Immaculately Concieved, served cold.

“A Semiotic Essay on “Amazon” and Antonio Federici Ice Cream”

There are signs that can be interpreted in every aspect of life. Some may be harder to notice, but when you hold two things side by side it is always possible to realize the deeper meaning behind an advertisement. It is important to be able to slow down and take the time to analyze. In doing so, things often become more clear and the subliminal messages and meaning behind a photo or video can become more easy to identify. Analyzing the advertisement can open doors of information missed on the first glance. Many writers write about the same topic in different ways. We may find that even though Marketers may be advertising about one subject, they more than likely add small clues as to what they want you to think. Whether it be a color, symbol or a subliminal message written into the advertisement.

The first thing we need to understand is that we cannot become consciously aware of subliminal stimuli even if we look for it but it does have the ability to control human behavior. With marketing techniques, there is such a thing as supraliminal stimuli as well. Supraliminal stimuli can activate our conscious mind, even if we are unaware, it has the ability to alter our perception and become more aware of the deeper meaning behind a photo.


This Amazon logo shows a great example of supraliminal stimuli. An arrow that starts at “A” and ends at “Z” could indicate that amazon is trying to convince you that they literally sell everything from “A to Z”. Another thing to notice is that the curved arrow replicates what looks like a smile. Perhaps the smile that people have on their faces after shopping through amazon.


One semiotic analysis approach on this photo (Nun holding Gelato, above) that was most prominent to me is the fact that she is a nun. A nun is holding gelato as if it were a sin. The lettering is in Gothic font while the background is a representation of a church. I couldn’t help but notice the words “conceived” which brought my attention to the fact that this Nun does, in fact, have a large stomach, and my assumption would be that she is perhaps pregnant.

The “Immaculate Conception”, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, is “the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ.”

This gelato company insisted that they did not mean to mock the faith. “to comment on and question, using satire and gentle humor, the relevance, and hypocrisy of religion and the attitudes of the church to social issues”. Rather they were using religious imagery to highlight their slogan that ‘Ice-cream is our religion’.”

Both advertisements can be analyzed and portray a deeper meaning behind their marketing techniques. It can be hard to notice the subtle messages when we do not take time to look at each object, color, pose and location. By taking a closer look at advertisements, we can see now that they have a deeper meaning than what is perceived at first glance. Being able to analyze the differences in advertisements is not only important in marketing, but in every aspect of life. Each person will have their own interpretation on each advertisement, photograph or video. Practicing this skill can help you become a powerful free thinker.


Sweney, Mark. “Ice-cream ad featuring pregnant nun is banned.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 15 Sept. 2010. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.

Thorpe, Natalie. “Analysis of Antonio Federici Advertisement.” N.p., 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2017. “The Legal Status of Subliminal Communication in America.

” THE LEGAL STATUS OF SUBLIMINAL COMMUNICATION IN AMERICA. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2017. “Subliminal stimuli.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.

“Subliminal stimuli.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.

Rebecca Blair

Paper 2, Semiotic Essay

Professor Sean Davis

WR 121

February 12, 2017


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