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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

I.1 Background
Everything in this world is sign where semiology or semiotics takes concern.
Semiotics terminology comes from Greek; Semeion which means sign (Piliang,
1991:262). Pierce states that human interpretation is due to sign. Logic means Semiotics
and Semiotics can be applied to whole signs (Berger, 200:11-12). Then, Saussure states
that, as long as human interaction and their habit has a meaning or has a function as a
sign, there should be a system to differentiate or there is the convention to the meaning
(Hidayat, 1998 :26).
Semiotics or Semiology is used to refer to science of sign. Eco in Jumirah (2006)
states that Semiotics may involve many different areas of the research, such as Zoo
Semiotics (including the study of animal communication), Kinesics and Proxemics
(including how physical gesture or postures may contribute to communication), the study
of Rhetoric, a Medical Semiotics (including medical study and symptom), the study of
Mass Communication (including the study of media such as television, newspaper,
magazine and film). Therefore, advertisement as a part of the study of Mass
Communication can be analyzed by Semiotics.
Everyone knows the advertisement. Every product advertises in mass media. It is
modern business phenomenon where the producer of the product competes to gain
costumers response.

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

The advertisement as a study of mass Communication is the sign system to


persuade customer. Advertisement can be analyzed by semiotics because its
characterization. According to Kamus Istilah Periklanan Indonesia (Nuradi, 1996:4);
Periklanan adalah pesan yang dibayar dan disampaikan melalui sarana media, antara
lain: pers, radio, televisi, bioskop yang bertujuan membujuk konsumen untuk melakukan
tindak membeli atau mengubah perilakunya. Advertisement is a paid message and
published in mass media such as; newpaper, radio, TV, cinema, in addition that customers
will be willing to buy or change their habit. Then, advertisement is not only a marketing
process but it is also a communication process (Kotler, 1991:416).
As stated above, an advertisement is a communication process. It cannot be
separated from messages that consist of signs. According to Liliweri (1991:20)
communication is a process of personal interaction using concrete signs. The concept of
the signs itself represents the product and is influenced by the culture, value, and norm of
a certain society to attract the customer.
Creating a good advertisement depends on the target of the message and what the
proper media to put in (Sumbo; 2005). Thus, to make effective communications, we have
to understand the character of advertisement target, that is, the customers or the society
itself. We should understand them both qualitatively and quantitatively. This is what
Sumbo Tinarbuko calls a basic knowledge of business units as a marketing strategy in
marketing process.
Pierce in his triangle concept states that there are correlation among sign,
interpretation and ground (the basic knowledge of sign system within the society). So, it
possibly happens that everyone has his/her own interpretation to the sign. Pierce actually

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

differentiates sign into Sound Image (Signifier) and Concept (Signified). It means that the
customers as interpreter have their own interpretation to the concept of advertisement.
Realizing these factual things, the researcher tries to find out what the concept of
the Honda accord and Suzuki karimun advertisement and peoples response to the
advertisement. The researcher also tries to find out whether the concept of the
advertisement is breaking the ethic code of advertisement or making a public liar.
Semiotics theories from some experts will being correlated and some respondents will be
included to make the result more accurate.
The study will deal with how the concept of advertisement that consisting of signs
is analyzed by Semiotics and then correlated to the peoples response. In other words, the
result is the correlation between the peoples assumption and the researchers assumption,
but the researcher assumes that the researchers interpretation is more empiric.
I.2 Research Aims
This research is aimed at:
1. Analyzing the concept of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun advertisement based on
Semiotics theories
2. Knowing people concept to the advertisement
I.3 Research Questions
The research begins with the following research questions:
1. What is the concept of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun advertisement based on
Semiotics?
2. What are the people concept of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun advertisement?

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

I.4 Scope and Limitation


The Researcher assumes that Honda and Suzuki are the successful and the big
companies of vehicle producers in Indonesia. The Researcher will concern with Honda
Accord and Suzuki Karimun advertisements as two random samples of the research that
published on Pikiran Rakyat newspaper, 3rd-4th of March 2008. Also, only ten respondents
will be included as compliment information about their interpretation to the concept of
advertisements
I.5 Method and Technique
The researcher uses Qualitative Descriptive method as a frame of the research. All
data will be transforming into data qualitative, especially the data from respondents. The
techniques are divided into three techniques:
1. Data collection
- Observation
- Library research
- Interview
2. Data analysis
-

Selecting

Categorizing

Adding

3. Data serving
The specific explanation about methodology of the research will be presented in the
chapter III.

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

I.6 Conceptual Framework


The basic frame of the research is about Semiotics analysis. Therefore, Semiotics
models of some experts are used as the theoretical foundation of the research. Some
Semioticians with their theories will be mentioned as follows:
1. Charles Sander Pierce
The Theories about Semiotics Triangle (Object, Interpretation, and Ground or
the basic knowledge within society)
The theories about Triadic Relation of Comparison (Qualisign, Sinsign and
Legisign)
The theories of Triadic Relation of Performance (Icon, Index and Symbol)
The theories about Triadic relation of Thought (Rheme or Sheme, Dicent or
Pheme, and Argument)
2. Ferdinand de Sausure
The theories about Signifier and Signified
The theories about Connotative and Denotative Meaning
3. Roland Barthez
The theories about Codes that can be applied to the texts to get its meaning
(Hermeneutic code, Semantic code, Symbolic code, Narrative code, and
cultural code)
4. Roman Jacobson
Hierarchy of Sign
5. Umberto Eco
Level of expression and level of content

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6. Louise Hjelmslev
Substance and Form
Then, to correlate between Advertisement and Semiotics, the theory about
Advertisement in Mass communication and Loan Code or Loan Social Code of
Advertisement (Williamson) will be included.
I.7 Significance of the Research
The research is dedicated to every element of society. The research assumes that
advertisement as a part of mass communication has became the study to learn. The
advertisements sometimes make a public liar and break some ethic code of
advertisement. Based on this assumption, the researcher tries to analyze the
advertisement by Semiotics hoping that hedonistic or consumptive culture will be
eradicated. The reason to use Semiotics as a basic knowledge of research is because the
Researcher feels that Semiotics is still a strange science for students, especially students
in Sumedang.
To make it more clearly, the points they would get will be mentioned below;
1. For Society
The research will give the society an understanding about the essence of
advertisements. Therefore, they will be more educated. Furthermore, the
hedonistic or consumptive culture will be eradicated.
2. For Students
As a reference, this research will give the students a frame to deal with semiotics
research and also enrich their knowledge about Semiotics.

