Marketing Code-X

Personal Product

Image for Personal Product

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.

PERSONAL PRODUCT” NORM: Just one example of how chewing gum benefits are communicated via metaphor: in this case, gum is likened to essential equipment for daily life, from car keys to condoms. An “everyday carry.”

PERSONAL PRODUCT” FORMS: Gum pack depicted as a product — something you’d keep hidden in your purse, in your car glove compartment, in a bathroom — i.e., for personal care.

From a 2016 audit of Chewing Gum commercials — past and present.

Tags: CODE-X, Confections