Student name: Sarah Dawson
Date of post: 14/9/2014
Topic and relevant lecture week: 7


Artist – Dolce & Gabbana
Title – The Eye Shadow
Collection/source –
Image URL / origin

The advert features two people; one male, one female, in a close, sexual brace. The advert is for Dolce and Gabbana eye shadow.

Semiotics Analysis
To analysis what makes the interaction within the advert successful, we can look at its signs through a semiotics theory framework.

The most interesting aspect of this advert is the switch of gender stereotypes. Whilst they appearance conforms to the culturally excepted norm of beauty, they do not conform on a personality level. For instance, whilst females are typically represented in advertising as passive and intimate, in this case, the male has these attributes, whereas the female in this advert has attributes of being superior to the male. This has been represented in several ways.

Firstly, the female’s pose is slightly turned away from him, whilst her hand also pulls him in without using any eye contact. This is contrasted against him submitting to her with his whole body. Meanwhile, her hair and facial expression represents a haughty, narcissistic personality.

This all works together on a metonymic conative level to communicate the overall theme of sex; specifically that as a female wearing the eye shadow, you will be more attractive and have power over your sexual partner.

Analysing the advert further with a representational framework, the advert uses a transactive narrative style, which is bidirectional. Through her body movements and eye contact that demands the viewer’s attention whilst looking down at them, the female reinforces that she is superior not only to the male but also to the viewer.

The distance represented between the viewer and the female, is a social distance that suggests to the viewer that they too could share the experience.


Artist – Disney
Title – Mulan and family
Collection/source –
Image URL / origin

The image depicts a cartoon family of Asian decent, with father, mother and child.

Semiotics Analysis
The semiotics model can be employed to analysis the transactive narrative of the image.

We (as the viewer) know that the three pictured in the image are a family due to the culturally encoded and digressive knowledge that family includes a father, mother and children. This is supported by several other codes within the image.

First, the parents’ manner fit many stereotypes. The mother is looking at her child with love and tenderness; this tenderness is also represented with her semi-casual Asian hairstyle that softly frames her face. The father on the other hand stands over the mother and child with his arms embracing them with security. In this way, the father and mother conform to culturally perceived gender roles.


The image can be analysed further than this through social semiotics interactive reading. Their eye contact is of particular interest; the father and mother are both looking at the child whilst the child looked out of frame to the viewer, demanding attention. This has a unique effect of inviting the viewer into the picture, to feel the love the family shares.