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3. For Science
The research will give a big contribution to science, especially in STBA
Sumedang. As far as the Researcher knows the research is a pioneer of Semiotic
research in STBA Sumedang. Therefore, it will contribute to science as a
reference where finding the relevant theories of Semiotics in Sumedang is so
hard.
I.8 Organization of the Paper
This research paper consists of five chapters. Chapter one consists of (1)
Background, (2) Research Aims, (3) Research Question, (4) Scope and Limitation, (5)
Method and Technique, (6) Conceptual Framework, (7) Significant of the Research and
(8) Organization of the Paper.
Chapter two consists of Related Theories or Review of Related Literature (1)
history of Semiotics, (2) Semiotics as Study of Sign, (3) The Concept of Semiotics
triangle, (4) Triadic Relation of Comparison, (5) Triadic Relation of Performance, (6)
Triadic relation of Thought, (7) Signifier and Signified, (8) Connotative and Denotative
Meaning, (9) Codes, (10) Hierarchy of Sign, (11) Level of expression and level of
content, (12) Substance and form, (13) Loan Sign and Loan Code or Loan Social Code of
Advertisement, (14) Related research Finding.
Chapter three deals with Methodology of the research consisting of (1) research
Design, (2) Method, (3) techniques and (4) population and Sample.
Chapter four deals with Finding and discussion and Chapter five is the last
chapter consists of (1) Conclusion and (2) Suggestion.

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
II. 1 History of Semiotics
Semiotics terminology comes from Greek; Semeion which means sign (Piliang,
1991:262). Pierce states that human interpretation is due to sign. Logic means Semiotics
and Semiotics can be applied to whole signs (Berger, 200:11-12). Then, Saussure states
that, as long as human interaction and their habit has a meaning or has a function as a
sign, there should be a system to differentiate or there is the convention to the meaning
(Hidayat, 1998 :26).
Semiotics has two main figures, Ferdinand De Saussure (1857-1913) and Charles
Sander Fierce (1839-1914). We can call them the father of Semiotics. Both of them did
not know each other and develop semiotics with different basic knowledge. A linguist
Pierce is French and a philosopher Sausure is an American. Sausure claims that the study
he develops is Semiology and Pierce develops Semiotics, but they have the same
characteristics. Their study is about sign, the function of sign and meaning.
The next period is the Semioticians like Roman Jacobson, Roland Barthez,
Umberto eco, Louise Hjelmslev and many others that successfully spread out and
develop Semiotics. Then, Claude Levi-Strauss, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim develop
further Semiotics named as Structuralists and a Poststructuralists is developed by Derrida
and Foucault (Veggy; 2007)
II.1.1 Semiotics as Study of Sign
Semiotics can be defined broadly as the domain of investigation that explores the
nature and function of signs as well as the systems and the processes underlying

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

signification, expression, representation, and communication (Groden and Kreiswirth in


Jumirah :2006)
Semiotics or Semiology is used to refer to science of sign (Eco in Jumirah;2006)
Semiotics may involve many different areas of the research, such as Zoo Semiotics
(including the study of animal communication), Kinesics and Proxemics (including how
physical gestures or postures may contribute to communication), the study of Rhetoric, a
Medical Semiotics (including medical study and symptom), the study of Mass
Communication (including the study of media such as television, newspaper, Magazine
and film. Then, Sobur (2004: 17) elaborates the relation of five terms of sign process in
Semiotics as Concept mapping as follows:
Semiotics Relation
Sign, Interpreter, effect, reference, context

Diagram.1 The relation of five terms of sign process of Sobur

Semiotics attempts to explain the sign relation or science of sign; systematically


explain the essence, characteristic, sign form and the signification process that follow.
Semiotics as a science of sign, stated by Jacobson (Hawkess in Jumirah; 2006)
derives from an initial and very ancient perception that sign has two aspects an
immediate perceptible signan and an inferable, apprehensible signatum or signifier and
signified.

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

II.1.2. the Concept of Semiotics Triangle


American philosopher Charles Sander Pierce had introduced the word Semiotics
from Greek Semeion, i.e. sign. He was being well-known because of his theory of sign
(Jumirah: 2006). He states that sign is stimulus pattern that has meaning. Pierce (Sumbo ;
2006) in his concept of Semiotics Triangle or Triadic Model states that there are
correlation among object of Sign, Interpretation and Ground (the basic knowledge of sign
within society). The concept mapping of his concept is drawn as follows;

Interpretant

Ground

Sign

Object of Sign

Diagram.2 The concept of Semiotics triangle of Charles Sander Pierce

Ground

; The basic knowledge within the society (Eco in Sumbo ;2006)

Object of sign ; To which the sign refers (Jumirah; 2006) or something that
represents something else in specific corridor (Eco; in Sumbo
2006)
Interpretant

; Not an interpreter but rather the sense made of the sign


(Chandler ;1997) the meaning understanding that appears
within the interpreter (Sumbo ;2006)

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The broken line at the base of the triangle is intended to indicate that there is not
necessarily any observable or direct relationship between the representamen and object
(Jumirah; 2006)
II.1.3. Triadic Relation of Comparison
It is the relationships based on the kind of sign involved related to ground
(Sukyadi in Jumirah; 2006).
a. Qualisign ; It is a quality that acts as a sign once it is embodied. It is
actually acted as a sign until it is embodied; but the embodiment
has nothing to do which is its character as sign (Jumirah; 2006)
b. Sinsign

; Actual thing or event that acts simply and singly as a sign, it


involves a qualisign or rather several qualisign.

c. Legisign ; A law that acts as a sign, this law is usually established by man,
every conventional sign is Legisign (but not conversely) (Simanungkalit, S
Ivana; 2007)

II.1.4. Triadic Relation of Performance


Pierce (Chandler: in Jumirah; 2006) divides sign based on the object into icon,
index and symbol. They involve actual entities in the real world called a Triadic Relation
of Performance.
a. Icon
An icon looks like its signified. A characteristic of the icon is that by
observing it, we can derive information about its signified. In other words, it is a
mode in which the signifier is perceived as resembling or imitating the signified

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( recognizably looking, sounding, feeling tasting or smelling like it) being similar
in possessing of its quality : a portrait, caricature, onomatopoeia, metaphors,
realistic sound in music program, sound effects in radio drama, a dubbed film
soundtrack, and imitative gesture (Jumirah ;2006).
The icon is the simplest, since it is a pattern that physically resembles
what it stands for. For example, a picture of Soekarno is an icon of Soekarno,
the map of Java is an icon of Java area, or a little square with the picture of printer
on computer is an icon of printing function (Sumbo ;2006). Words that can be
partly iconic are such as; Bow-bow, splash, and hiccup (Onomatopoetic).
Pierce divides icon further into three kinds;
Images
The simplest quality, the similarity of aspect, i.e. Portraits and computer
icon
Diagrams
Represents relationships of parts rather than tangible features; i.e.
Algebraic formulae
Metaphors
Metaphor is posses a similarity of character and represents an object by
using a parallelism in some other objects. Metaphors are widely used in
poetry and language, i.e. Doe-eyed.
b. Index
An index has casual and sequential relationships to its signified. The sign
can be seen indexical if it has correlation in space and time with its meaning, and

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this correlation should be perfect (Sumbo; 2006). These are indices that do have
an actual connection (other than casual) with their object, such as first names,
relative pronouns, and the letter attached to diagram, they work somewhat like
labels. Index is a mode in which the signifier is not arbitrary but is directly
connected in some way (physically or casually) to the signified- this link can be
observed or inferred: i.e. smoke indicates a fire, dark clouds are an index of
impending the rain or tears for sadness (even though it also shows a joy or pride).
The indexical words can be found as examples; that, this, here, there.
d. Symbol
Symbol is a mode in which the signifier does not resemble the signified
but which is fundamentally arbitrary or purely conventional- so that the
relationship must be learnt (Simanungkalit, S Ivana; 2007). The connection
between signifier and signified depends entirely on the observer, or more
exactly, what the observer thinks. Symbol is subjective, dictated either by social
convention or by habit. Kinds of symbol can be found on; language in general
(specific language, alphabetical letters, punctuations mark, words, phrases and
sentences, numbers, Morse code, traffic lights, national flags.

