Marketing Code-X

Join the Tribe

Image for Join the Tribe

Texas Pete commercial

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.

Tabasco tattoo — from social media

JOIN THE TRIBE” NORM: Sauce isn’t just a condiment — it’s a tribe to which you belong. Show your pride!

Crystal social media

JOIN THE TRIBE” FORMS: Displays of pride in one’s tribe: Tattoos proudly displayed, merch proudly displayed, hoarder-like stashes of sauce, tribe members acknowledging one another (e.g., with a wink). Fanatical (tongue-in-cheek, though not entirely) language: “I hope they have TABASCO in Hell.”

From a 2020 study of the Excite & Delight space — defined as “Adding oomph to our daily routine.”

Tags: CODE-X, Condiment