An Analysis of the Signs and Symbols Used in Patek Philippe Geneve's "Begin Your Own Tradition" Advert.

1466 Words Dec 16th, 2007 6 Pages
MM 204 - MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS

An analysis of the signs and symbols used in Patek Philippe Geneve's "Begin your own tradition" advert.

- MARCH 2007 -

INITIAL INTEPRETATION

This advert shows a dad helping his son with his homework. This is a common right of passage for many families. The advert stresses conventional family values and the importance of the father-son relationship.

The watch is presented as a precious family heirloom which dads should buy to pass on through the generations. Thus the watch has a purpose beyond its function, a purpose of tradition.

SIGNS & SEMIOTICS

Utilitarian signs

There are limited signs relating to the practical aspects of owning a Patek Philippe Geneve watch. The functional aspect of the
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With the exception of the watch, there are no rounded lines suggesting femininity (Blythe 2006), there are however many sharp, angular lines both in the creases of the book, the clothes and the background which suggest masculinity (Blythe 2006).

Body Position

It is also noticeable that the man is at a slanted angle to the boy. The man is in an upward left to right angle, which denotes upward movement (Blythe 2006) i.e. the progression, from a man to the boy (and thus the inheritance of the watch).

Context of the watch

The positioning and eye-focus of the father and son (both looking down at what is perceived as the son's homework) suggests that father is helping his son with the homework. In a connotative context this suggests the acquisition from father to son of positive cultural values. This places the passing of the watch from father to son in a context as important as education.

SEMANTICS

Legacy and self-actualisation.

The sentence "Begin your own tradition" taps into the importance of legacy. A popular school of thought in post-modern culture is the desire of men to create a legacy in the latter part of their life (Powell 2005). It would probably be easier though to classify legacy as part of Maslow's (1943) self-actualisation bracket. Regardless, there is a clear attempt in the advert to appeal to men who want to create their own legacy.

Separatism

"Begin your own tradition" in note (6) implies separatism from society. This
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