II.1.5. Triadic relation of Thought


Pierce clssifies triadic relation of thought into three kinds as follows;
a. Rheme or Sheme
A sign that indicates the understood possibility of an object to the
interpretant, they should occasioned to activate or invoke it. In other words, a

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rheme is a sign of quality possibility, that is, is understood as representing such


and such kind of possible object (Jumirah ;2006)
b. Dicent or Dicisign or Pheme
Dicent sign is sign in which, for its interpretant, is a sign of actual existence. It is
a sign that conveys information about its object.
c. Argument
A sign that the object is not a single thing but it is a law. It is a sign of law.
Sebeok (in Sukyadi , 2005 ;33) interpretes Pierces sign into concept mapping
bellow;

Signsign

Qualisign

Symbol
Index
Icon

Sign in
themselves

Sign in relation
to object

Sign
interpreted to
represent

Legisign

Argument
Dicent
Rheme

Diagram.3 Sukyadis interpretation of Pierces sign

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II.1.6. Signifier and Signified


Sign has certain structure that Sausure first defines as the association between
Signifier and Signified. It is well-known as dyadic or two part model of sign as shown in
the picture bellow;

SIGN

Signified

Sign

Signifier
Concept

Sound image

Diagram.4 Saussures dyadic or two parts model of sign

Signifier or Sound image; is the form which the sign takes; and

Signified or Concept; is the concept that represents the sound image

The sign is the whole result from the association of the signifier and signified
(Sausure in Jumirah; 2006). The relationships between the signifier and signified is
referred to as Signification and this is represented in the Sausurean diagram by the
arrows. The horizontal line marking the two elements of the sign is referred to as the
bar. For example, the word open (when this word is investigated by someone) is a sign
consisting of;

A Signifier; the word open

A Signified concept ; the shop is open for business

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Sausure (Crystal; 1987) argues that the relation between signifier and signifier is
arbiter. However, in the third course held in 1910-1911, Sausure (Simanungkalit, S Ivana;
2007) confessed that the arbiter character in the relation of signifier and signified was not
absolute.
At least, there are five Sausurean concepts about sign that became the basic points of
Levi-Strauss structuralism, the concept of signifier and signified, form and concept,
language and parole, synchronic and diachronic, and syntagmatic and associative (Sobur,
2004 ;46)

II.1.7. Connotative and Denotative Meaning


We always use a meaning but sometimes we do not aware of it. We give a
meaning he is crazy when we see someone with dirty clothes laugh at himself. We may
look for a meaning when a stranger laughs at us, whether she or he greets kindly or
makes us a laughingstock. Every kinds of meaning or human interpretation are bringing
the human experience of all society (Sumbo ; 2006). All cultural meaning is created using
symbols (Spradley ;1997 ;121).
Denotative Meaning
A denotative or referential meaning consists of things that shown by words
(Sradley; 1997). Pilliang (1998) explains that a denotative meaning is an explicit
correlation between sign and referent or reality of denotative stager of sign. In this
stage, it is only conveying the data information, for example; red as a color, a
picture of people, animal, tree and so on.

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We can determine that a denotative meaning is the true or real meaning of


something. No aspects affect the meaning, except the truth of the sign itself.
Connotative Meaning
Spradley(1997) states that a connotative meaning consists of all suggestive
significant of symbol which is more than a referential meaning. Pilliang (1998)
adds that a connotative meaning consists of another meaning aspect such as
feeling, emotion, culture, and ideology. To understand a connotative meaning we
have to know the other unsure involved. In other words, a connotative meaning is
not the real meaning or a fake meaning of something where it depends on the
personal interpretation.
Here is the sign map of Roland Bartez (Sobur in Jumirah ; 2006) which explains
how the sign works;

1. Signifier

2. Signified

3. Denotative Sign
4. Connotative Signifier

5. Connotative Signified

6. Connotative Sign
Diagram.5 Roland Barthezs sign map of how sign work
From Barthezs map above, we can see that Denotative sign (3) consists of
Signifier (1) and Signified (2). However, Denotative sign (3) is also connotative signifier
(4). It is the material aspect; only if you know the sign of Red, the connotative of
bravery, courage, death, anger will appear.

II.1.8 Code

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According to Sociolinguistics terminology, code is the variant of utterance that


has a specific form and special meaning (Peodjoedarmo, 1986). Then, Umberto Eco (in
Sumbo; 2006) states that code is the rule that makes sign become a concrete form in the
communication system.
There are two models of code that can be applied to the texts (Sumbo; 2006), A
primary code and a secondary code. A primary code is the language with the language
system itself. A secondary code is the second code such as narrative structure, principles
of drama, kinds of argument, metrics system. They are kinds of code to bent the meaning
(Sumbo;2006).
Roland Barthez in his book entitled S/Z (Sumbo; 2006, Puji; 1993) classifies
them into five kinds of code models as follows;
a. Hermeneutic Code
It is the code that has connection with puzzle, response, enigma, the
answer delay that went further to the answer. In other word, Hermeneutic code
happens to the puzzle text. Who they are? What happen? Why? The answer delays
another answer (Pradopo in Sumbo; 2006)
b. Symbolic Code
The code is in connection with Psycho analysis, antithesis, dualism of
unsure and pro contra
c. the Cultural Code
It is the code that has connection with collective converse, myth, Science,
history, psychology, art, legend, morality, and literary work
d. Semantic or Connotative Code

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It is the code that has connotative meaning in the level of signifier. For
example is connotation feminism, and masculine. In other word, it is the code that
being arranged to give a feminism connotation, masculine, nationality, tribal or
loyalist.
e. the Proairetic Code
It is a code that consists of various unsure such as story, narration, antinarration or step by step.
II.1.9. Hierarchy of Sign
According to Jacobson (Sukyadi, 2005; 38) the arbitrary of the sign is not
absolute. It means that there is not sign which is really arbitrary or iconic, but there is
only hierarchy. He claims that:
It is not the presence or absence of similarity or contiguity between the signan and
signatum, not the purely imputed, habitual connection between the two
constituens which underly the division signs into icons, indices and symbols, but
merely the predominance of one of these factors over others
Jacobson argues that the relation between signan and signatum in the language
involves the limitation process that occurs in the form of diagram. Jacobson considers
diagram as iconic sign as in Algebra. Diagrammatic iconicity, according to Jacobson, can
be found in some aspect of language: Phonology, Morphology or Syntax.
Jacobson is quite different from Sausure because of his idea that says the
relation between signans and signatum is not necessary arbitrary. But relation between
them is necessary, if conventionalized, one (Waugh in Jumirah; 2006).

