Marketing Code-X

Rallying Cry

Image for Rallying Cry

North Face ad

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.

Clif Bar ad

RALLYING CRY” NORM: The brand’s mission and credo are the same as yours: Live a more adventurous life.

REI commercial

RALLYING CRY” FORMS: Adventure scenarios juxtaposed with exhortations in ALL CAPS  to commit to the adventure. Short, punchy commands — usually verb first, e.g., “Go, Find, Do, Start, Make, Move”.

From a 2017 study of the Adventure space in US brand communications. This particular code is an example of “table stakes” for any brand playing in this space; that is to say, it’s a code that can support any positioning.

Tags: Adventure, CODE-X