Advertisement : What It Really Means

March 1, 2010

What do you see when you look at this ad?

Incorporating the concepts from Barthes, Sassure, and Williams – there is much to interpret in this advertisement.

First, let’s just look at the overall picture. Man and woman (celebrities Carolyn Murphy and Nicholas Holt – both quite sexy) with a caption in the bottom left corner “Tom Ford”. At first glance, it looks as if the lady (Carolyn Murphy) is wearing a nude-colored tank, but if you look closer, that’s not quite the case. She is nude with tan lines emphasizing a bra layout.

Let’s look at his outfit- a white suit with black/white bowtie and it seems to blend in with his pale face. Rockin’ the “dorky” type look with bowtie and hair style. White emphasizes luxury, elegance, and power in this sense.

Both of their eyes are penetrated onto you. They are both staring into your eyes. Although she has sunglasses on, her eyes are still quite evident and piercing.

She leans on him for support, a sexual type stance. Her messy “bed-like” hair and nude body invites sexual innuendos and provocative thinking.

This advertisement entices the idea that with these sunglasses, you will also have the qualities presented by these models – power, sexual appeal, and beautiful.

Tom Ford is known for his controversial ad campaigns, but this one may be the least racy.


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