VISUAL COMMUNICATION IN RIGA OUTDOOR ADVERTISING IN THE FIRST YEARS OF THE 20TH CENTURY (Vizuala komunikacija Rigas vides reklama 21. gadsimta pirmajos gados)
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The research paper 'Visual communication in Riga outdoor advertising in the first years of the 21st century' was aimed at: studying the means of visual communication used in outdoor advertising in Riga intended to transmit a certain message to the recipient; revealing the most appropriate semiotic methods to decode the message and structure of advertising; singling out the dominant tendencies of visual treatment of outdoor advertising; establishing the dominant messages of outdoor advertising. Achievement of the aims set by this paper were based on an examination of outdoor advertising created or exhibited in Riga after 2000 and produced by both Latvian advertising agencies and multi-national corporations. Advertising is a team effort (realised by media, advertising agencies and commissioners' groups) and cannot be categorised by nationality; some Latvian agencies are affiliates of international advertising agencies. As David Bernstein points out, the aim of an ad is to make the consumer to remember just the logo or brand of the company, not the product and related imagery. So choosing the name has not just denotative significance (that should give practical information) but connotative meaning as well - the brand identifies the producer (Lipton, Kalnozols etc.), it reveals the functions of the product, the geographic location of the company (t/c 'Dole, LMT, Air Baltic, etc.), fictive personalities (McDonald's), hyperbolas (Super Netto, Maxima). The more connotative indexes are created by the brand, the more powerful its impact and possibilities of variation. Although there are plenty of ideas on our advertising scene, there is often a lack of commissioners ready to take risks and rely on the media and advertising agencies' work and experience. As a result maximum information is often put into a single ad, ignoring its location and specific surroundings.
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