If one takes a closer look at this models hair one would notice that she has one curl in the middle of her forehead. As children many of us were taught the rhyme “there once was a girl, who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good she was very very good, but when she was bad she was horrid.” What this curl of hair is doing is sending out a message that although this woman appears to be sweet and gentle, once you get past that young, innocent side of her, there is a wildcat waiting for you. This is going to make me want to buy this fragrance for women, as well as women buying it for themselves as the men would love to have the sex kitten, and most women would love to be one..
After noticing the woman you cast your eyes down to read the caption, “Be Delicious”. This caption cleverly picks up on ideas from the woman’s expression. It is almost certain that all heterosexual women like receiving attention from men. The caption sends us the message that if we use this fragrance, we too will be delicious like the woman depicted. If men cannot refuse her, than if we have the same fragrance maybe they wont be able to refuse us either.
The caption and the image are all about women being irresistible to men, and although it may be naughty, it is just too hard to refuse. Just as apple appears to be deliciously sweet and mouth-watering, you could be that way too. The font is also the same colour as the apples, thus continuing the theme of temptation. The apples are bright green and appear to be very fresh, sweet and juicy. Again subconsciously, we are getting the message that this fragrance is a sweet fresh smelling fragrance. This gives the impression that is a light enough fragrance that you are able to wear it at any time of the day.
The bottom right hand corner is a very important part of the advert. The producers of this advert have been very clever in incorporating the perfume bottle into the pile of apples. New York is known as “the Big Apple” so this overall theme of apples is very witty as it links together the brand, Donna Karan New York, with the perfume and the idea of temptation and desirability. Symbolic signs are used again as the apple, thus the perfume bottle, is symbolic of New York, because of the “Big Apple” connotation. Another symbolic sign that is made use of is the Empire State Building. This building is globally associated with New York so immediately when one sees it one thinks of New York. The apple is also indexical as it points us to New York without directly telling us.
Although the background to adverts may seem trivial, they are in some case important to notice. This background is out of focus, thus the viewer is not able to pinpoint a specific location. This is important for two reasons, firstly because it allows only the model and the apples to be in focus thus demands all our attention, and secondly sends the message that this fragrance is not specific to or confined to a certain type of woman.
Every woman can “Be Delicious”. What is important to notice however is that one side is red and the other green, this could be important for many reason. First of all red and green are what are known as complementary colours. When they are put next to each other, like in this advert, they work together to make the object in front of them, our model, be brought forward. What this could also represent is the two different sides to this woman, one being ‘good’ which is represented by the green, and the other ‘bad’, which is represented by red. This goes back to tie with the idea that although this woman may have an innocent exterior, there is a very naughty side that is just waiting to be revealed. The ‘good’ side being shown in green is also important in that it links back to the apples and the perfume. Only one corner being red represents that although this woman may be essentially good, there is a very naughty side to her.
The main message that appears to be coming across from the advert is that this fragrance is sexy. This fragrance is what men want. This therefore implies that without it you cannot be sexy and desirable and therefore you are not what men want. The advertisers are trying to make women think that to have a man to want you, or to feel delicious and sexy you need help, you cannot just be yourself. The viewer is supposed to look at this model, see everything that she has got, and realise that if you have this fragrance you could have those things too.
The very bottom line of text on the advert reads “experience the fragrance at DKNY.com”. This implies that this is much more than just a fragrance. This is something that could change you life, and thus must be experienced. One also gets the feeling that this is not like anything else one has ever tried before, again making it unique, making it special, and most importantly making it desirable. Most fragrances say that they can be tried or tested, but for this one to say experience implies that with this fragrance comes a whole new attitude and lifestyle.
Semiotics are very powerful tool that are used in advertising every day. For advertisers to change a product from being ordinary to something special, a “name brand”, takes a lot of time and effort and especially knowledge of the deepest desires of most men and women. Focusing on issues such a women being the most desired are issues that advertisers know apply to a lot of women. If advertisers can convince women around the world that to be more sexy and to be desired they need a specific perfume, then they must be reaching them on a deeper level. Semiotics are the tool that help advertisers reach those levels.