Sunday, August 16, 2009

Street Semiotics


I was led to the Myer website today through photographing a billboard on the Myer Bourke street store. The ad contained text inviting you to ”view the behind the scenes action and our exclusive designer interviews at myer.com.au”.

I was impressed with the 'Myer Youth Behind the scenes’ clips. There are three different clips the viewer can choose from. The website is really well designed; you can link up with other Myer catalogues and there is an option to share the clips on 54 different social networking and email sites. The clips are on ‘youtube’ as well.

The Myer Youth Catalogue rocks! It’s the first multimedia advertisement I’ve seen that uses high speed time lapse film to show artists spray painting graffiti in an alley. Its visually interesting because it uses lots of colour and you see how the artists build an image with paint.

There is also a scene showing two artists decorating a corner of the lane with various materials. The effect is of a strange art installation room. The advertisement uses pop music, models and artists to show how they transformed a Melbourne laneway for a fashion shoot.

At the end of each clip an ‘A’ is painted over the letter ‘e’ in the Myer logo and a cross has been added at the end of the word that looks like a ‘t’. Glimpsed quickly the A made me think of the Anarchy symbol but upon reflection I realized the word ‘Myer’ was changed to ‘My art’.

The connotative meaning is Myer Youth fashion is edgy, fun and expressive. Its in touch with youth culture through the use of graffiti and music. The models are shown running around the lane having fun like young people do. There is a high energy feel to the clip and an element of playfulness and cheekiness. It contains themes of rebellion, creativity and postmodern art.

Changing the word ‘Myer’ has the effect of a visual puzzle or trick. It takes the use of the semiotic codes to a higher level through changing relationships in the same word. Because it is the brand name this has the effect of reinforcing the brand and deeper associations of Myer with high art, adaptability and progress (Modernity).