I think it’s a Sign!

Arguably one of the biggest opportunities for advertising is during the breaks of the Super Bowl. Companies spend millions for the right to flash their product, so it only makes sense for these companies to make those 30 to 90 seconds as memorable as possible. What’s more memorable than something so shocking that it will be talked about for weeks after it’s screening.

First we must breakdown the text in order to understand its meaning and how it acts as a sign. In order to do this, the signifiers and the signified must be recognised.

Signifiers

The signifier is the form that the sign will take, whether it be a sound or image and the signified is the meaning that is conveyed.

Essentially what you actually see in the sign. For example if we look at the above advertisement:

Scene 1. A man walks out of a bank holding a gun, he then laughs and fires his gun into the air. “Age: 73” appears on screen.
Scene 2. A man kicks down a door, whilst holding a knife. Two girls on the lounge inside scream as the man “shhh”‘s them. “Age: 46” appears on screen.
Scene 3. Four boys are seen riding bikes on a path, one yells “he’s catching up!”. Three of the boys go onto a road, a vehicle is heard, also a crash. The last boy stops and smiles. “Age: 18” appears on screen.
Scene 4. A kitten is in an oven, a small boy shuts the door and turns a dial. Cat screaching is heard and the boy is seen smiling with a teddy bear. “Age 4” appears on screen.
Scene 5. A man in a mask says “it’s a boy!”, a woman is seen sitting up smiling, she then collapses. A constant beeping is heard and someone exclaims “Doctor we’re loosing her!”. “Age: 0” appears on screen.
Scene 6. A man and a woman are in a bedroom, she asks “so, do you have one” he replies “nah, what’s the worst that could happen?”.
Scene 7. A condom in a wrapper is shown with the words “For your protection. And ours” underneath.

Signified

The meaning or idea expressed by a sign, as distinct from the physical form in which it is expressed.

Now, from the signifiers we can begin to understand the signified aspect of the image and how it is controversial.

The clips clearly indicates that the man and boys in the first four scenes are the same person and that the woman in the fifth and sixth scene are the same person. The man running out of the bank and laughing with a weapon provides the viewer with connotations of a guy obviously robbing the bank. In scene 2 the man obviously intends to harm the women in some way. Scene 3 begins to show the boys agressive tendencies when the children are assumed hurt by a truck.

Now i believe that scene 4 is the most controversial of all due to the child intentionally harming the cat, by putting it in the oven and turning it on… and then smiling!

Scenes 5 – 7 show the child’s birth and… *ahem*… the final lines imply the parents did not use a condom and as a result this, insane, violent person has come to be… Maybe he has watched too much violent media?

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