The essay deconstructs advertising, as it investigates the gap between what is promised and what is actually communicated and provided, using several print advertisements. These advertisements appropriate ideas from High Art and culture by intertextuality, specifically, through using cultural symbols and associations where products do not have denotations alone to represent the actual needs that they can satisfy, but more than that, they connote the fulfillment of various human desires, especially for sex and power. Corporate interests want to use these sexual and violent images to engender that their products are more than things to be consumed, but are signifiers of identities and lifestyles.
Advertising mediates meaning by acting on people and framing their attitudes and behaviors. Advertisements act on people by using objects or images that have influence on their emotions and/or cognitions. An example is the Budweiser print ad shown below (Figure 1). The ad contains three, evidently, young women, who may even be considered as under-aged, surrounded with Budweiser beer cans and with Budweiser brand and logo plastered on their swimsuit-wearing bodies and the mat they are on. The youth of these models means that the advertisers target the youth, even when they know that many countries ban drinking alcohol for teenagers. The use of pocket books and CDs also underscore the youth’s interests, as well as their middle-class lifestyle. Jean Kilbourne, in “Forget the Rules! Enjoy the Wine,” provides other beer and alcohol ads that attract the younger market through familiar animal icons and through appealing to their sense of rebellion and demand for freedom (164). Kilbourne argues that advertisers sell beer by selling rebellion, including women, to target female drinkers. Figure 1 affirms the sense of rebellion in these young women drinking beer as if it is something they can do every