A SEMIOTIC ANALYSIS OF PAKISTANI DETERGENT ADVERTISEMENTS Shehbaz Khan | Rasool Bakhsh | Maiwand Khan & Sanaullah Khan Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Basic Sciences, Department of English Literature and Linguistics, Quetta, Pakistan Email: [email protected] ABSTRACT This research study takes semiotics as a model for the analyses of detergent advertisements. An attempt has been made in this research to investigate the ideologies or hidden languages as well as economic strategies of companies in advertisements. The ads selected for this research are aired on Pakistani television channels.
The study has focused on how Bonus and Brite targets different groups of people and how signs within these ads play their role for the delivery of a message to the audience. Images, words, colors, and other signs are an important part of the overall message of advertisements. An attempt, in the study about gender stereotype has also been made to understand sexism and baseless categorisations of male and female chores in detergent ads. The analyses of the signs are based on ‘Class distinction’ which is one of the ideas from Karl Marx’s theory of Marxism where he talks about social classes.
The findings have indicated that Bonus ad is promoted to a certain social class through different semiotics and Brite on the other hand is promoted to another group of people. Both ads attract consumers through different level of visual communication. Bonus with all its signs presented in the ad attracts the lower-middle class and Brite with all the signs is promoted to the upper class. Therefore, both ads create the difference of social classes… Keywords: Semiotics, signs, advertisements, detergents, class distinction 1.1. INTRODUCTION The word ‘media’ is taken from the word medium. It implies mode or transporter. Media is proposed to reach and address a substantial target gathering or group of onlookers.
The word media was first used in regard of books and daily papers, that is print media and with the appearance of innovation, media presently includes TV, motion pictures, radio and web. In this day and age, media progresses toward becoming as fundamental as our day by day needs and it is assuming a critical part in making and forming of popular feeling. Companies are making more space in the mind of viewers through advertisement on media. According to Inghem (1995), the normal grown-up spends one and half years of his or her life sitting in front of the TV ads. For time we spend watching adverts, it makes sense that it will have impact on the individuals who watch.
Advertisements on media are a form of communication through which companies and organizations meet their consumers or clients (Arens, 2011). Advertisements, that makes a social sort of experience, semiosis is just a single part of this social practice and it holds a novel intensity of meaning generation. By virtueof product image, the item is credited different implications. The blend of the item and individual codes ends up reflecting the features of certain ideologies and group of people. In TV ads, items are sold utilizing influential procedures by building need among customers in non-individual way.
Media and TV are congenial to masses at inaccessible and unprivileged zones likewise; it is presently a successful tool to make up psyche of the general population. The past Election battles in Pakistan were also fought through media for powerful reputation because slogans of ads, visual imagery in promotions motivate watchers more than anything else they encounter or experience. Advertisements in the postmodern era play a huge role to promote several products and ideas in the society. It can be audio or visual form of marketing communication that promotes products or certain messages. A fundamental part of promotion, Ads are open notification intended to illuminate and inspire. Their goal is to change the reasoning example (or buying behavior) of the recipient, with the goal that he or she is induced to make the move wanted by the promoter or advertiser. At the point when disclosed on radio or TV. An ad is known as a commercial.
In the Modern world, companies are using different techniques to promote their products and to convince the audience. There are different types of ads such as video, poster, banner, and audio ads. It can possibly impact the buyers and their social and cultural surroundings. There are number of approaches engaged in study of language, signs and – symbols utilized in ads. Numerous sociological, cultural studies and sociolinguistic approaches feature the manners in which the signs are used in ads. These diverse signs, pictures and symbols used in advertisements are essential piece of their communication process.
These pictures are impressions of society which shape the manner of thinking of the purchasers to decipher meaning of the advertisements. This study is about specific detergent advertisements in Pakistan. Brite and Bonus are famous detergent brands in the country. Detergent and Washing powder is always misunderstood by people but there is a slight difference between these two terms. Detergents are surface active agents and generally made from Petro-chemicals, whereas washing powder is a powdered form of detergent that are generally used for washing fabrics. Detergents and washing powders are very important part of our modern living culture.
