Symbolism of Popular Culture

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cool 2 page essay here that might be of interest:

Symbolism of Popular Culture

For example, suppose a macro-pattern defined by film genre and a sequence progression in this pattern from introverted, feminine genres such as horror films to extraverted, masculine genres such as westerns. Given this scenario, the chances of a great western film becoming successful in a dominant horror context might be less likely than a mediocre horror film.

Questions like this led us to speculate if there might be other factors at work outside of the conscious efforts of sophisticated Madison Avenue advertising firms to make products different from the rest. Might the most successful products be so not because they stood out but rather because they fit into the times. Perhaps our most successful products made connections rather than cut connections. We wondered if these connections might be somewhat unconscious ones to vague (but real) things like the "spirit of the times" or the "zeitgeist" of the period.

I could see how this might be the case, given that so much research goes into branding and marketing products in ways that resonate with people on both conscious and subconscious levels. Whereas someone may have conscious thought processes like "Buy item A because it is cheaper" or "Buy item B because it is more expensive, and more expensive things are usually better quality", on a wholly unconscious level they may be drawn to a certain product based on motivators they don't fully understand.

Posted by Jonah Dempcy at 5:13 AM 39 comments  

Classic Coca Cola Ads

These classic ads have something eerie about them. There are many ways to analyze them-- from the subliminal sexual symbolism to esoteric and occult symbolism.

Look at how set up these shots are! I don't think it's just meaningless aesthetics, there is obviously a lot of thought put into staging these ads. I'm not sure what it means, but here's a little pattern recognition of some of the things I notice.

The bride/groom picture has a yin/yang, duality feel. The black male and white female shapes form an X. There is a similar X made in the image above where a woman has her arms crossed, grabbing the two Cokes. As for the duality, it is a common theme expressed in this and other advertisements, and a favorite subject of occult societies such as the Freemasons. Black and white checkerboards or motifs are especially common.

The Halloween-themed advertisement above is quite strange. It has the two Cokes like twin towers framing the shot. The woman's hands are in a mudra, a hand gesture which forms either the letter M or perhaps a pyramid if you look at the negative space.

That's it for now, feel free to post your own interpretations in the comments.

Posted by Jonah Dempcy at 4:56 AM 5 comments