Denotations and connotations assignment

The product:

BOSS BOTTLED aftershave TV advert (featuring Gerard Butler)


The denotation of this advert is Gerard Butler representing Hugo Boss. Gerard has a voice over to a scene of him dressed in a suit and presented smartly to camera walking up to a city scape from a high-end building within the city.

The connotations attached to this advert are to target people who hope or already feel like they are the stereotypical “man”. The advert suggests that buying Boss Bottled creates a manly image in a person. This is suggested through a number of things throughout the advert.

Firstly the actor they have chosen to be the ambassador for the Boss Bottled fragrance is Gerard Butler. Gerard Butler is best known for his roles in films such as “300” where he plays the role of a king of the Greek state. In the film he is represented as having power and is of a muscular build. Another film Gerard is well known for is “P.S I love you” Where Gerard Butler plays the role of a husband who dies leaving his widow with a number of romantic gifts and letters pre arranged before his death.

Gerard Butlet shows in PS I love you and 300.

Gerard Butler shown in P.S I love you and 300.

Having Gerard Butler represented as both a “King” and a “Romantic” due to films he has appeared in has an important role on Boss Bottled’s idea of the “Man of today” which is the slogan Hugo Boss have attached to the fragrance. The slogan “man of today” suggests that Gerard Butler is the generic image of what the world sees as being a “man”. He has been carefully selected for reasons such as the roles he plays in films. This is because his roles are usually played as either a romantic or a leader. Surveys conducted on women suggest that romance and dominance are two of the most attractive traits in a man. Gerard Butler has played roles which include both of these. Gerard Butler has been voted the “Sexiest actor alive” for two years running by Glamour magazine. The idea that the “Sexiest actor alive” is wearing the fragrance Boss Bottled will be seen by the audience of the advert, a male looking to maintain a manly image, thus sparking an impulse buy of the product as the advert suggests that there is a product that the “sexiest actor alive” wears and it is available at an affordable price. The people most likely to feel they need to buy the product will more likely be men that feel they aren’t the ideal image of a man. This is suggested in the advert as Gerard says “If good conduct makes a man, it makes me the man of today”. Conduct is defined as meaning, to behave in a particular way, especially in a public or formal situation. The audience of the advert that feel they don’t fit in as a “man of today” should view the advert as Gerard having the conduct of a man and one of the things he does to conduct himself as the “man of today” is apply the fragrance Boss Bottled which is seen in the advert.

An advert for Boss Bottled sporting the slogan "man of today".

An advert for Boss Bottled sporting the slogan “man of today”.

Gerard Butler is known as being a heterosexual male, this will have been noticed by Hugo Boss when choosing an ambassador for the fragrance. The idea of him being heterosexual gives off an air of masculinity which targets both straight and gay men, broadening the demographic that the advert reaches out to.

The advert focuses on having integrity and power which are traits of a masculine male. In the advert Gerard says “Go all the way. Be true to yourself. Succeed. Be the man of today and keep Boss Bottled in hand” by saying this it plugs the idea of integrity into the viewer and then enforces the point by linking the Boss Bottled product to those traits. A comparison to the Boss Bottled advert is the Lynx Billions advert because unlike Boss Bottled, who focus their advert on the “Man of Today” having integrity, strength, money and power, Lynx focus their advert on having the ability to attract females.

Here is the Lynx Billions advert:

The advert shows hoards of women swarming towards one male who is spraying himself in the Lynx product. The demographic this advert is targeted at is a Heterosexual male where as the Boss Bottled advert is aimed towards a broad demographic of straight and gay men. Lynx have used the implication of sex to target the audience and have used the marketing strategy of sex sells to promote the appeal of the Lynx product to the straight male audience. Boss Bottled have avoided going with the sale strategy of sex sells and focused on using masculinity and integrity to target there product to a demographic that want to be the man of today. The difference in price of the two products, Boss Bottled and Lynx Billion will have had a effect of the style of the advert the companies have gone for to select a demographic to target. Boss Bottled has an average price of £30.00 where as Lynx body spray has an average price of £3.30. The fact that Boss Bottled is the most expensive of the two requires an advert that targets the audience with more disposable income. The way they do this is tailoring the advert around a well dressed Gerard Butler and the words he speaks. With these combined it creates an imagine that the product is earned and not merely acquired as easily as Lynx can be. Having to earn Boss Bottled due to its price and with Hugo Boss having over 7.5 Million Facebook likes will appeal to the target audience of the product, a male that wants to maintain or increase their male status, because people will be aware of how much the product costs and the status behind it as Hugo Boss have such a large following. A male who want to boost their status will be drawn to this due to the status of Hugo Boss and the connotations related to the Hugo Boss brand which are: class, money, style, masculinity and sportiness.

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