The dirt and stains can be easily removed in less time with the help of these detergents. Detergent is a water-soluble cleansing agent which combines with impurities and dirt to make them more soluble, and differs from soap in not forming a scum with the salts in hard water (Oxford Dictionary) And the same dictionary defines washing powder as ‘detergent in the form of a powder for washing clothes, bed linen, etc. The investigations of semiotics give stage to see how advertising reflect and shape experiences of buyer’s everyday life. Today, the study of semiotics is progressively considered as vital piece of advertising. Semiotic Analysis is a wide theoretical hypothesis of symbols and signs that pacts especially with their importance in both artificially made and natural words. It includes semantics, syntactic, and pragmatics. It can be an investigation of symbols and conduct of using symbols, mainly in language. In the late 19th century, the useful work done by Charles Sanders Peirce and Ferdinand de Saussure coordinated semiotics as a system for testing certainties in different fields, for example, communications, anthropology, aesthetics, semantics, and psychology.
A detectable mindfulness in the example and structure following the activity of extraordinary signs interfaces semiotics among the techniques of structuralism.Semiotic examination connotes a strategy intended for the investigation of special texts disregarding the standard in which it is offered. In support of these reasons, exceptional text can be any message preserved in a structure having a free presence. It might potentially create ergonomic arrangement or a basic examination in conditions where it is fundamental to ensure that individuals are able to interconnect more efficiently with their surroundings. The mode of interaction can vary; it can be a large-scale as found in structural design, or a small-scale as found in the design of instrumentation for individuals. Semiotic examination can be applied to everything that can be seen as proposing something.
In basic words, this investigation is appropriate to anything which has denotation surrounded by a culture. Additionally, in the structure of the mass communication, you can relate semiotic investigation to a couple of media messages, for example, posters, films, daily paper, kid’s shows, magazine articles, radio and TV programs and different other ads. It is additionally conceivable to relate it to the methods engaged in creating and inferring such kind of texts. 2.1. LITERATURE REVIEW ‘One picture is worth a thousand words. Yes, but only if you look at the picture and say or think the thousand words.
‘ – William Saroyan At the time when Ferdinand de Saussure was developing his two part ‘dyadic’ model of the sign, consisting of a ‘signifier, or the form that a sign takes, and the ‘signified,’ or concept it represents, Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914) an American intellectual was working on his own model of signs. He developed a model of signs known as semiotics. Natural phenomena, culture, and society are explored as signs in semiotics.
An important question in semiotics is how meanings are formed through different signs which exist in various forms: images, words, letters, objects, natural objects, gestures, phenomena and actions. Peirce formulated a three-part model which consists of an interpretant, representamen, and an object. 2.1.
1. Figure 1 (Pierce’s Triadic Model) A. Interpreting Signs: Having an interpretant as part of Pierce’s semiotic model was his new and distinctive contribution to understanding and defining signs.
For Pierce, signification was not a straightforward binary relationship between a sign and an object. He viewed this innovative part of his semiotic model as how we elucidates or understand a sign and its relationship to the object. A basic point in Peirce’s hypothesis is that the meaning of a sign is made by the elucidation it stimulates in those using it. He repeats this in his remark that "a sign … tends to someone, that is, makes in the psyche of that individual an equivalent sign, or maybe a more developed sign.” So an interpretant is the sense we make out of the sign, comparable in meaning to Saussure’s ‘signified’ with the exception of that it is a sign in the brain of the interpretor.
The element of understanding in Peirce’s theories also emphasized his claims that semiosis is a procedure, whereas Saussure’s emphasis was dependably on structure.B. Representing Signs: The representamen in Peirce’s hypothesis is the form the sign takes, which isn’t really a material or solid object. Peirce was occupied with the meaning component of a sign and emphasized that not every one of the components of a sign are vital or convey a similar weight in its interpretation. Along these lines, in his view, it isn’t the sign all in all that signifies an object but those components are most crucial to its working as a signifier.