II.1.10. Level of Expression and Level of Content

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Eco (Simanungkalit, S Ivana ; 2007) defines signs as everything that , on the


ground of previously established social convention, can be taken as standing for
something else. In other words, Eco defines a sign as anything that may be interpreted to
Stand for (or substitute for) something else (Jumirah; 2006, Sumbo; 2006)
Futhermore, Eco (Jumirah ; 2006) argues that any given sign must be an element
of an expression-plane, and must be there conventionally correlated to one or more
elements of a content-plane. A sign cannot belong to an expression-plane without
belonging to a content-plane. On the contrary, it cannot belong to a content-plane without
belonging to an expression-plane. However, in some cases, a sign may belong to more
than one expression-plane. The expression of sign may have more than one content, and
the content of sign may have more than one expression.
Eco explains that the system of signification includes syntactic rules (the
combination of signs), semantic rules (signification of signs), and behavioral rules
(coordination of syntactic and semantic rules). Therefore, an understanding of a given
array of signs may produce a corresponding behavioral response (Jumirah; 2006).

II.1.11. Substance and Form


Hjelmslev, like Eco, clearly defines signs as an entity which has both an
expression-form and a content-form established by the interdependence between them.
Furthermore, he explains that the meaning of sign should be distinguished from the
content of sign, because sign may, in some cases, be lacking in content without being
lacking in meaning. In other cases, sign may be lacking in meaning despite not being
lacking in content (Jumirah; 2006)

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However, the concept of Hjemslev sign (Sobur, 2004; 61) continues to be


developed by the addition of Form and Substance. Hjelmslev (Chandler; 1997)
elaborates the frame work as follows;

Substance

Form

Signifiers:

Substance of expression: physical Form

plane

materials of the medium (e.g. language,

of

expression

of

expression:

formal

syntactic

photographs, recorded voices, structure, technique and style


printed words on the paper)

Signified:

Substance of content: human Form of content: Semantic

plane

content (Metz), textual word, structure

content

of

subject matter, genre

(Baggaley

&

Duck), Thematic structure

(including narrative(Metz))
Table.1 Hjelmslevs frame work of Form and Subtance
II.2. Advertisement
Advertisement is notice in newspaper, on television etc, telling people about a
product, job or service (Oxford Learners pocket Dictionary). Then, According to
Kamus Istilah Periklanan Indonesia (Nuradi: 1996; 4),
Periklanan adalah pesan yang dibayar dan disampaikan melalui sarana media antara
lain: pers, radio, televise atau bioskop yang bertujuan membujuk konsumen untuk
melakukan tindak membeli atau mengubah perilakunya,

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Advertisement is paid message and published in mass media such as, newspaper,
television, radio or cinema, in addition to gain costumers response to buy or change the
habit.
II.2.1. Advertisement in Communication System
Even though advertisement has different personal meaning, we can agree that
advertisement is used in mass communication within the society with the economic
purpose (Kustandi; 2005). In a modern society, we will find a mother home is busy to get
the recent of rice price in the market, her husband is busy to find the auto dealer that offer
the cheapest price, his daughter is looking for a new trend mode printed on magazine, a
politician is looking for public sympathy through advertisement or even a mosque is
looking for a new khatib (The wholly reader) and make an offer to a newspaper
advertisement. The whole things above are about advertisements that take a significant
role in modern society as in mass communication. Moreover, advertisement is basically
connected with information system in all sectors including politic, economy, social,
culture, and technology (Kustandi; 2005).
II.2.2 Advertisement as Semiotic Phenomenon
Advertisement does not only convey information about one product (idea, service,
product) (Freddy ;1999) but more than that, advertisement has a characteristic to Force
and Persuade people like, choose, then buy the product (Hoed in Freddy 1992).
A primitive form of advertisement is through a roar that offers the kinds of
product door to door. We often found a certain sign that automatically we guess that
someone is offering certain product to us, for example; a sound of stricken cup for a
bakso seller, a sound of stricken cooking tools for a fried rice and fried noodle seller or

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certain sound music as a jingle for bread or ice cream seller. It is the same as what
happen to other advertisements in the newspaper or television.
The relationships between signifier and signified of advertisement is the
signification of language and picture, that is, expression related to Content (ERC) =
signification (Larrain in Jumirah ;2006) if this ERC system becomes in turn the new
expression of a second system which is more extensive than the first and which supposes
a new content, one then deals with two systems of significations that are imbricates and
which constitute language and ideology (myth). The diagram is drawn as follows;

1
2

Plane of denotation-language
C

Plane of connotation-Myth (Ideology)

Diagram.6 The ERCs system of Larrain

II.2.1 Loan Sign and Loan Code or Loan Social Code of Advertisement
According to Williamson (Sumbo;2006) in his theory of Semiotics, advertisement
has principle to borrow a sign including social code, for example, advertisement with a
famous figure, his or her figure being borrowed to the product. In other words, the
product borrows his or her myth, ideology, image, and glamour.

II.3. Related Research Finding


Cynthia Bailey Lee (2003) has been conducting a research entitled A Semiotic
Analysis of Political Cartoons. She analyzed the Caricature of George W. Bush burns
the two bombs representing Sadam Hussein and Kim Jung Il the Iraqi and north

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

23

Korean. She uses a blending Analysis between geopolitical space and metaphorical
analysis. She was also used metonymy and Metonymic tightening. It helps her to define
their distinctive caricature visual style
The second researcher is Freddy H. Istanto (1999) entitled Rajutan Semiotika
untuk sebuah Iklan studi kasus iklan Long Beach A Semiotic Analysis of Long Beach
advertisement. He connects the signifier, signified with the referent to analyze the sample
of the research. He concludes that the advertisement is not a classical statement please
buy! but more than that. It is like a life style and so on.
The third researcher is Dr. Sumbo Tinarbuko (2006) entitled Semiotika Iklan
Sosial studi kasus ILM mau pintar tanpa perlu membaca?jadilah seekor Unta. He uses
Barthezs theory of codes, Hermeneutic code, symbolic code, Semantic code, Cultural
code and Proairetic code in comprehending the verbal sign and visual sign. He uses
iconic, indexical and symbolic approach.
The fourth researcher is Jumirah (2006) with the research entitled The ideology
of Cigarette Advertisements. She analyzes two biggest cigarettes producers in
Indonesia, Gudang Garam and Djarum. She finds that both of them have different
concepts of masculine that they try to offer to the costumers.
Those peoples works above have helped the researcher to find the appropriate
approach to the research entitled A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki
Karimun Advertisements.

