How to analyse adverts

  • Created by: holly6901
  • Created on: 21-01-20 13:40


Roland Barthes had 5 key types of semiotics

  • Semantic codes - Elements in the text that refers to different meanings, adds extra layers  of meaning
  • Symbolic codes - about symbolism in the text, use of opposites to develop the characters
  • Hermeneutic/ Enigma codes - Refers to a mystery in a text, unanswered enigmas tend to frustrate the audience
  • Proairetic/Action codes - contains sequential elements of action in the text, builds suspense
  • Cultural codes - symbols which are relevant to a particular culture

Barthes also said signs work on a level of denotation or connotation

  • Denotation - What a sign literally is eg. a heart = muscle
  • Connotation - What a sign implies eg. a heart = romance
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  • A high angle shot will make a character seem vulnerable and insignificant
  • An aerial sequence is used to shoot action scenes to give the audience a full picture of what's happening
  • A low angle shot will make a character seem powerful or dominant
  • A tracking shot is when the camera follows a character or action to make the audience feel involved 
  • A reverse track makes the audience feel caught up in the panic and action
  • Zoom to a close up allows the audience to be involved in the emotion of the character and to more clearly see facial expressions
  • A panning shot is often used to see location
  • A whip pan suggests pace and action
  • A tilt shot is used to imply mystery when introducing a character and means the audience make assumptions about the character
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Editing includes analysing

  • The order of shots - The meaning of a clip can change depending on how the shoots are ordered, putting two shots together can suggest a connection or emphasise contrast. The order of shots can suggest things about the characters, if they get lots of screen time or many shots from their view
  • Transitions - Usually involves a straight cut however, there are others methods like fade to black, dissolve, cross fade and wipe. As well as changing shot, transitions can iimply a passage of time, a change in location or emphasise a connection
  • Length of the shots  and pace and rhythm - The duration will usually reflect the narrative context. Short shot duration conveys action and urgency whereas longer shot duration creates a slower pace and conveys intimacy and intensity
  • Special effects - Can be used to manipulate the mise-en-scene of a sequence
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Sound can be divided into 2 main categories

  • Diegetic sound - a sound that has an onscreen source
  • Non-diegetic sound - Sound that has been added on top of the film
  • Sound can enhance the audiences' emotional experience
  • Underlines psychological refinements like the character's thoughts or the unseen implications of a situation
  • Identifies characters/character types
  • Sets the location/period
  • Can parallel the action and create a more convincing atmosphere
  • Can build a sense of continuity
  • Can underpin the theatrical build-up of a scene and round it off with a sense of finality

Key terminology

  • Soundtrack - the recorded sound element of a film
  • Theme music/tune - a recurrent melody
  • Sound effects - sound other than dialogue or music that is made artificially
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Mise-en-scene is a French term which refers to everything within a scene it refers to four main categories

  • Lighting - the use of light to set a certain feel in a scene, lighting is constantly considered in a film to make the shots as realistic as possible
  • Setting - Setting includes the time and location the story is taking place and initiates the main backdrop for the story
  • Colours - Used to convey the mood/atmosphere and theme of the product. Certain colours connote certain moods
  • Characters which include;
  • Body language - How a character uses their body to convey their thoughts
  • Facial expression - Used to convey the emotions of an individual
  • Gesture - Where visible actions communicate certain messages
  • Costume -  What a person wears represents their character
  • Props - Used besides with a costume to contribute to their representation
  • Make-up - Used to assist in the representation of a character or fit a certain stereotype
  • Representation - How a character is represented to fit or challenge a stereotype
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