Representation and Interpretation, in other words… what it means and how you see it, or even what it is and how you describe it. When relating this to media we look closely to advertisements and how they can have double meanings, so is it possible to read the image/advertisement in more than one way? Keep reading, I’ll let you know.
In this lecture, we visited the terms ‘denotation’ and ‘connotation’. ‘Denotation’ is defined as “the literal or primary meaning of a word, in contrast to the feeling or ideas that the word suggests” — Oxford Dictionary. This basically means, in terms of an advertisement image, that the way it is intended to be viewed can also be contradicted by one’s own judgment or their own meaning of what is being represented. ‘Connotation’ is defined as “an idea or feeling which a word invokes for a person in addition to its literal or primary meaning.” – Oxford Dictionary. This links in terms of interpretation as it is a way to demonstrate a hidden meaning to the image which is being presented.
While looking for an image for this topics blog post, I came across this photo and was instantly drawn to its double meaning. In this Volkswagen advertisement, it is a representation of their “Precision Parking” through the cars “Park Assist” function. The advertisement shows a line of three fish in plastic fish transport bags, separated by a spike-covered hedgehog. Volkswagen uses this as a way to demonstrate how precise their Park Assist is. during my research, I came across a blog post of Visual Language in which analysed this image as a ‘double meaning’.
“Advertisement for Volkswagen Park Assist – In this example, we can see that the similarity of the goldfish in their precariously delicate bags contrasts against the spiky hedgehog. The Double meaning is introduced through this contrast of “delicateness, and as a combined composition delivers the message that Volkswagen Park Assist can get you into the tightest of spots damage free.” — aflint2014 (2015)
We view this image not as a hedgehog perfectly positioned between these delicate fish bags, but as a representation of the perfect park. The sign of advertisement is what we see, the image itself. The signifier is the physical existence within the image, Line of 3 fish in delicate bags separated by a hedgehog. And the signified ‘the mental concept’, a perfect park using the park assist by Volkswagen.
When talking ideology, we visit the ideas and ideals. In terms of our understanding and how we view the world. These ideas that we create reflect on what we see, view and are told by the media. This advertisement is able to be interpreted in different ways as a result of the double meaning the creator of the advertisement has created.
This blog post was all about allowing a further understanding of signs of anything can be interpreted and changed to suit your own individual meaning.
aflint2014, & aflint2014. (2015, January 15). Rhetoric – Figures of Addition. Retrieved April 12, 2020, from https://aflintvisuallanguage2014.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/rhetoric-figures-of-addition/
Connotation: Definition of Connotation by Lexico. Retrieved April 12, 2020, from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/connotation
Denotation: Definition of Denotation by Lexico. Retrieved April 12, 2020, from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/denotation
Volkswagen: Hedgehog and Fish. (2012, November 1). Retrieved April 12, 2020, from https://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/volkswagen_hedgehog_and_fish