Marketing Code-X

Rustic Real

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Jack Daniels website

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.

Budweiser 2018 Super Bowl commercial

RUSTIC REAL” NORM: Rural life is simple, honest — an ideal towards which we all should aspire.

Coleman “Tailgating”

RUSTIC REAL” FORMS: Men for whom flannel shirts are actually work-wear. Sense of community, not solo hipsters. Proud. “Beer country.” “This is Ram Nation.” “Our town.” “Thank God I’m a country boy.”

From a 2018 study of the Strong & Stoic space — defined as doing your duty, toughing it out, self-sacrificing, uncomplaining.

Tags: CODE-X, Spirit of the West