For instance, a “stop” sign may have a white border – but that part of the sign isn’t crucial to the message “stop here at this point.” We would have the capacity to translate the sign if that border were missing or if a black border were used instead. The representamen is similar in meaning to Saussure’s concept of signifier. C. Objects Create Signs: The sign refers to an “object” which is the referent is also known as the “sign vehicle.” It is important to understand that this does not have to be a material object.
As with the sign or representem, not all of the features of the object are relevant to signification. Just specific components of an object enable a sign to mean it. Peirce argued that the relationship between the object of a sign and the sign that represents it is one of determination.
In other words it is the object, entity, or socially agreed concept that determines its sign and its successful signification; the thought being that the object forces limitations that a sign must hold to if it is to represent that object and form the correct interpretation in our minds. Ads are not only a method for sending information about a product but are meant to relate to the sensitivities of consumers they are aimed at. One of the intriguing tools utilized by the advertisers is “Semiotics” that they use to sort out, and create pictures in such a way that consumers make meaning out of these constructs to fit their realities. Bignell (2002, p.1-3) quoted that ‘Semiotics’ (or semiology) is one of the most powerful and influential ways of thinking about media. Mick (1986, p.196) mentioned that “the consumer world is a web of meanings among consumers and marketers woven from signs and symbols ensconced in their cultural space and time.” He argues that the significance of signs and symbols has been generally perceived, yet not very many researchers working on consumers have created hypothesis and research programs based on semiotics, the doctrine of signs.
He also mentions that “the strength of semiotics is, it positions meaning at the nucleus of consumer behavior, which provides a rich meta-language for semiotic consumer research, and recommends a multi-paradigm philosophy of science”. Baudrillard thinks that contemporary world is overwhelmed by signs, pictures and portrayals and this control is of such an extent, that the line of distinction between sign and its referent -the real world, has blurred (1990.) Pierce focused on three aspects of signs: Their iconic, indexical and symbolic dimensions. Semiotics has been applied, with interesting results to film, theatre, medicine, architecture, zoology and a host of other areas that involve or are concerned with communication and transfer of information. Some semioticians say that everything can be investigated semiotically. Eco (1976) have done essential hypothetical investigation of semiotics that deals with its range of applications: It is an advanced text for readers with a good background in the subject. Goldman, and Papson (1996) used semiotics and other methods of cultural criticism. The authors ‘decode’ advertising in general as well as various commercials and ad campaigns in particular.
They also discussed advertising’srole in United States’ culture and society from a critical view of perspective. Berger and Asa’s work is proposed for individuals who have no nature with semiotic idea. It offers an investigation of the essential ideas of semiotics theory, along with applications of these concepts to various aspects of contemporary society. Every section contains both discussions and applications of a semiotic concept (1998). Ali, Naaz, Aftab, ; Danish (2014) employed Sausaurian model for semiotic analysis where they focused on the effects of women representation in Pakistani advertisements on Pakistani women identity. The research paper concludes that women as object of sensuality is being portrayed through advertisements of multinational brands and those ads are not representing Pakistani cultural norms rather representing an alien culture.
Murtaza and Khubra. (2017) conducted a semiotic study on cultural misrepresentation in Pakistani Advertisements. This research paper explores the misrepresentation of Pakistani true cultural values and norms in famous brand advertisements. The researchers conclude that different brands are violating Pakistani culture and traditions and manipulating the society through advertisements. 3.
1. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The study is a multi-disciplinary research intertwining media communication and class distinction. Data is taken from advertisements of national brands running on Pakistani television channels. Visual images are analysed through Semiotics.
