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Analysis of Tattoo and Piercing Usage in Print Advertisement

Analysis of Tattoo and Piercing Usage in Print Advertisement

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From the time span of the last decade, 40 advertisement campaigns from varied areas of industry, a number of countries all belonging to so-called ‘Western Society’ and various brands were gathered in order to represent the research sample for this study. The only thing all of these campaigns had in common was that in one or the other way advertisers incorporated tattoos or body piercings to display a particular trait or a property of a product or service being advertised. Using the visual semiotics analysis in application to the research sample, seven usage categories for permanent body decorations were revealed. The advertisements were analysed solely from the perspective of body modifications, ignoring the general appeal of the ad, as it might have misled the research from the original question. The seven categories formulated through the visual semiotics analysis of the sample interpreted tattoo and body piercing usages as the signifiers of individuality and self-expression, lifestyle and subculture, direct quality of the product, extended self, cultural heritage, impropriety and even metaphor.