Marketing Code-X

Early to Rise

Image for Early to Rise

Smartwool 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.

Alive! ad

EARLY TO RISE” NORM: Adventure means getting up at the crack of dawn, no matter how tired — maximizing the day.

Michigan tourism ad

EARLY TO RISE” FORMS: Adventurers already on the road/trail/move — hard at work — as the sun begins to appear. (Note sometimes it’s difficult to tell if the sun is setting, not rising — if the former, then the image is about grittiness, perseverance, tirelessness, etc. However, the language cues often help us determine which is which.) Ambitious, aspirational tonality: “Expect more from your day.” “Go far. Feel good.”

From a 2017 study of the TAKE CHARGE (defined as: freedom to control your life, take the lead, realize a vision) territory within the Adventure space in US brand communications.

Tags: CODE-X