In this essay I will hope to analyze the semiotic codes of alcohol advertisements. I will try to demonstrate that the values, desires and technique used by advertisers are unethical. I will analyze several alcohol ads found in a Cosmopolitan magazine (September 2003). Though this magazine is intended for female readers in their 20's and 30's it reaches a more younger audience. The problem with teenagers and adolescents who view and read Cosmopolitan magazine is that they only see the obvious side of alcohol, messages on how alcohol may benefit them. But advertisers don't care how the younger audience benefit from drinking or perceive the messages in advertisings , they simply want their money.
The first advertisement is for Captain Morgan , the ad portrays two women with a young man in the back seat of a taxi. One of the women has her arm around the male. The colors that are used are mostly black and white, giving the impression that its night time. It also appears that all three of the passengers are intoxicated. The taxi driver has a smirk smile as if saying to himself "lucky guy, going home with two women". In red letters on top there is a caption that reads "Make your last call a cab". Though this may seem like the advertisers are promoting safety, I cannot ignore a smaller caption on the bottom of the page "Everything tastes better with a splash of the unexpected". One can only wonder what the advertisers are trying to solicit. Two woman and one male going home. The unexpected or unforeseen events would not happen if it wasn't with Captain Morgan.
The next two ads are for BACARDI RAZZ and SMIRNOFF Raspberry Twist. Both of these alcohol ads are from different advertisers. But they both have a few similarities, both are using raspberry to promote their products, both claim that there products are raving with fresh raspberry flavor, both are using feminine colors (purple, pink, red), and they both are not portraying any woman at all.