Representation, Perception and Ideology

Media texts are all around us, from words to images, videos and even symbols. Every text we see carries meaning, but do we all perceive a text similarly? Do we all have the same ideological beliefs that make us interpret a text the same way? To answer these questions simply, no we don’t. You can almost guarantee that two people looking at an image are going to come up with two completely different answers as to what it is trying to represent. As individuals, we all have different ideals and beliefs that shape who we are. These characteristics cause us to perceive things in a different form to those around us. Because of this, media texts, such as a product endorsement poster, do not just have one way of reading it.

The poster below is a prime demonstration of a complex image. The promotional poster is used as advertisement for perfume. To begin with, we must discuss the signifiers and denotations, which is simply what is represented. Visually, we can see two people, a model and actress Scarlett Johansson. There are words written across the image and the perfume bottle is placed in the bottom righthand corner of the poster with the name and brand of the perfume. By discussing this, it gives the poster meaning.

However, now we have to look at the signifieds and connotations of the image that opens this media text up to interpretation and individual imagination. One may look at this image and say that is it simply a way of promoting a perfume. Another might add that while it is an attempt to publicise a product, it is also trying to persuade the audience to believe that by wearing this particular perfume, your life will change. From the image, it is written that “Just one moment can change everything”. To some of the audience they may believe that with one spray, their life can be transformed romantically and emotionally (according to the look on both of the models).

Furthermore, the use of celebrity actress Scarlett Johansson, is a strong persuasive tool for the audience to believe that because of this perfume, they too can become successful, famous and beautiful. Ultimately, the image captures the art of persuasion and perception.

So yes, this image is a perfect example of how a media text can be read in a variety of ways. An audience will not always have the same perception, because of each individual’s ideological beliefs.

Until next week,





One thought on “Representation, Perception and Ideology

  1. nc962 says:

    Your blog post was easy to understand and got straight to the point which is great. The way you describe the different ways the images can be interpreted is very accurate as I first saw just another ad about perfume but looking at it again I see a happy couple obviously brought together by the perfume. Although using Scarlett Johansson does persuade the audience to buy the perfume, I don’t think it necessarily means that by using it, people think it will make them ‘famous and beautiful’ rather than it just being another marketing tool to persuade people to buy the perfume, as she is a trusted figure. Overall a good post and interesting read 🙂


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