Woww: “wow, this chick is sexy.”

2)Detonated Image: The Non-coded Iconic Message
The text functions as a visual tool to frame sections of the person that is in the image. The bright green text is slanted at an angle—beginning flush with the woman’s hip and butt, continuing across the area directly under her navel, then curving up across her wrist to her arm. Other text—a black, bold serif frames her head while the word itself is obscured. Text flows down to the area to on her left side, framing, but not touching or obscuring the view of her hair. On our right, her left arm and thigh are partially covered by smaller, black text. This framing emphasizes the area that is highlighted by the photography lights: her décolletage and face.
The woman’s pose is angled: she is leaning into her right side, emphasizing her hip and bum. Her shoulder is pronounced in the opposite direction and her head is then going back to her right. Her hair is arranged on her right side again and it flows down, with the text back to her emphasized hip and the largest form in the green text (the “W”). The construction of her pose creates a Z-shape when joined with the text.

3) Rhetoric of the Image/Coded Ionic Message
The composition of the image and lighting on the woman’s body focus our gaze on her face, breasts, and vulva—the areas society deem the most sexual. This leads the viewer to largely focus on sexuality, and if they are so oriented, then desire the woman. Magazine covers aim to sell the magazine and it is agreed that sex sells, these connotations are not at all surprising.


1)Linguistic Message
There is no readable text in this image. We can see that there is text on the woman’s pin, however is obscured by the depth of field.

2)Detonated Image/Non-coded Iconic Message
As with the image of JWoww, there is a degree of tilting to the woman’s body. Her dark hair flows down on the left of the picture-plane and a black V-neck shirt frames the woman’s chest and points our eyes to the finger that then points to the pin. This leading line points directs us then to another pointed finger which directs our eyes upward.
The depth of field limits our focus to the woman’s body and we can notice the limited color palate of her bronze skin, black shirt, red lips, and bright-white jacket.

3)Rhetoric of the Image/Coded Ionic Message
As with the JWoww image, the composition encourages the viewer to notice the most sexual aspects of the person pictured. The pin is placed where we would imagine the woman’s nipple to be, while the contrast of white-to-black further emphasizes the woman’s cleavage.

Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:11 pm

Re: w03 Roland Barthes

Post by j_j05ham » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:45 pm

Roland Barthes argues that images in the media convey a series of symbolism within their digital images as a means of excelent and effective marketting. The image added is from Nike's just do it campaign. We find the usage of a small variation of color tone as a means of creating a focus. The main focus being of the two center figures playing soccer or "just doing it." However, the feet closest to the ball have no socks on, and this is what creates power in the ad. This small lack of what most would deam an essential is speaks so many words. We atimatically associate the image to an African American child with limited means and income still playing soccer to his hearts content. I can associate the image with joy through two means; the text as well as the movement of the image. Although its three words, the vibe created could honestly extend the text to say "just do what makes you happy." The movement of the player shows how into it he or she (most likely a he in this ocassion) is. The white swirls are simbolic to speed, smoke of fire and ultimately in this image; potential greatness. There is also importance in the capturing of just the long legs of the body while excluding the upper boodys. First off, the legs give direction to the image but exclusion of faces or an icon also allows an audience to project tthemselves upon the image.
The Image I took during some random day at a random time is not meant to have symbolic meaning however, we see these ideas presented within the meadia all around us everyday and so we find them within almost all images, whether they were intended or not. Within the image we find my fraternity brother Rob watching the basketball as its about to go into the hoop. The line of sight between the ball and Rob creates a diagnol movement through the image. It takes away from our noledge of what direction the ball came from and instead causes us to focus on where it is going. This visual concept creates a focul point, within this image it helps take away focus from the girl walking in the background who for all means is unimportant. Shge simply helps set a stage. The facial expression on Rob is another symbolism, a smile alludes to joy and so the image is basically telling us to play ball or "just do it."

Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:08 pm

Re: w03 Roland Barthes

Post by gemelgar » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:25 am


There are a number of signs in this advertisement for 7-11. The signifiers are shown in a picture of ice and straws that appear to be presented in an exact and deliberate manor. The precise placement of the objects allow the color of like toned elements to create blocks of colored shapes. from these minimal containers however, a multitude of meaning can be derived. First, the deliberate manor in which the objects are placed create the icon of the 7-11 company logo. The placement of 7-11 products is an attempt to slip one signifier for the other, in this case a printed graphic of a company trademark is replaced by the company products themselves. At first glance the viewer would expect for the advertisement to be in a traditional fashion with graphics and would not expect the advertisement to shift traditional paradigm and go through the inefficient trouble of taking a photo of straws and ice in order to make an image that looks like simple graphic design. This unexpected twist creates an irony that the advertisement endeavors to make for a humorous experience on the interpreter. The gag is intended to draw the scrutiny of the viewer and compel to seek other meanings in the advertisement. This leads to the lowest motivated sign is only distinguishable for patrons familiar with 7-11 products. The colored ice and straws are used to imply the "slurpee" beverage for which 7-11 is famous for.
Again, the purpose of this ad is to have the viewer invest as much time as possible thinking about the 7-11 product. The strategy in this case, is to compel the attention by presenting signs in a puzzle format in succession that the interpreter can pleasantly experience solving. The advertisement is designed to only have a limited amount of information available and then only after some has been correctly interpreted. Finally, the reward for solving the series of clues is the final message printed on the bottom of the advertisement, "Only $1.09", with the viewer finally unlocking the cryptic message.
Of course, this is an extremely drawn out analysis of an image that would be read in a fraction of a second. However, the only way that said information would be drawn is from a continuous gathering and reevaluation of signifiers.
The personal photo is from a snapshot from a mobile phone intended to post online. This is a very simple image in its signifiers that is intended to be very symbolically meaningful. This is an image of two things that should be the same. On the left as well as on the right, two plates of turkey dinner. However, the irony of the plate in reality being an unappetizing disaster coming from a container that promises an enticing meal. Further interpretation shows how our cultural acceptance of false testimony made by labels is extremely lax when a example is scrutinized. Eventually, this image can be used as a metaphor for our convention and culture as a whole. There is a chasm of difference when the promise is compared to what is delivered. The text that was posted along with the image was "expectations verses reality". Although the humor could be derived from a discussing dinner, the meaning can be revisited again and again to be a metaphor for contemporary consumer culture where the motivations to do anything is in an endeavor to buy a product ultimately leading to disappointment.

Post Reply