CHAPTER III

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

24

METHODOLOGY OF THE RESEARCH

The situation can be static and dynamic. The dynamic situation has forced people
to find out the answer through committing the research. Other wise, research means the
way people solve the problems (Mahsun; 2005). Just as Mahsun, Seliger and Shohamy
(1989) state that research is the formalization of natural process we all carry out from
birth in dealing with the environment. It involves curiosity about some phenomenon and
the posing of testable questions about relationship among observed phenomena. Research
is a systematic investigation to find answer to a problem.
Based on its characterization, research can be divided into two kinds, simple
research and empirical research. Empirical research is different from simple research.
According to Kerlinger (in Mahsun; 2005), empirical research is a systematic, controlled,
empiric and critical research to hypothesis proportions about interconnection that occur in
this nature. A simple research does not need theoretical background and even can be done
by children. For example, the boy was enjoying walking, suddenly he found that there
was something wrong on his feet, and he could not walk properly. Then, he did some
research to investigate what had happen to his feet; surely he found that the rest of fish
bone was sticking on his feet. Otherwise, the way he investigates can be called a simple
research.
Sukardi (2003; 17) states that research methodology can be a systematically
activity planned by researcher to solve the problem.
The researcher determines that research methodology is the steps will be done to
solve the problem using some theories from the experts.

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

25

Concerning the methodology of the research, theoretical foundation from the


experts has significant role in language research as drawn bellow;
Problem / Hypothesis

Theory

Method / technique

Data

Diagram.7 Mahsuns concept of correlation among hypothesis, method, theory and data

III. 1 Research Design


The table of Assumption of The differences between Qualitative approach
paradigm and quantitative approach paradigm below may becomes our consideration to
choose a grand design of the research

Assumption
Ontological

Questions
What is the nature

Reality objective and Reality is subjective and

assumption

of reality?

singular, apart from the

Epistemological What
Assumption

Quantitative

researcher
is Researcher

Qualitative
multiple

as

seen

by

participant in a study
is Research interacts with

relationship of the independent from that that being researched


researcher to the being researched

Rhetorical

researched?
What is language Value-free

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

and Informal,

evolving

26

Assumption

of the research?

unbiased

decisions, personal voice,


accepted

Methodological

What

Assumption

process
research?

is
of

the Formal,

based

qualitative

words
on Inductive process, mutual

the definitions, impersonal simultaneous shaping of


voice, use of accepted

factors, emerging design

quantitative words

(categories

identified

during research process,


context bound, patterns,
theories developed for
understanding,
and

reliable

accurate
trough

verification

Citted from Creswell, 2004 that correlates Assumption of Firestone (1987), Guba &
Lincoln (1988), and McCrecken (1988)
Table.2 Creswells table assumption of the differences between Qualitative and
Quantitative approach paradigm
The researcher determines the kinds of data that will be presented before deciding
the research design. According to Sugiyono (2007:23), there are two kinds of data,
Qualitative data and Quantitative data. Qualitative data is the data in the form of
sentences, words or picture. While, quantitative data is the data in the form of numbering
or scoring qualitative data.
Based on the classification above, the researcher decides to choose qualitative
approach as the main frame work of the research. If we take a look to definition of
Qualitative research according to Denzim and Lincoln (1994: in Rina; 2007), we get the

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

27

definition that qualitative research is a multi-method in focus, involving an interpretive


naturalistic approach to its subject matters, this means that qualitative researchers study
things in their natural setting, attempting to make sense of or interpret phenomena in
terms of the meanings people bring to them. Qualitative research involves the studied use
and collection of a variety of empirical materials case study, personal experience,
introspective, life story interview, observational, historical and visual texts that describe
routine and problematic moments and meaning in individual lives.

III.2 Method
Method is the way of doing something (Oxfords Dictionary). It is the steps of
problem solving and descriptive method is valuable to the topic of the research. Best
(1992; 119) states that a descriptive Method is a research method which tries to describe
and interpret the object naturally. In this method, the researcher is possible to connect the
variables, to examine the hypothesis, to develop the generalization, and to develop the
theory which has universal validity (West, 1982:157).
The analytical research need to be described and interpreted because it is not only
the data collection but also the interpretation about the meaning of data. According to
Sukardi (2003:158), descriptive method is very useful to get the variation of the problems
which is connected with human behavior. Also, this method is simple and easy to
understand because it does not need complex statistic technique.

III.3 Technique

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28

Research technique is the activity or step which is done by the researcher while facing
directly with examined object (Surakhmad, 1990:172). The researcher divides the
techniques into three, technique of data collection, technique of data analysis and data
serving.
1. Technique of Data Collection
o Observation
The step to look for the appropriate advertisements on the newspaper, magazine
or other sources
o Library research
In this step, the researcher looks for some theories to become theoretical
foundation of the research
o Interview
To get supporting information, the researcher takes an interview to ten
respondents
2. Technique of Data Analysis
o Selecting
In this step, some of advertisements are re-selected to determine the sample of the
research
o Categorizing
The sample of the research is categorized related to grand theories
o Adding
Supporting data from 10 respondents are included after classifying based on the
same characteristic of the answer or on a close relation among the answers.

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

29

In general, here is a Researchers concept mapping as drawn as follow:

Step I

Library
research

Observation

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki


Karimun Ads
Theoretical
Advertisements
Qualitative
Categorizing
/
Serving
Selecting /
foundation
Sample
of the
Step 2
descriptive
Classifying research
identifying
Analysis

Interview

Supporting
Adding
Data
Step 3

30

Diagram.8 The researchers concept mapping of the research methodology


III.4 Population and Sample
According to Ary (1985; 38), population is all member of well defined class of
people, events or object and sample is some of the populations which are taken as the
sources of the data. Furthermore, Sugiono states that population is a generalization area

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

31

that consists of objects or subjects with certain characteristics and quality. Population can
be one person or thing and its characteristic can be a sample of the research. For example;
if we take a research to leadership of Chairlady B with her characteristic, her leadership,
managerial, hobby, discipline, rhetoric, and interaction, we can determine that her
leadership is one of samples of the research.
The researcher takes advertisements as a population of the research. Then, Honda
Accord and Suzuki Karimun advertisements are samples of the research with the
assumption that Honda and Suzuki are the big and successful vehicle companies in
Indonesia. Some of people will be included as the supporting sample of costumers
population, but they only take small role in the research as supporting information.

