By: Melissa Shadrick
Today social media has taken over. Any college student could tell you the in’s and out’s of Instagram, what it means to “retweet” or how to get to the “beach vibes” filter on snapchat. A cell phone is all you need to become a social media expert overnight. In the digital age, we spend so much time scrolling that we don't notice the hidden messages and symbols in every post. When you start focusing on the connotation of symbols in ads versus the literal meaning, you see how ads can subconsciously influence the ways we think and perceive things. The study of this is called semiotics - the study of signs. Semiotics is used to analyze how our system of conceptualizing shapes the way we view things. Metaphors being a tool to engage the consumer and influence their perception. Marketers utilize semiotics to help reach their target audience and learn how to sell to/shape their behavior. This insight is particularly useful when marketing to niche markets. With a specific idea of how a consumer will read and interpret your message, marketers gain an understanding of how their message should be crafted. Thus allowing marketers to alter their ads and introduce subliminal messages that the viewer doesn't always realize are even there.