Marketing Code-X

On the Road

Image for On the Road

Cotopaxi 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.

Toad & Co. ad

ON THE ROAD” NORM: Abandon your settled life, and hit the open road. Forget the destination, embrace the journey.

Airstream website, Mini Cooper commercial, Alfa Romeo ad, Clif FB

ON THE ROAD” FORMS: Charismatic highways in remote places; travelers on the road; sense of wide-open spaces. Romantic, Kerouac-ian exhortations. “Wander.” “Stay open.” “Dear Predictable, it’s over.”

From a 2017 study of the BREAK FREE (defined as: freedom from internalized social and cultural norms) territory within the Adventure space in US brand communications.

Tags: Adventure, Break Free, CODE-X