Recently I took a part time job organizing the propaganda for some market behavior and Ads research limited. As the title suggests, it・s a company, which does the investigation on the existing usage, attitude, and imagery toward the specific brand, and identifies the elements needed to strengthen the brand・s reputation. Different from the other usual Ads Company, this company not only creates the new language or the images for the assigned brand, but also tracks down the existing language system from the specific group of the specific culture as the ideas for designing the ads. And the connection between two actions is what they called the ：laddering； process, which is somehow similar to the formation of myth or the process of signification. Take one of their projects, Dee Beers・ positioning test, as the example, the so-called laddering is to attach the product (the signifier) with adjectives (the signified) that they want the consumers can relate to the product, such as happy, proud, and satisfying. Then followed with these signs, the designers come up with some plots. In these scenes of the plots, the series publicity images become the signifiers again, and refer to the certain messages or ideologies they want the respondents to have impression on, such as the royal heritage, stability, memento, or the beauty. Through the laddering, the images in the ads have been further and further away from the product (the signifier) itself. As the theory suggests, ：it empties itself, and impoverishes it, and put it at a distance...； What they are trying to sell is not the product anymore, but the image they warp up. In the following, I will use another ads project of Hugo Boss cigarette, to analyze the elements to construct the myth, and decipher how the myth distort the values and the social relationship.
In the pictures I enclosed with, their target is to the (male) consumers・ recognition need. The recognition needs come from their beloved women, the success or achievement, the peer acknowledgment or respect, and being consulted and centered. Their ideal Boss user should be someone who not only works but also knows how to enjoy the life, and someone who knows how to find a balance between work and leisure. The must central images of these pictures are car and plane scenes. The car and the plane here are seen as the two public spaces, where the men can show their masculinity and superiority. Shaking hand with the pilot suggests the respect or the trust from the male companionship. Car implies the other object that men can obsess besides the woman. And the woman leaning on the aisle seat on the plane, the women sitting over the men in the car all shows how much the Hugo men are desired by the opposite sex. And the Boss is exactly what you need to taste the ：flavor of Success；. Moreover, the use of the celebrity endorsement certainly could develop more clear images for the Boss people, stylish, confident, decisive, and successful. The image cigarette itself in the pictures has been almost vanished and impoverished, but the image they sell now is the image of what kind of people you can identify, or what kind of life you can own after you are related to the Boss.
Of course, there are some myths being distorted in someway. First, all the main roles are male here. It might be concerned with the specific group of consumers of Boss cigarette, but the female roles are being treated as the subordinated and obedient roles, who would surrender to the men・s arrogance and arbitrary. Women seem to become the supplement to the result of the success. Furthermore, the definition of the success and successful men are sort of distorted by standardizing their appearance and their equipment. From the man in the pilot scene, in the car with the woman, and besides the horse (the one I lost), we can find something in common. The men are portrayed more aristocratic, arrogant, and unreachable, and someone over 40 years old. Practically speaking, I think it・s not just the distortion of the success, but also the contradictory in the product promotion. There is a slight contradictory between the models and the celebrities. The general attitudes of the models were too arrogant to be liked and identified, which sort of differs from the images of these specific stars. And because of the models・ bullying and patronizing attitude, it makes their success more doubted than ever. The respondents might easily associate the men・s success in these ads with their royal and wealthy family background, which definitely will limit the age of their consumers, and make a distance from their original target consumers.