Qualitative analysis is favored to investigate different signs in detergent commercial advertisements. Moreover, the focus of the analysis is the images drawn from the ads, because media focuses more on visual representation than the textual representation. Furthermore, very little written or verbal text is added in advertisements giving comparatively small number of threads for a deep investigation while analyzing images deeply is possible where extracting denotative meaning is obvious while connotative meanings of signs are also brought to the surface. 3.1.1. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 1.
To explore the representation of social classes in Pakistani detergent advertisements. 2. To identity and analyze different semiotic meanings in the advertisements of Pakistani detergents. 3.
1.2. RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. In what ways social classes are being advertised in Pakistani Ads? 2. How different signs are used to convey meaning in Pakistani detergent ads? 3.1.3. SAMPLE SIZE The Sample of the study consists of two famous detergent brands such as Brite and Bonus, selected for this research as a visual text.
One advertisement from each brand has been chosen in order to analyse different signs as well as the notion of class distinction. Purposeful sampling technique has been applied while choosing the sample. The advertisements, selected for this study are advertised in the current year 2018 and are still running on different news and entertainment channels.
Still images from both advertisements are captured for the analysis of signs and class distinction. 3.1.4.
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK Theoretical frame work is Karl Marx’s theory of Marxism; he discusses class distinction which is one of the ideas of his Marxist theory. Class distinction will be discussed in general that willsupport the study and the theory will help us to understand how class distinction is exhibited in the selected Pakistani detergent advertisements. On the other hand, the model for this study is Pierce’s model of semiotics which has been used for the analysis of all the signs presented in selected detergent advertisements.
The model of Semiotic is Peirce’s new development for understanding and defining signs. It was not believed by Pierce that signification is a straightforward binary relationship between a sign and an object. Pierce viewed this innovative part of his semiotic model as how we perceive or understand a sign and its relationship to the object it is referring to. In Peirce’s theory, a critical point is that the meaning of a sign is created by the interpretation it stimulates in those using it. He reiterates this in his comment that “a sign … addresses somebody, that is, creates in the mind of that person an equivalent sign, or perhaps a more developed sign.
” (Lanir, 2012) 4.1. DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS Semiotics is explained as the “systematic study of signs” (Eagleton, 1986, p. 100). The intention in the study was to understand different semiotics and their possible meanings of the selected Pakistani detergent advertisements and their higher and varied impact on consumers.
Semiotics assumes that visual pictures and their respective signs can be read similar to a text. Umberto Eco talks about the term semiotics in the broadest sense. He said that, “semiotics is related to everything that can be taken as signs” (1976, p.7). As Chandler states that we can take different sounds, images, words and gestures because all these things have certain meanings depending upon how all these things are being represented.
Each and every sign that are present in Bonus and Brite ads have a meaning that have an impact on the consumers. These ads are made for particular classes. Classes are characterized on the basis of how much money one has. Similarly, Bonus is a detergent brand that represents the lower-middle class in its advertisement.
Hence, the company promotes the product to a particular social class. Bonus is less expensive than any other detergent brand in the market and so it attracts the lower-middle class who are not willing to spend much of their money on detergents. Pierce believes that a sign’s meaning is created by the interpretation it stimulates in those using it.
Similarly, Brite is an expensive detergent brand, targeting the wealthy class through a certain settings showcased in the advertisement. Expensiveness is a sign whose meaning is created by the ad companies through lavish and decorated advertisements. The advertisements in this study, deliver a huge range of meaning, symbols and messages to a particular class of people making them to buy the product. An expensive product company will never consider a lower-middle class setting for their advertisement, reason being, the lower-middle class may not possibly buy their product and this is the reason why companies will always consider having a setting that balances with its reputation and its price, in the making of an advertisement for their product. The settings may include everything shown or presented in the advertisement: from dressing to language, the background settings, and price figures of the products.
