Advertisements are one of the most useful ways to get a point across or to promote something. The way we interpret signs in advertisements depends on our beliefs, values and ideologies. This is how we give meaning to the image and how it is represented to us. Signs are comprised of two things the signifier and the signified. When analysing images we start with the denotations of the image first then follow with the connotations.
Typing controversial advertisements into Google, I received a lot of interesting and sometimes disturbing results. As soon as I came across the advertisement I chose I knew straight away I wanted to do this one. Not only was it controversial it was also humorous.
The advertisement shows several signifiers within the image. We see a woman in a nuns outfit holding a tub of ice cream. The background and the colours used are dark and there is minimum use of engaging text. The way elements are positioned focus on the ice cream and the pregnant belly of the woman. The connotations of this image demonstrate a sinful vibe. The nun in this image is pregnant and is looking down at the tub of ice cream, the expression on her face shows lust for the ice cream. The advertisement is demonstrating guilty pleasure.
The text, ‘immaculately conceived’ can be both directed at the woman’s belly and the ice cream. It represents the fact that the nun becoming pregnant and the ice cream are both sinful acts. In the bottom corner of the image the text ‘ice cream is our religion’ demonstrates the ice cream as a holy figure.
Idealistically in society nuns are seen as pure and virtuous, this is not portrayed in the advertisement.