Week 4: Advertisement and Plato’s Cave

This week we have been analying adverts and the concept of Sign – Signifier and signified: the signifier is the thing itself, the dennotation. Now the signified is what it represents, the connotation.

Images such as these perfume’s adverts can be seeing everywhere, and they are constantly being fed to us.  Suddenly a perfume becomes part of your identity and connotates how happy, sexy or brave you will become if you consume these products.

These images have a deep relationship in the societies they are exhibited, they are on magazines, billboards, television, catalogues. They are everywhere to convince us of a concept and focus on a specific group of people.

So, so we all live in Plato’s cave? Are we all blinded by the adverts and leaded to use out money all into these products, in order to buy these concepts and ideals? I think in a certain way it is impossible to scape all of them. Getting educated on how this system of signs work is a first step, but the fact that they are being constantly fed to us, is it really possible to leave the cave completely?

Do we live in Plato’s cave?

Plato’s cave is an allegory in which the reality of what we see in front of us is discussed and quenstioned. It is a belief system in which justive, truth and beauty are represented in a specific way, but in reality they are not what it seems. In Platos’ allegory, a group of men only see shadows from inside of the cave. When one of them gets free and sees the world for what it actually is, comes back to try to give this new information back but he is met with resistance and violence.

Not only he tried to enlighten his colleagues, but he finds out that they are not only confortable, but that they are hostile towards these new ideas and information. Plato’s theory was that masses are too stuborn and ignorant, and that they cannot govern themselves.

Here, he compares “the effect of education and the lack of it in our nature”.

Here is one of the images shown in the seminar, and the way we read these images depends on the time and cultural background. The aim of this advert is selling men the drink. Here it change the roles in relationship and related to the freedom, the one he no more have because he is “imprisoned” by her.

They show an imaginary chain ball to represent this imprisonment in the relationship, and I understood the message in the advert. This might have appealed to young men at the time that have just started a new relationship.  This does not appeal to me as a I a woman living in a different time from where this was created.

Therefore this is a negotiated reading to me, but might have been a dominant to young men with a new girlfriend at the time it was created. At the end, this advert is subjected to different interpretations, depending on age, gender and time of reading.

These adverts are of a negotiated nature to me. Here Beyone and the Heat perfume, the connoted sexuality is described not only by the text “Heat”, but also confirmed by the colours used in the advert: black and dominat red. There is a clear relationship between text and image. It bothers me the clear objectification of woman in these perfume adverts. The rarelly change theme and style.

Other adverts might have different and shared interpretations and they are important to see how it might reach different audiences.




The Ugly Truth behind Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

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