The Subtle Use of Connotation and Symbolism in the Advertising of True Match by L’Oréal
Eleventh Conference on English Studies. UNIKA Atma Jaya Jakarta. 2014
5 Pages Posted: 21 May 2015 Last revised: 12 Jun 2016
Date Written: November 5, 2014
This article examines the use of verbal connotation and visual symbolism in the televised advertising campaign of True Match by L’Oréal (2013). It analyzes a series of three 30-second commercials of the same product using two qualitative approaches: Barthes’ connotation and Pierce’s symbolism. There are six dimensions in the analysis: the brand, the slogan, the narrative, the icons, the setting, and the product itself. Exploring connotative meanings as put forth by Barthes (1973), the study finds the use of connotation in the personification of the brand, which has connotative meaning relating to the search for a perfect fit, and in the slogan and narrative suggesting that women’s self-worth is a form of empowerment. Meanwhile, the use of symbolism as suggested by Pierce (1958) can be found in the icons, setting, and product depicted in the ad campaign, all of which point to the representation of diversity in a beauty product that understands the complexities of women’s skin and the quest to find the best possible match in order to celebrate individual uniqueness rather than mask or hide it.
Keywords: advertising, advertising appeal, connotation, symbolism
JEL Classification: M30, M31, M37
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation