Marketing Code-X

Ethical Options

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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.

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ETHICAL OPTIONS” NORM: Have your cake and save the planet too. No need to sacrifice what you enjoy.

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ETHICAL OPTIONS” FORMS: Happy, upbeat images of people enjoying themselves juxtaposed with data on how ethical their choices are. Reassuring, triumphant. “18 million plastic bottles diverted.” “Over 319k sustainable homes.”

From a 2019 audit of the “Purposeful Choices” space. Defined as: Makes me feel self-reliant, able to take action by doing the heavy lifting for me, offering me easy and viable choices to do the right thing, inviting me to band together with like-minded peers, reassuring me that I am welcome.

Tags: CODE-X, Purposeful Choices