Marketing Code-X

Make a Splash

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Travelodge print 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.

Propel print ad

MAKE A SPLASH” NORM: Adventure is physically invigorating, like diving into water, or splashing your face on a hot day.

Royal Caribbean TV spot

MAKE A SPLASH” FORMS: Splashing water as metaphor for experience that’s bracing, refreshing — shocks you awake. Brief and to the point, like a friend encouraging you to try something risky. “Wow.” “Go.”

From a 2017 study of the TEST YOURSELF (defined as: achieving freedom from any physical constraints holding you back) territory within the Adventure space in US brand communications.

Tags: CODE-X