BCM 110

Media Representation and Interpretation

“An individual’s interpretation of something depends heavily on their knowledge of the subject being presented.”

Our lecture this week drew from this point as we explored the representation and interpretation of ‘signs’ within media, signs being anything that conveys meaning. The theory of ‘signs’ is known as Semiotics, it looks at a ‘sign’ in two parts.

Semiotics

However, people can interpret ‘signs’ differently due to their characteristics and beliefs, thus leading to them holding a different opinion on the subject being presented.

This blog post will demonstrate the previous statement as l deconstruct a complex/controversial image (advertising), for what it presents (denotation) and represents (connotation).

LEGO Controversial Image

Denotation:

The image above displays a man holding a pixelated object, in the shape of a gun, up against his head. He looks distressed and upset by his facial expression and by the action he’s about to commit. There’s an open bottle of what could be rum or whiskey (bottom left corner) and he appears to have little possessions. And finally, the slogan “Kids shouldn’t watch too much t.v.” sits alongside the LEGO® logo.

Connotation(s):

  • Alcoholism (open bottle)
  • Distressed (sweat patch on t-shirt)
  • The image suggests the man is struggling in life, due to his lack of possessions and untidy manner (papers lying on the couch) and by his desire to commit suicide.
  • The slogan “Kids shouldn’t watch too much tv” leads me to believe the creator of this print media aimed to portray a dystopian view of television. Playing on the fear that television can display and broadcast scenes, such as the one above, towards younger viewers.
  • The pixelization of the gun. l believe alludes to LEGO® bricks and communicates how LEGO® could be a safer source of entertainment for children.

Image details

This image was 1 of 3 created by the Naga DDB Kuala Lumpur advertising agency (Malaysia) for “Block Out”, an advertising campaign by LEGO®. The idea behind the image was to demonstrate the influence television could have on children, this being a growing concern for parents.

The image was created to convey the idea that parents can’t stop their children from watching television, but they can offer an alternative form of entertainment. One that builds their minds and imagination.


“We developed a campaign, which showed scenes from television programmes that were not suitable for children, like drugs, sex and violence. Then, we used the Lego blocks to censor the subject”.

Mini Overview  

The image and campaign take an interesting direction from LEGO’s advertising, which stereotypically consists of scenes with happy and enthusiastic children playing with their products.

At first glance, l struggled to understand what idea the advertisement meant to convey. However, once l spent some time deconstructing it l was able to discover the subject it was representing.

For more on Semiotics, click the link: http://visual-memory.co.uk/daniel/Documents/S4B/sem06.html

To look at the other images in the campaign, click the link below: https://www.coloribus.com/adsarchive/tag/lego-block-out/

References

Turnbull, S 2018, ‘Representation and Interpretation’ PowerPoint slides, BCM110, University of Wollongong, viewed 28 March 2018.

Thanks for reading my post, comment below what you thought about the image.

Regards

Jack