CHAPTER IV
DISCUSSION and FINDING
IV.1 The Concept of Honda Accord Advertisement

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

32

Honda Accord advertisement published in Pikiran Rakyat, March 4th , 2008 was
printed full page where the car was placed in the middle. The car with an extra size and
almost one third pages has a denotative meaning that this new Honda Accord is really
big.
The headline Bigger-Better Bolder is printed using unusual fonts and touched by
finishing touch using a Calligraphy art at the beginning and at the end of the headline. All
those things have strengthened the art image of the subject. The European style building
as a background has successfully attracted the readers and gives an elegant image and
completed by the theme brown that supports the elegant image of the subject.
IV.1.1Verbal Sign
Headline: Bigger-Better-Bolder
Text

: All New full size Honda Accord


Pengalaman baru sebuah sedan kelas atas
(All new full size Honda Accord
The new experience of high class sedan)
All new full size Honda Accord hadir dengan dimensi extra besar sebagai
sedan full size kelas atas, meningkat dari kelas sebelumnya di medium class.
Peningkatan yang menjamin keleluasaan dan kenyamanan baru sebuah sedan
mewah. Meski dimensinya membesar tapi tetap memiliki power ratio yang
lebih baik dibanding generasi sebelumnya.
(All new full size Honda accord, now with extra large dimension as a high
class full size sedan, steps up from the former size, a medium size. The extra
size will guarantee you to the widest and the comfort of luxurious sedan. Even
though its dimension is bigger, it still has a better power weight ratio than the
former generation.)

Supporting text: Car specifications

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

33

IV.1.2 Visual Sign


It is a new brown variant of Honda Accord with the same theme as a background
of the product where the size of the car is almost one third of one full page advertisement.
The luxurious of European style building is a background of the product.
IV.1.3 Hermeneutic Code
According to verbal and visual sign, we can elaborate the theories of codes by
Roland Barthez to analyze the Honda accord Advertisement.
The Hermeneutic Code appears in the headline Bigger-Better Bolder. The
enigma appears to the word Bigger in association with Better and Bolder. In some
cases, it is not appropriate; the big one cannot be the better one. Then to cover this
assumption, the Bolder can be an answer for what the reader had asked in their mind but
the enigma is not fully answered. It is like a statement saying I am bigger and look
better and bolder. The statement is covered by the appearance of advertisement subject
with an elegant and artistic image.
IV.1.4 Cultural Code
The cultural code appears in the background of the advertisement. They choose
European style building with some consideration. It is no doubt for them to choose this
European style building as a background of the advertisement subject. As we know,
nowadays, Europe consists of the most progressive countries with their high sense of
classy, modern and artistic appearance. So, the advertisement maker tries to elaborate this
sense to the advertisement subject.
A myth as a part of cultural code also appears in the European style building. As
we know, Greek and Rome are the phenomena of European civilization. Their prosperity

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

34

have been well-known up to now, the building remnants still exist as a witness of the
prosperous era. This remnant has a myth as boldness, prosperity and the exclusiveness of
a building. Then, four lamps lighting on to the car has connotative meaning that the
prosperity will be replied by Honda especially by new Honda Accord.
The headline also consists of art design as a cultural code. The headline BiggerBetter Bolder is printed using unusual fonts and touched by finishing touch using a
tattoo art at the beginning and the end of the headline. All those things have strengthened
the art image of the subject advertisements.
IV.1.5 Proairetic or narrative Code
Proairetic Code appears in the text below:
All New Full Size Honda Accord hadir dengan dimensi extra besar sebagai sedan full
size kelas atas, meningkat dari kelas sebelumnya di medium size.peningkatan yang
menjamin keleluasaan dan kenyamanan baru sebuah sedan mewah. Meski dimensinya
membesar tapi tetap memiliki power to weight ratio yang lebih baik dibanding generasi
sebelumnya. Mesin 3.5 L V6 i-VTEC dengan Variable Cylinder management (VCM)
membuat anda merasa memiliki 3 mesin sekaligus karena kemampuannya menyesuaikan
kerja mesin menggunakan 6 silinder, 4 silinder dan 3 silinder sesuai akselerasi dan
tingkat kecepatan. Suatu perubahan nyata yang membawa standar baru untuk premium
sedan. Di Honda kami menghargai INVESTASI anda dengan INOVASI. Saatnya anda
beralih ke All New Full Sie Honda Accord.
All new full size Honda accord, now with extra large dimension as a high class
full size sedan, steps up from the former size, a medium size. The extra size will
guarantee you to the widest and the comfort of luxurious sedan. Even though its
dimension is bigger, but it still has a better power weight ratio than the former generation.
3.5 L V6 i-VTEC engine with Variable Cylinder management (VCM) makes you feel like
you own three cars all at once because its capability to adjust the engine works using 6, 4
and 3 cylinders according to acceleration and speed. It is a real change as a new standard

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

35

of premium sedan. Honda will appreciate your INVESTMENT with INOVATION. It is


time for you to go over to All New Full Size Honda Accord.
This is the narration of the product where in the sort saying Please buy!!! But
not for modern advertisements, selecting words to become texts is strongly needed.
IV.1.6 Symbol

Picture.1 Hondas symbol

We found the picture 1 above in the advertisement or in the subject of the product
itself. The researcher categorizes special font H as a symbol of the product, that is,
Honda. This special font is subjective and the interpretation to the symbol depends
entirely on the observer, or more exactly, on the observers thought.
We can easily remove the Signified from its Signifier. For example, the special
font H may be interpreted as a symbol of HALIMUNAN Company. If we divide or
categorize the symbol from its signified and Signifier, we derive information according to
Semiotics as follow:
Signifier
Letter H in

Signified
Honda

Table.3 Categorization table of Hondas symbol based on Signifier and Signified


As stated above, the signified Honda can be easily removed from Signifier letter
H because the characteristic of the symbol, According to Sausure, has an arbitrary
relationship. We can find the specific fonts as symbols representing something as

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

36

simPATI for one of the cell phone providers, special crosses for Christianity, Special
U for Unilever and many more.
IV.1.7 Signifier and Signified
We can derive information from signifier and Signified of the advertisement to
find the concept or main purpose of selecting some pictures, fonts or colors. We can
elaborate them based on denotative (real meaning) or based on connotative (fake
meaning).
Signifier

Signified

European style building (picture)

Luxurious, elegant and artistic

Special fonts and contemporary tattoo art

Oldies but artistic and classy

Natural brown (color theme)

Elegant, soft and luxurious

Table.4 Categorization table of Honda Accord advertisement based on Signifier and


Signified

An example of how we categorize them into sign map of Roland Barthez which explains
how the sign works is as follows:
Signifier

Signified

Color (visually)

Brown (Verbal or written)

