There are many ways images can be perceived by the public. This is where Denotation and Connotation come into place. Having the Denotation of what is being shown and the connotation is how individuals may perceive an image. This is a way advertisers reach out to an audience. They do these tactics to make themselves stand out and usually to get traffic around their business.
An example of this is an ad campaign by Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen is a franchise that’s located in the United Kingdom. GBK is notorious for doing controversial adverts and use this tactic to create publicity to their business; but this comes at a cost. One of their previous adverts sparked conversation in the media with the vegan community. This advert campaign was intended as a light-hearted joke about vegans and trying to change them back to eating meat. This caused a lot of backlash for GBK as a lot of fans of the franchise were vegan and felt unwelcome and mocked for their choice.
In 2016, GBK used this tactic again to get worldwide publicity for their franchise. This time focusing on something the world was talking about, The Presidential Election. They used this to their advantage and focused on one of the candidates that were running for president.
In the ad the denotation was that it’s a photo of a burger with text on the side displaying “VOTE RUMP” which would be them advertising there burger, “OUR THICKEST BURGER EVER” self explanatory, and “It’s a bit of an arse” which it is because rump is from the hind of the cow.
Now the connotation of this image is that it’s a dig at Donald Trump. This ad will connect to adults as they know the meaning behind it.
Having “Vote Rump” as in Vote Trump. “Our thickest Burger Ever” as referring to trump as stupid and being the dumbest president that America has had so far and just calling him an arse.
This way of marketing is clever as it can reach to an older audience for the true meaning but still look innocent from a child’s point of view.
But this image can be interpreted differently by someone without context and knowledge of American politics and would see this as a standard burger advertisement.
whereas someone who is aware of American politics would be able to understand the intention behind this image.
This type of advertising was perceived better to the public as it was less controversial and wasn’t directed to hurt anyone like their adverts before, but someone who a lot of people disagreed with at the time which gave GBK good publicity.
One thought on “Reading A Complex Image”
This post is written extremely well! I love how you managed to connect a common global topic to this complex image. The way you have gone beyond the picture itself and linked it to various aspects of veganism, demonstrates your depth and knowledge of interpretation an image. I also like how you included another way individuals can view this image which demonstrates your diversity in the meaning of this image.
Overall, this post is written very well and you have done an amazing job at engaging your audience!