In a broader sense, everything in between the settings of the advertisement, have certain signs that convey meaning which helps the researchers in this study to understand the motives of the brand. The ads selected for this research have all those signs or semiotics which is used to target a particular social class for economic reasons. Brand names play an important part in the success of a product. A brand name is the base of a brand’s image. The image associated with abrand name can be built with advertising with the passage of time, Brand companies today realizes that a carefully created and chosen name can bring inherent and immediate value to the brand (Kohli ; Labahn, 1997, p.
67). The awareness about brand’s name plays vital role in consumer decision making process; if a consumer had already heard the brand name and knows about it, the consumer may feel more comfortable at the time of purchasing. Consumers normally do not prefer to buy an unknown brand, especially if the product is quite expensive. Names present many things about a product and it gives number of information about the brand to the consumers and it also tell the customer what the product means to them. Furthermore, it represents the customers’ convenient summary like their feelings, knowledge and experiences with the brand. Some companies assign catchy names to their products so that people can easily memorize even if the name of their product in reality has nothing to do with the emotional experience but still the name is catchy and it can be easily memorized by the customers. Bonus which is a noun means “a sum of money added to a person’s wages as a reward for good performance.
” In other words, the Name Bonus means ‘Extra’ which stands as ‘Extra Powder’. Consumers who do not want to spend lot of money on detergent can be easily attracted towards this name “Bonus” which is actually providing an extra quantity of powder in real terms for less money. The lower-middle class usually considers detergents that are not expensive. Brite, on the other hand is a much expensive detergent brand as compared to Bonus. Brite is a word that is not recognized by English reference sources. Brite is sometimes used in place of bright in product names, but it is not appropriate to use it in place of bright anywhere else because Bright is the standard spelling of the adjective with various meanings having to do with fullness of light, hope, promise and happiness. 4.1.
1. SETTINGS The camera, in Bonus ad opens with a scene where the setting appears to be very common. The first scene of the ad depicts a typical Pakistani lower- middle class residence. This very first visual (Picture A-1) show a milkman approaching the main entrance door to deliver the milk. Umberto Eco states that “semiotics is related to everything that can be taken as signs” (1976, p.7). The milk which is packed in a plastic bag can be considered as a sign here. Usually, the lower class or the lower-middle class use loose milk for their daily consumption or for their daily diet needs.
Picture A-1 In addition, everything from doors to windows and those traditional ‘Bamboo Chic Blinds’ as well as the motor bike with milk containers hanging on it shows a traditional setup which is set in this ad to associate the product with the lower-middle class. The overall setting in (Picture A-1) Bonus represents a broad picture about the social class of the residents. Usually, the upper or rich class does not use loose- milk but Tetra milk packs and thus the notion of class distinction can be clearly understood from this very first scene.Today, every modern home has a washing machine for washing clothes. In less modern or lower income households, washing clothes involves water, soap and most importantly ones “hands". Soap is considered a cheap option for cleaning clothes. The lower-middle class is in need for more low cost laundry detergent choices in the marketplace these days and they believe laundry detergent costs too much.
Picture A-2 Picture A-2 shows a person (typically women) removing the soap, as the soap is now replaced with Bonus (less expensive detergent). This visual shows a woman washing clothes with hands by using soap depicts a certain social class; a lower-middle class, because washing with hands is something that usually happens in lower-middle class families. The bright ad opens up showing people in a restaurant. The restaurant is shown as an expensive place. Rich people usually tend to know about more foods and they like going to expensive places because they can afford them. Human beings are inherently prone to seek power or social status under several consumer settings (Berger, Rosenholtz, and Zelditch 1980) Picture B-1 In Picture B-1 the focus of the camera is on a family but, this visual is more about the overall setup of this scene than only the family. The restaurant is an expensive one as it looks by its settings.
The tables and chairs, table lamps as well as the overall lighting can communicate the meaning of all these decorated and fancy work. The atmosphere of the restaurant sets the standards which led the researchers to understand that only a certain social class can dine in such lavish restaurants. From interior to lighting, artwork, and the spacing combine creates comfort and intimacy. The combination of the product and personal codes in Picture B-1 ends up portraying the features of a higher class. A certain group of people is targeted and therefore as compared to Bonus, Brite reflects the features of the higher class and thus creates class difference. In Picture B-2, the focus of the researchers is on the background than the character here in this example.