Denotative Sign
Connotative Signifier
Brown color

Connotative signified
Elegant

Table.5 Table of how sign work to the color brown

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

37

It is the material aspect and based on our interpretation, at least, it has public
convention. It is what will happen to the Red; only if you know, the connotative of
bravery, courage, anger will appear.
Based on the classification above, the concept of advertisement is trying to bring
down the meaning that appears on the picture, special font and color theme. If we
translate to the words the advertisement can say my new product, a new Honda accord is
luxurious, elegant, artistic and more classy even though it has an extra size, it better
because comfortable and easy to handle. They use a cultural approach for Indonesian
people because for other people it might have different meaning. In some cases, people
have their own interpretation to the meaning, based on their thought. For example,
Indonesian people might say white to represent the holiness but not for Chinese or
African.
IV.I.8 Interview Results Discussion
From the relation to advertisement theories of Williamson (Sumbo; 2006) the
advertisement uses loan sign of fame and the elegancy of European style building to new
Honda Accord. It is in accordance with the data gathered from respondents which is the
questions number one. The data are arranged based on the frequency of appearance.
Question 1 : Berdasarkan latar belakang dari objek iklan, konsep apakah yang
coba ditawarkan oleh iklan Honda Accord?
(Based on the background of the object, what kind of concept they
try to offer from Honda Accord advertisement?)
NO.
Answers
Frequency of appearance %
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Kemewahan ( The luxury)


Kegagahan (Bolder)
Kemegahan (Glory)
Futuristik (futuristic)
Klasik (classic)
Glamour (glamour)

8 times
1 time
1 time
1 time
1 time
1 time

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

80.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0

38

Table.6 Interview results for the question number 1


Then, the elegance is strengthened by color theme, brown. Approximately,
Indonesian people believe this color represents the elegant and the luxurious. It is shown
by the table below;
Question 2 : Berdasarkan tema warna, konsep apakah yang coba dilekatkan pada
objek iklan atau makna konotatif dari warna tersebut?
(Based on the color theme, what kind of concept they try to bring
over the ads object or connotative meaning of the color?)
NO.
Answers
Frequency of appearance %
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Elegan (Elegant)
Mewah (Luxurious)
Lembut (soft)
Seksi (sexy)
Kualitas tinggi (High quality)

7 times
3 times
1 time
1 time
1 time

70.0
30.0
10.0
10.0
10.0

Table.7 Interview results for the question number 2


The headline Bigger-Better-Bolder gives a finishing touch by adding the artistic
image to the ads object.

Question 3 :Image apa yang ingin dilekatkan pada objek iklan dari sebuah
headlineBigger-Better-Bolder(jenis font dan aksen kaligrafi)?
(What kind of image they want to give to the ads object based on a
headlineBigger-Better-Bolder( fonts Uses and calligraphy Art ?)
NO.
Answers
Frequency of appearance %
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Indah (artistic)
Mewah (Luxurious)
Keeklusifan (Exlusiveness)
Berkelas (classy)
Gagah (Bolder)

5 times
4 times
1 time
1 time
1 time

50.0
40.0
10.0
10.0
10.0

Table.8 Interview results for the question number 3

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

39

About 50.0% of the answers point out to the artistic. Even though the answer does
not correctly say it, the researcher takes a resume to some answers which have the same
characters such as for question number 3. To point out Artistic some respondents say (
bentuk bagus great shape, Biar kelihatan keren aja to look so cool and memiliki nilai
seni has an artistic value). The researcher does some approaches to make them easy to be
classified.

IV.2 the Concept of Suzuki Karimun Advertisement


Suzuki Karimun Estilo advertished in Pikiran Rakyat, March 3rd , 2008 was
printed in black and white style. The advertisement becomes interesting because the
unusual style that explains the product, using a modification of traffic symbols. Then, the
traffic symbols are correlated with the car specifications.
IV.2.1 Verbal Sign

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

40

The verbal sign that appear in Suzuki Karimun Advertisement is the sign to show
the car specifications packed in visual style (printed down bellow the traffic symbols)
such as:
-

The most favorite city car in Indonesia*

Parking everywhere

Comfort and easy handling

Jalan tikus bebas hambatan ( Small path free access)

Easy maintenance

Iritnya nonstop (Low fuel consumption)

Almost all of the verbal signs are written in English except Jalan tikus bebas
hambatan (Path free access) and Iritnya non stop (low fuel consumption). It has a main
concept that connotatively, this product is for educated people because it is assumed that
educated people understand the English, at least the simple and familiar words.
IV.2.2 Visual Sign
The black white advertisement style, Suzuki Karimun looks interesting with the
placing adjustment that places the car among some traffic symbols. The background of
the advertisement is some tall buildings to represent a city environment. The background
quite successfully supports the persuasive image they try to build that Suzuki Karimun is
the most favorite city car in Indonesia*.
Theories of Code of Roland Barthez can be applied to recognize the concept
behind the advertisement made.
IV.2.3 Hermeneutic Code

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

41

This is the code that has connection with puzzle, response and enigma. We can
analyze the verbal sign which indicates the most favorite city cat in Indonesia* the pro
contra appears to the sentences because some readers might say how the new one can be
the most favorite one. They seem to make a public liar, but actually they do not. To
answer this question they put the sign (*) at the end of the sentence. It is avoid them who
did some analytical questions to that sentence. The sign (*) explains that this is the
achievement they got from Auto car magazine that Suzuki Karimun is the most favorite
city car in Indonesia of 2008. The sentence actually says Suzuki Karimun has won the
pooling from Auto car that Suzuki Karimun is the most favorite city car in Indonesia. The
way they separate and make a different writing of font size is one of the strategies to
attract customers.
IV.2.4 Symbolic Code
This is the code related to psycho analysis, antithesis, the dualism of elements and
pro contra. From the verbal sign, the researcher finds a sentence that has a symbolic code.
Jalan tikus bebas hambatan (small path free access). Path or a small road is a road that
at least can only be filled by one small car. Pro contra then appears when free access is
inserted to the sentence. Ideally, the smallest car will not be easy to pass this road because
if there is another car, it is going to be a problem but this is the way the advertisement is
going through on it. It seems to dramatize something to express how small this car is.
IV.2.5 Symbol

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

42

Picture.2 Suzukis symbol


The researcher categorizes the special font S is a symbol of the product, that is,
Suzuki. This special font is subjective and the interpretation to the symbol depends
entirely on the observer, or more exactly, what the observers thought.
We can easily remove the Signified from its Signifier. If we divide or categorize
the symbol from its signified and Signifier, we derive information according to Semiotics
as follow:
Signifier

Signified
Suzuki

Table.9 Categorization table of Suzukis symbol based on Signifier and Signified


As stated above, the signified Suzuki can be easily removed from Signifier letter
S because the characteristic of the symbol, according to Sausure, has arbitrary
relationships. Some of us might want this special font to be a symbol for SUPERMAN but
they do not do that because we have thought, by the experience that the special font S
shown in the picture is symbol for Suzuki.
It is in accordance what Jacobson (Sukyadi, 2005; 38) has sated. The arbitrary of
the sign is not absolute. It means that there is no sign which is really arbiter or iconic, but
there is only hierarchy.

