(McCan Erickson Frankfurt, ‘Traffic Light’)
Chandler states the three orders of signification as being denotative on the first order, meaning purely representational; connotative on the second order, which references the values attached to a sign. The third order is myth, which references culturally-accepted values that are seen as normal, or natural (Chandler 2014). We can explore these ideas in reference to the above image for the car manufacturing company Opel.
The denotations of the ad are the traffic light, the green light in particular, the paper bag and clouds; as well as the logo and text on the right side of the image.
The connotations of this ad are that the cars advertised will allow you to go fast without stopping – the absence of the red and yellow lights implies that the driver doesn’t need to worry about arbitrary road rules when in their car. The image of the traffic light with the tagline “Pure Passion” may connote that when the driver is passionate about cars, they can simply ignore other distractions and focus on the experience of driving. The tagline also implies that these cars are designed to be driven by those passionate about cars.
The myths implied in the advertisement are that car-enthusiasts are averse to road rules, and often break laws in order to pursue a purer driving experience. The other commonly accepted myth here is that a high-performance vehicle should be driven on long, open roads where the driver never has to stop.
Chandler D 2014, Semiotics for Beginners: Denotation, Connotation and Myth, Visual Memory, viewed 2 November 2015, http://visual-memory.co.uk/daniel/Documents/S4B/sem06.html
McCann Erickson Frankfurt, ‘Traffic Light’ [image], Opel OPC Range: “Traffic Light” Print Ad, Coloribus, viewed 5 November 2015, http://www.coloribus.com/adsarchive/prints/opel-opc-range-traffic-light-8387505/