The interior designing of the kitchen in this scene does not represent the lower-middle class because not everyone can afford a good interior designer for their homes but except those who does not have any problem spending money for the beautification of their homes.Picture B-2 The setting in this scene appears to be of a rich family’s home. All of the elements in the background adds texture and pleases the eye, creating a rich environment. The design and interior of the kitchen in the background can describe the prestige or social class of the owner. This setting of the scene made the researchers understand the notion of class difference in Brite as compared to Bonus. The Brite Company is gaining more space with this kind of settings in order to associate its product with the higher class.
It is a strategy to target a certain social class for economic reasons. 4.1.
2. DRESS CODE A particular style of clothes defines a person as an individual and also as part of a group. Dressing can communicate meanings about individuals and groups; it is always ‘unspeakably meaningful. Dress codes within the ads chosen for this research study have made the researchers to take simple signs and codes and turn them into a conversation.
Picture A-3 People can represent themselves with their clothes in many ways. For example, Picture A-3 from the Bonus ad shows a women wearing simple Shalwar Kameez (trouser & long shirt) with no fancy handiwork that depicts a typical Pakistani lower- middle class dressing. In today’s modern world wealth is being displayed through dress. The class affiliation of a person could be assessed with relative ease. Dress is always recognized as an expressive means of social distinction, influence and power. Dressing is often exploited in class warfare to gain leverage. One’s dressing can signify one's culture, propriety, moral standards, economic status, and social power, and that is why it is a powerful tool to negotiate and structure social relations as well as to enforce class differences.
Similarly, the dress code in Picture B-3 shows the manager wearing a western suit that displays the high standards of the restaurant. Picture B-3 As said before that the atmosphere of the restaurant sets the standards. It is more than a dining room away from home. Combining the lighting, artwork, the interior and spacing, creates contentment, comfort and intimacy. The manager’s choice of clothing in Picture B-3 may not be her own choice but as a manager she has to wear suits of the kind. In this way, her overall personality, specifically the dress, represents the standards and overall image of the restaurant.
Moreover, lower- middle class cannot afford todine in such luxurious restaurants which led the researchers to understand the notion of class distinction between the two ads. 4.1.
3. LANGUAGE In the world of advertisement, language also has an important role. Language has a powerful influence over people and their behaviour. The choice of language to convey specific messages with the intention of influencing people is vitally important in advertisements. Specific languages in ads are meant to target specific customers to buy a product that is why advertisers use specific languages to persuade a certain class of people. Picture A-4 from Bonus, stages a very typical setup. A milkman, while holding a plastic bag which contains loose milk, uses a very typical Pakistani lower-middle class language expression that is “Khala Dooodh”. Picture A-4 The word ‘Khala’ means aunt in English.
The woman may not be the milk man’s Khala (Aunt) but still it’s been said. This mentality of language-usage is often associated with the lower-middle or middle class. This typical expression elucidates the sign of language which led the researchers to understand the Social Class difference within the ads chosen for the study.
The foundations of English are more stable as a language of power and high social status in Pakistan. It has become a major part of Pakistani discourse. Whether in a formal setting or in an informal situation, English language is being spoken along with Urdu. While in Bonus we have words like “Khala Dooodh”, Brite on the other hand portrays a completely different story as far as language is concerned. English words and Phrases are used in Brite. The use of English language is usually associated with the elite or the upper class.
