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(Commercial Semiotics) Myth In Slim Jim's "Camouflage" And Gm's "Elevation"

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Commercials often take their viewers to another world. As a rule, this world must imitate our own for any sense of understanding and purpose. Advertisers take advantage of this aspect of video storytelling to help people connect with their products and view them in ways which are desirable for the company. A myth is created around the product being advertised to position the item favorably in the consumer's mind. Two commercials which display examples of mythologizing products and our society are Slim Jim's, "Camouflage, and GM's, "Elevation."

"Camoflauge," by the Crispin Porter and Bogusky agencies, begins with a young man (about 20) sneaking through a gas station convenience store wearing a jumpsuit that is printed with rows of soft drinks mimicking the store's refrigerated drink section. The only sound is the hum of the machinery. Then, music begins, a comedic and suspenseful plucking of banjo strings. Sweat drips down the man's face as he stands motionless in front of the drinks and eyes the creature made of packaged slim jims that resembles an antelope and slowly grazes down an aisle. The "snapalope" does not notice the camouflaged person as he draws near, then the sweat falls and the chase begins. The music flows with the chase, now dueling banjos and a fiddle. The snapalope is getting away when another young man jumps out of a fridge and the catches the creature after it slams head first into the door. He is dressed like an outdoorsman in the winter wearing a vest, stocking cap, and gloves. He holds up his catch victoriously in front of the other man and text fades in reading, "it's snapalope season." The commercial ends with the slim jim logo and the company's slogan, "snap into a slim jim," being yodeled to the mountain music.

There are two myths in this commercial. The first is the idea that a convenience store can serve as the wilderness in our modern society. The appalachian music supports this view. The men hunting, the gear they wear, and blending in with soda rather than plants and trees are examples of mixing the concept of a store and the wild into a mythologized society. The images of what appears to be coke and pepsi products places the company's product into the established world's of the these products which have similar demographics. This leads to the second myth which concerns the product itself, which is not a snapalope, but a slim jim. Depicting the product as an animal that must be hunted makes it seem more natural than the condensed and highly processed meat that the customer is actually buying. It also positions the product as something to be enjoyed on a very basic and instinctual level, the idea of hunting rather than buying adds excitement to what would actually be a very mundane social transaction.

"Elevation," by the Deutsch inc. agency, begins with horns honking and shot of stagnant traffic in New York City.

We see frustrated drivers and move into one car where the traffic report is playing on a nice radio with a large lcd screen. The driver changes the station to music and his GM Caddillac Escalde begins to float into the air. The woman in front of him drving a GM Chevrolet Corvette looks back then



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