Semiotics in Dettol’s Advertisement

It is not surprising that companies, which seek continuous success, would make advertisements that always remind customers how important their products are to them. In order to convince people to buy and use their products, companies use symbols and signs to attract people’s attention and make them interested in purchasing the product.

Source: Cooler Insights

Studying the signs and making meaning out of it or as known as the study of Semiotics can be done by analyzing the advertisement, taking good look over things that are obvious and also the things that are not as easily noticeable in the advertisement. In one of Dettol’s advertisements, a standing passenger in the bus is seen holding another person’s hand instead of the loop that is used to stay in place when the bus is moving. This signifies that when a person holds the loop, he/she is being a target by many germs that come from other people’s hands. More subtle signifiers include that the eyes of the passenger are looking the other way which signifies that many things we touch during our daily routine hold many germs that we do not pay attention to. Thus, the advertisement is implying that using Dettol hand sanitizer is necessary to stay clean.

Other signifiers include the bag on the chair next to the standing passenger which could signify that in some situations, we are forced to be in contact with germs and thus having Dettol in your bag could protect you after you have been in contact with germs.

In a society that keeps us always in contact with our smart phones, laptops, transit buses and other people, it is necessary to keep ourselves protected from harmful germs and Dettol might be one way to do that. The advertisement and the effective signifiers do not show possibilities that the customer might not understand the meaning behind it and it most likely will encourage people to buy the product.