An Image Speaks Volumes

Semiotics is the study of signs and meaning which was first established by Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles Peirce. Semiotics can be used in creative ways to create effective advertisements. However, one needs to have context of what it is representing, to be able to gain the full force of its message like in this Uno Stacko advertisement.

It can be seen that there a a stack of blocks on the page which make up a picture of a man holding a trophy and well as one block having a picture of a tube with the words ‘Doping Test’ written on the front. At the bottom of the image there is an image of Uno Stacko and the tagline ‘one mistake can blow it all’.

It can be seen that the image is promoting a game however, it incorporates the tagline with the image that can be seen on the block. The connotation of this image is the downfall of Lance Armstrong, after he was found using performance enhancing drugs during his cycling career. You could say that the uncovering of this scandal “blew it all” for Lance Armstrong. The organisation of this image has been designed in a way that if the block with the test tube on it was pulled, the blocks would fall down making a direct link to Lance Armstrong’s career “falling down”.

The image is centrally focused on the stack of blocks making this the key to the advertisement, and using the parallel of Lance Armstrong, and how the game Uno Stacko works as the its focus. It uses blue blocks on a neutral background again reinforcing its focus.

The text “one mistake can blow it all” is a clever parallel to both of the connotations this image is showing, and creates an impact on its audience and how they understand the image. However, someone unfamiliar with Lance Armstrong would not find this to be an impacting advertisement, therefore, making context a very important part of this advertisement.

Ideological positions that’s can be made through this image is quite limited. Someone with a negative perception of Lance Armstrong could possibly find this advertisement humorous because of the way it is presented. However due to it promoting a negative perception of Lance Armstrong, he himself or his family members may be offended by its perception of him as it pokes fun of his downfall in his career.

I believe that this is an effective advertisement as it uses a topic that is widely familiar to promote its product and draw attention to its meaning and the connotations it is presenting to the audience, in order to create a memorable advertisement.

Image Source

Inspiration Feed, 2012, One Mistake Can Blow it All, image, viewed 22nd March 2015, <;


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