Picture B-4 English use in the ad promotes the notion of class difference because English language enjoys prestige. The use of the English phrase “Ma’am we are really sorry” in Picture B-4 by the restaurant manager to the guests, represents a social class. Code-mixing and language shift is a marketing strategy used by the advertising companies to attract a specific social class. Therefore, Language is one of the important signs that made researchers understand different classes to whom the messages of the ads are conveyed. Language expression used in Bonus may be directing to a specific group of people. Similarly, the use of code-mixing and English phrases directs the message to another group of people. In addition, the idea of class distinction can be clearly understood with these strategies used by the advertisement companies for economical purposes.
Our Analysis is that English Language is used in more expensive, higher-status restaurants whilesimple language or Urdu in specific is used in cheaper; lower-status restaurants. 4.1.4. COLORS According to various studies, color represents many emotions. They are said to engage powerful emotional reactions. The positioning of colors in advertisements are therefore high as they present strong symbolic value. Human beings can be influenced by colors and it induces various emotions such as sadness, and happiness etc.
in them. Colors also have the power to influence how people perceive an object or even an idea (Nahai, 2013). Brite has blue color that shows safety, purity, and cleanliness whereas Bonus has yellow color. Yellow as a warm color often evoke feelings of happiness, optimism and energy. Bonus Brite 4.1.5. GENDER STEREOTYPE Advertisements influences gender stereotyping in a society.
Ideologies propagated through advertisements are a mere reflection of the society. There are many detergent advertisements including Bonus and Brite, which reveals the problem of Sexism and baseless categorisations of male and female chores. The advertisements of detergents, toilet and floor cleaners, dishwashing soaps and other beauty soap mostly have women featured in them as mothers and housewives. This propagates as if women are the ones who are responsible to keep everything clean and tidy. Women are presented in ads as if it is solely their job or duty to clean dirty dishes, toilets and clothes. Bonus According to a study by Jha Dang and Vohra (2005) as compared to men, women more often featured in ads for household and grocery products, or beauty products while they were less likely to be shown as working women.
Women are more often featured in detergent ads. Men as compared to women are featured more often in ads for automotive, financial services, and electronic products. Similarly, in this research the observation results are clear which indicates that detergent advertisements promote gender stereotype, and the patriarchal ideology. Various strategies are used by the advertisers (textual and body features) in order to naturalize stereotypical roles of male and female. Brite Advertisements of these kinds reinforce the idea of soft, decorative, family oriented butintellectual women. On the other hand, men are portrayed as brave, bold and financial providers. As a result, the ads serve social power relations and promotes the patriarchal state. 4.
1.6. PRICE FIGURES Price figures of products have always an impact on consumers. In Pakistan, consumers have a certain perspective about product prices. For example, if a product is expensive it is considered of a good quality otherwise the perception is completely the opposite. Brite is an expensive detergent brand that costs around 270 Rupees per kilogram, while Bonus is less expensive which costs around 90 Rupees per kilogram. Since, Bonus is less expensive this makes it a good choice for the lower-middle class.
Bonus has a price tag on its front-look which is a strategy used by the detergent company to attract customers who are not willing to spend much on detergents. Brite on the other hand, does not have any price tag on its front-look. Although it has a price mentioned at the back of the product but not as bigger and clear as Bonus have on the front-look. Brite and Bonus The reason of not mentioning the Price on the front is because Brite is an expensive detergent powder; people with wealth, never brag about the price of something because it is high; they do not think about the high prices. This shows how the notion of class distinction is created through company price policies. Products with lower price figures are always meant for the lower-middle class whereas products with high price figures are always made for the upper or higher class. 5.1.
FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION Advertisements not only promote brands or sell products but it also makes the consumers to believe in the ideologies, ads place before them. The major pattern that has emerged in ads selected for this study is that some of the signs have higher and varied impact on consumers, For example, the overall settings and setup of the ads. In this study the intention was to understand the notion of class distinction as well as the signs that are present in the ads of detergent brands. Signs play a significant role for advertisement companies to persuade consumers to buy their product. The researchers found that some companies are creating ads that target a certain social class and those ads are made in such a way that attracts a specific group of people. While analysing Bonus and Brite detergent ads, researchers found that a luxurious restaurant in one ad, and a small house of a lower-middle class family in the other are two different pictures promoting the products in different styles in order to engage with a specific class of consumer and thus differentiating consumers on the basis of class.
