Judith Williamson argues that most products in advertisements are "useless" until a sign or meaning is given to them to evoke people to purchase the product. She goes on to say that signifiers only succeed as signifiers because people know/understand what they symbolize. However, Williamson does not mention how these symbols or signifiers affect different audiences. Would a person from a certain demographic interpret the advertisement in a similar way that a different person from a very different demographic interpret it?
Although advertisements use signifiers that are universally understood as either "luxurious" or "glamorous" or "feminine," others may not interpret the Tyre ad the same way that Williamson described it in her book. I for one did not even link the jetty with the tyres at all. The jetty itself is a jetty. However, after reading Williamson's book/article, I can understand her point. Which makes me wonder: do advertisers really sit around and just plan these type of things? Are there really people out there who try to find symbols or signifiers for products to sell to the "common people"? Of course the answer is most likely yes, since Williamson continues to prove this with her various dissection of advertisements. It just amazes me that this never really mattered, and perhaps still does not matter, until I read this article. So, are there people who are offended by ads because of this symbolization/signifiers/signified in advertisements? Or has it simply become something so mainstream that we just look past it and do not even realize it?