Thursday, October 30, 2008

Billboard Plays with Morphology, Syllabification and Semantics - Ad Here

As long as we are on the topic of billboards this week, another great one I spotted recently is a billboard that advertises advertising on billboards. This is a notable billboard because it relies on morphology, syllabification, and semantics to make its point. Unfortunately, there is not an available image of this billboard and I was driving too quickly to take a picture. At any rate, I will do my best to describe it.

There is a bottle of glue in the lower left corner and there are letters that give the illusion of being cut from magazine text and glued to the billboard. The letters appear to form one word adhere; however, the letters a and d are in the same font which is a different font from the letters h, e, r, and e that are also in the same font. Does that make sense? Like this: adhere.

So you have the word adhere with the syllables ad and here, which are also the free morphemes (or words) ad and here. Semantically this delivers two messages:

1. The viewer of the billboard, as a potential advertiser, could put their ad on that billboard
2. If the viewer of the billboard puts their ad on that billboard, their message will adhere with future billboard viewers, in other words, the message will stick to the future billboard viewers memory (which is key in advertising).

1 comment:

strider said...

That sign caught my eye as well! Wish I could get it back! I was guilty of morphing the lyrics to a Young Rascals song and didn't discover the correct wording until a few years ago! I heard "life will be ecstasy you and me and leslie". I couldn't understand why they would use those words in a love song and shrugged it off as another free love statement. Can you imagine the joy I experienced when I for some reason I heard the lyrics the way they were intended?!

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