The CODE-X series catalogs a vast codex of source codes (aka “signs”) extracted from past audits.
The object of study in semiotics is not the signs but rather a general theory of signification; the goal of each “audit” is to build a model demonstrating how meaning is produced and received within a category or cultural territory. Signs on their own, therefore, only become truly revelatory and useful once we’ve sorted them into thematic complexes, and the complexes into codes, and the codes into a meaning map. We call this process “thick description”; the Code-X series is thin description.
“MIND-BLOWING GUM” NORM: Flavor and chewing experience so intense that the chewer is transported into an altered state of consciousness.
“MIND-BLOWING GUM” FORMS: Although the special effects have come a long way, since the ’80s, this code remains the same as it has since then: wide-eyed expressions of shock and awe.
From a 2016 audit of Chewing Gum commercials — past and present.