draft proposal ongoing — Wency

draft & ongoing proposal — Wency

Research questions:

  1. The development of the content of advertisement through timeline. How does it imply the perception and interpretation of the content from different communities through different time and space? Study the different level of semiotic and meaning generation from perception, feature extraction, pattern recognition, pattern mappings: token into type, syntactic combination, semantic frames to cultural encyclopedia and dialog.

Analyze objects and possible keywords:

  • Peirce’s triangle: object, representamen, interpretation;
  • Three modes of signs: symbolic, iconic, indexical;
  • Meaning is not something stable, it’s an event, it’s generating through dialogic and is affected by macro cultural encyclopedia through time.
  • Barthes’s mythology, connotation.
  • Through learning slogan and images/ patterns: type-token, syntax and grammar, semantics.

– From emphasizing the function to personalized and emotional requirement, how does such mythology work?

– How does coca cola combine their concept during certain events (e.g.: Olympic) (How do we correlate the connotation between two objects).

– persuasion: how does sugar + water become different and stand out among other beverages.

– How do these advertisements simulate your perception drinking the product?

– How does the cultural encyclopedia affect people’s perception and interpretation?

EX: the barrier of translation of idiom, ambiguity of language in different country; different spokesperson through different timeline.


  1. Advertisement on different media: e.g.: why Louis Vuitton doesn’t have advertisement on YouTube?


Analyze objects and possible keywords:

  • Reproduction, remediation. Digital media/meta-medium
  • People’s connotation about digital media and mass communicationà aura, prestige, wealth, scarcity.
  • Interface/channel through information exchange, both users and producers become transmitter of information. (QR code)
  • Socio-technical system, the precondition of digital advertising and the socio-economic-political-cultural drive behind it.


– How does digital media being as an interface affect the user and the brand’s interaction?  (enhance? Speed up? More data collection and multiple types?)à compared to traditional marketing.

– semiotics behind brand

– semiotics behind different media platform for presenting the advertisement (accessible? Approachable? Mass perception?) EX: advertisement embedded in dramas, reality shows, films, Youtube Channels, Instagram, search engine and advertisement, etc.

– the perception on the same content on different platforms.

– affordance


Weeks to be explored:

Week 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13

  • Language: our modeling system for meaning & symbolic thought
  • The grammar of meaning-making: sign systems & symbolic cognition
  • Applying semiotic methods to media: how meaning systems work
  • Media theory: from medium to mediation
  • From medium and mediation to de-blackboxing socio-technical systems
  • From computing machines to digital media interfaces & metamedia
  • Mediation, representational media & metamedia to the Google art project.

Ongoing bibliography:

  • Steven Pinker, “How Language Works.” Excerpt from: Pinker, The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. New York, NY: William Morrow & Company, 1994: 83-123.
  • In Bennett, P., & In McDougall, J. (2013). Barthes’ Mythologies today: Readings of contemporary culture.
  • Danesi, Marcel. “Semiotizing a Product into a Brand.” Social Semiotics23, no. 4 (September 2013): 464–76.
  • Lencastre, Paulo de, and Ana Côrte-Real. “Brand Response Analysis: A Peircean Semiotic Approach.” Social Semiotics23, no. 4 (September 2013): 489–506.
  • MacRury, Iain. Advertising. London; New York: Routledge, 2008.
  • Thellefsen, Torkild, and Bent Sørensen. “Negotiating the Meaning of Brands.” Social Semiotics23, no. 4 (September 2013): 477–88.
  • Thellefsen, Torkild, Bent Sørensen, and Marcel Danesi. “A Note on Cognitive Branding and the Value Profile.” Social Semiotics23, no. 4 (September 2013): 561–69.
  • Berger, A. A. (1997). Narratives in popular culture, media, and everyday life. Sage.