Carlsberg Probably the best larger in the world, and the use of semiotics and humour in advertising.


Carlsberg, probably the best larger in the world is a televised advertising campaign in which humorous scenario’s unfold creating an ideal event from the target markets perspective.(See

I think it is an effective piece of communication as it captures the target market perfectly and plays on what they find funny, creating everyday situations special. The target market are males aged from 18-30 the campaigns content features football, women, technology and cars. These key aspects of content captivate and interest the target market so that campaign helps create brand awareness.

I think the Carlsberg campaign uses humour and semiotics.

  • Studies show that males have higher attention scores than women for humorous ads. (Shrimp, 1993) Humorous messages attract and hold consumers attention. Humour can enhance the effectiveness of adverts through putting consumers in a positive mood, increasing the liking of the ad itself and there feeling towards the product. (Belch and Belch 2004)
  • Saussure (1974) offers a three step approach to semiotics, showing how a sign needs to be signified in order for it be understood, although a person viewing the sign (the signifier) can see something different to another.
  • Colour has direct access to our emotions. The luscher colour test analyzes readers psychological and emotional state for example Green suggests a desire of the ego and self-assertion. Colour can be interpreted not just for emotions but also social status. (Smith 1993)

Carlsberg, probably the best larger in the world is a good example of these theories because:

  • Males find humour a positive method in advertising. Carlsberg used this to benefit brand awareness and represent the target market. Using humour Carlsberg are able to attract attention and interest of the target market, creating a positive brand image. Using the example of the flat mate advert, people see Carlsberg as a positive impact on there life. Escapism shows what they could have if they drink Carlsberg.
  • Carlsberg have a prominent symbol of a crown throughout there advertising campaign, this crown can signify royalty. The link between royalty and prestige persuades the target market and helps Carlsberg make them feel as if they are drinking the best. Clever word usage link with the crown image and helps the audience believe that Carlsberg is better than rival brands through the word “Possibly”
  • Carlsberg’s brand colour is a dark/jade green. Carlsberg have chosen this colour to promote the brand as the colour is regal and royal. The colour links with the crown symbol and the clever wording perfectly to create the desired outcome of a premium brand.

This demonstrates what the theories above explained.

My critical evaluation is that Carlsberg’s campaign is a very effective piece of communication as it shows how semiotics and humour in advertising can create a positive brand image. However, I feel that the adverts can be misleading to some and segregate only one target market this can have a negative effect when the standards are not met. The use of humour in the adverts can also distract the viewer from the brand. An ethical issue is Carlsberg adverts also show alcohol in positive light and do not mention the negatives of drinking alcohol.