The Semiotics of Samsung

May 21, 2013

Driving past a billboard of this ad the other day, I was struck by the interesting visuals used in the ad.

Whilst the cloud and sky motif in themselves are not particularly eye-catching, their semiotic use is interesting.

The most obvious thing they do is draw a parallel between the screen (a key product feature) and the sea. The reflection of the clouds in the screen are designed to cue and mirror the idea of a body of water and all this brings; a glassy, crystal clear perfection of an image. It ladders up to the ultimate viewing experience in nature, transposed into technology. 

A second, perhaps more interesting code is the use of nature at its calmest within the field of technology. Increasingly we hear about, and no doubt feel, at the mercy of technology. It is always with us, always on. We take it to bed, to the bathroom, to work, on the tram; we are never without it. Which means, simultaneously, that it can be hard - nigh impossible - to ‘switch off’ and relax. We hear about ‘Facebook detoxes’, Voluntary Simplicity and ‘No Tech Days’ as a means of regaining some control, and some peace away from technology.

The choice of calming, natural influences create an emotive sense of peace, calmness, clarity for the Samsung Galaxy. Recreating the original dream of technology, of something that provides control, order and calmness, not an anxiety-provoking invasion. 

For a relatively bland billboard, it seems that there is more than meets the eye. It remains to be seen if we can apply this mantra to the Samsung Galaxy S4. 

NB the image here is taken from Samsung’s website, not the original billboard which is why there are gridlines overlaid.