Moreover, Bonus detergent powder is very much reasonable in terms of price and this low-price factor makes it a popular choice among the lower-middle class. Bonus promotes the product through ads with a setup that depicts the lower-middle class settings, reason being to associate Bonus with the lower-middle class which is also a sales strategy by the company to persuade customers even more to achieve higher sales graph. The researchers further adds that Brite is expensive as compared to Bonus but Brite have some other plans, for instance to target those consumers who can spend good money on detergents. Since class is characterized on the basis of how muchmoney one has, Brite persuades rich through its lavish and decorated ads. The findings also throw light on the Language and Dressing which played an important part in the ads.
Companies in these ads used language and the dressing of the characters as a tool to attract a specific group of consumers so that they (consumers) feel more close to the product. A society is sometimes, reflected in the advertisements. Similarly, gender stereotypes in Pakistani ads are taking more space. The researchers have also tried to understand gender roles in the ads. Women as compared to man are more often featured in advertisement which promotes gender stereotype, and the patriarchal ideology. Although both detergents may have the same result as far as the functions of a detergent is concerned but still both of the ads are portrayed and promoted in different manners. The researchers conclude that these strategies are implemented to attract specific group of consumers for economic reasons but at the same time these strategies are a psychological confrontation between social classes. REFERENCES Arens, W.
F., Weigold, M. F., & Arens, C. (2017). Contemporary advertising. New York: Mcgraw-Hill. Ali, A.
H., Naaz, T., Aftab, H.
, & Danish, M. H. (2014). Women Representation in Lux Advertisement on Pakistani women identity.
Faisalabad: European Academic Research. Bignell, J. (2002). Media Semiotics: An Introduction.Manchester New York: Manchester University Press.
Baudrillard, J. (1990). The transparency of evil (trans. James Benedict). Paris: Editions Galilee. Berger, A. A. (1998).
Signs in contemporary culture: An introduction to semiotics (2nd ed.) Salem, WI: Sheffield. Berger, J., Rosenholtz, S. J.
, & Zelditch, M. (1980). Status Organizing Processes. Annual Review of Sociology, 6(1), 479 508.doi10.11 46/annurev.so.
06.080180.00240 Eagleton, T. (1986) Literary Theory: An Introduction. second ed.
Great Britain: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. Eco, U. (1976). A theory of semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Goldmen, R., and Papson, S. (1996). Sign wars; the cluttered landscape of advertising. Guilford Press.
Inghem, H. (1995, 11). The portrayal of women on television. August 16, 2018, from http://www.aber.
ac.uk/media/Students/ hzi9401.html. Jha D, P., & Vohra, N. (2005).
Role portrayals of men and women in Indian television Advertising. Abhigyan. 23 (1), 36–44 Kohli, C. and Labahn D. W.
(1997) Observations: Creating effective brand names: A study of the naming process. Journal of Advertising Research. Lanir, L. (2012, December 27). Charles Sanders Peirce’s Semiotics – The Triadic Model.Retrieved September 3, 2018, from https://www.decodedscience.org/charles- sanderspeirces-semiotics-the-triadic- model/22974 Mick, D.
G. (1986). Consumer Research and Semiotics: Exploring the Morphology of Signs, Symbols, and Significance. Journal of Consumer Research.
13, (2), 196-213.Murtaza, A., Khubra, K.
T. (2017) A semiotic study: Cultural misrepresentation in Pakistani advertisements. Faisalabad: New Media and Mass Communication. Nahai, N. (2013).
Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion. New Jersey: FT Press. Peirce, C.
S. (2006) Peirce’s Triadic Model. Retrieved August 16, 2018, from https://www.decodedsci ence.org/charles- sanders-peirces-semiotics-the- triadic- model/22974