Do You See What I See?

I had fun researching some controversial images and found it shocking what some people would even allow to be published. Personally, I have no issue with controversial ads as I understand that it’s a way to sell  products. If an ad is banned for it being too inappropriate then that was probably the company’s goal in the first place, receiving more interest  just like this Lynx ad.

One ad I did find particularly caught my eye. It was a Brazilian WWF campaign. Upon researching this ad I came across another 9/11 ad. (Copyranter 2012) Although not as controversial as WWF I felt as though it explained and clearly conveyed they ideas of denotation and connotation.

Here is the WWF ad:

Brazilian WWF advertisement 2009

Here is the ad I chose:

Colombian newspaper, El País, 2008 advertisement

Both images are controversial as this event is something no one wants to relive or remember. But this ad in particular makes  you want to look. The sight of a plane flying into a building at a low landscape angle (at any angle really) is terrifying but in a sense too interesting to turn away. When I first viewed the image I found something to be a bit odd, then I read the small text at the bottom of the image. It says “You think you’re informed? Maybe not. If you read El País, you would have the information and a deep analysis of the world’s scene, and you would have noticed that the first attack on the World Trade Centre, was on the North Tower, that the impact wasn’t in the middle floors but the upper ones…Remember, there is something worse than not being informed and that is believing you are”. Of course, this image is a total misrepresentation of the event, for some though, they may not have realised. The signifier is what you see, the event of 9/11, most people would recognise that. The signified is what the image makes you think of. For me it is the major news stories and documentaries that followed the event, the poor families involved and the idiots that hijacked the plane. It also makes me think, like the small text says, that the first tower was hit higher up. The signified is determined by your ideological opinion and your knowledge so everyone’s opinion is different. For someone who doesn’t know the ins and outs of this event would just see an eye catching ad for El País. But for someone who does know this story they would truly get the whole idea and point of the ad. Personally I think this image is very clever in the way that it catches your attention for the purpose of this ad. Although, this ad may not be terribly like if it were on a large billboard in NYC.


Copyranter 2012, The Five worst 9/11 Exploitation Ads, BuzzFeed, viewed on 20th March 2014,

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