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

43

Jacobson is quite different from Sausure because of his idea that says the relation
between Signans and Signatum is not necessarily arbitrary. But the relation between them
is necessary, if conventionalized one (Waugh in Jumirah; 2006)
IV.2.6 Signifier and Signified
We can derive information from signifier and Signified of the advertisement to
find the concept or main purpose of selecting some pictures, fonts or colors. We can
elaborate them based on denotative (real meaning) or based on connotative (fake
meaning).
Table.10 Categorization table of Suzuki Karimun advertisement based on Signifier and
Signified

Signifier
Black and white (Advertisement theme)
Some tall buildings

Signified
Simple, balance (Yin and Yang)
City environment or city representing
A lot of torturous road ahead

T-Junction with small path ahead

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

44

Car Workshop ahead

Do not stop

Be careful, Watch out

Most of all visual sign are traffic symbols. They are smart to choose familiar
traffic symbols to correlate to car specifications. Then if we elaborate these traffic
symbols to the verbal sign we can make some interpretation to the whole meaning.

Traffic Symbol with addition sentences

Meaning
It is comfort and easy handling even if
there are lot of torturous road ahead

Comfort and easy handling


A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

45

You can reach small path ahead freely

Jalan tikus bebas hambatan (Small path


free acces)
Even though you have to go to Car
Workshop, it will get easy to be
repaired

Easy maintenance
You do not often need to stop to
recharge the fuel, this car need 28,8 km
to settle one liter of gasoline

28, 8 km/l iritnya non stop** (Low


fuel consumption/ 28.8 km/liter)

Be careful, Watch out! The most city


car is back! With a new variant one.

The most favorite city car in


Indonesia*

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

46

Table.11 Interpretation table of elaboration result between traffic symbols and verbal sign
of Suzuki Karimun advertisement
If we take a deep analysis, we will find the sign (*) at the end of two last
statements. The use of (*) Symbol connotatively has purpose to strengthen their statement
that they do not make a public liar. They insert pooling results where the independency of
the pooling is doubtful.
In the long run, the concept of Suzuki Karimun advertisement is trying to give an
image that Suzuki Karimun is the modern choice and will be the most favorite city car in
Indonesia. It is simple (to be driven and maintained), modern and ducky that appropriate
to be used by busy citizens where traffic jam is their daily activities.

IV.2.7 the Interview Result Discussion


The background of the Suzuki karimun advertisements is to strengthen the image
that this car is appropriate to be used by citizens as what respondents said. It is shown in
the table below:
Question 1 :Berdasarkan latar belakang iklan, image apakah yang ingin diciptakan
buat objek iklan?
(What kind of image they want to give to the ads object based on
background of the advertisement?)
NO.
Answers
Frequency of appearance %
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Cocok dipakai di kota (appropriate to use


in the town)
5 times
Praktis (simple)
4 time
Simple riding
1 time
modern
1 time
multi efetivitas (multi affectivity)
1 time
bisa dijalan mana aja (appropriate in
various roads)
1 time
tidak terlalu mewah (not too luxurious)
1 time
Table.12 Interview results for the question number 4

A Semiotic Analysis of Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun Ads

50.0
40.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0

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Generally, the characteristic of modern people are like something revealed in the
respondents answers except for the point number seven. It may be the weakness of the
ads object that this car is too simple or not too luxurious.
Therefore, this car is only for extra busy people who do not really care about style
and luxury. It is strengthened then by the color theme that makes this car really simple as
what the respondents also thought.

Question 2 :Berdasarkan tema warna (Hitam putih), image apakah yang ingin
diciptakan buat objek iklan?
(What kind of image they want to give to the ads object based on
color theme of the advertisement (Black and white?)
NO.
Answers
Frequency of appearance
%
1.
Praktis (simple)
8 times
80.0
2.
Klasik (Classic)
3 time
30.0
3.
Tidak terlalu mewah (un luxurious)
1 time
10.0
4.
Serasi (matching)
1 time
10.0
Table.13 Interview results for the question number 5
Based on the discussion above we can take a summary that the concept of Suzuki
Karimun advertisement is pointed out at the simplicity and appropriateness for modern
people.

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CHAPTER V
CONCLUSION
V. 1 Conclusions
The tendency of modern advertisements is not stuck in Please buy my product
phrase. They combine and arrange the ads to become more interesting. All parts of the
ads have meaning and usually strengthen the image of the product.
As what happen to Honda Accord ads and Suzuki Karimun ads, they arranged the
background, theme color and writing style to be elaborated with product images. People
need to analyze them in addition to invoke the meaning. A semiotic analysis to both
advertisements has convey important points as follow :
o The Hermeneutic Code appears in the headline Bigger-Better Bolder
of Honda Accord advertisements. The enigma appears to the word
Bigger in association with Better and Bolder. In some cases, it is not
appropriate; the big one cannot be the better one. Then to cover this

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assumption, the Bolder can be an answer for what the reader had asked
in their mind but the enigma is not fully answered. It is like a statement
saying I am bigger and look better and bolder. The statement is covered
by the appearance of advertisement subject with an elegant and artistic
image.
o We can analyze the verbal sign which indicates the most favorite city cat
in Indonesia* on Suzuki Karimun advertisement, the pro contra appears to
the sentences because some readers might say how the new one can be the
most favorite one. They seem to make a public liar, but actually they do
not. To answer this question they put the sign (*) at the end of the
sentence. It is avoid them who did some analytical questions to that
sentence. The sign (*) explains that this is the achievement they got from
Auto car magazine that Suzuki Karimun is the most favorite city car in
Indonesia of 2008. The sentence actually says Suzuki Karimun has won
the pooling from Auto car that Suzuki Karimun is the most favorite city car
in Indonesia. The way they separate and make a different writing of font
size is one of the strategies to attract customers.
o Special fonts of H and S are symbolize Honda and Suzuki
If we elaborates its background, color theme and writing style into connotative
meaning, the Honda Accord advertisement can say my new product, a new Honda
accord is luxurious, elegant, artistic and more classy even though it has an extra size, it is
better because it is comfortable and easy to handle.

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Different from Honda Accord ad, the concept in the connotative array of
Suzuki Karimun advertisement is trying to give an image that Suzuki Karimun is the
modern choice and will be the most favorite city car in Indonesia. It is simple (to be
driven and maintained), modern and ducky that is appropriate to be used by the extra
busy citizens where the traffic jam is their daily activities
The tendency of people concept to Honda Accord and Suzuki Karimun
advertisement is in connotative array, what Researcher thought is totally revealed by
respondents except on questions to knowing what kind of image they want to give to the
Honda Accord advertisement using a headlineBigger-Better-Bolder( for the fonts Uses
and calligraphy Art). They connotatively only 50% who said artistic
V.2 Suggestions
Nowadays, Advertisement is not only a method to introduce the product and to
make people change their habit. It was far from it, the advertisement becomes a market
strategy in capitalist circle to persuade and even force people. Frankly, they were able to
manipulate and elaborate the elements of the ads to become interesting for customers.
The researcher suggests that people should avoid becoming hedonists or consumptives
caused by ads invasions. People should be aware of being trapped into the capitalistic
circle.
To those who want to make a research, Semiotics analysis to the advertisements is
strongly suggested because of the development of the advertisement and Semiotics itself.

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