Mix of Meanings: A Semiotics Analysis of Nescafe and Blend 45 Advertising Campaigns and Effects to National Pride of the Filipino Young Audience


Under the Technological Determinism framework of Marshall McLuhan and the Semiotics Theory of Ferdinand Saussure, this study determined how national pride was propagated by two mainstream advertising campaigns in television by two of the most popular coffee brands in the Philippines, Nescafe and Blend 45. Under Smith and Jarkko’s (1998) definition of national pride as confidence in one’s nation, its members and being a member of the nation, the researchers explored the portrayals of values, fellow countrymen, and culture, or what Cohen (2008) refers to as “characteristics” of Filipinos and the Philippines in the advertising campaigns. For the content of “Bangon” by Nescafe and “Gising Pinoy!” by Blend 45, semiotics analysis was employed by the researchers to determine how the concept of national pride and its indicators have been integrated along the signs and meanings which could be seen in the advertisements. Through images, text, and audio elements of the series of commercials, the researchers have found out the dominant themes revolving around national pride in the Philippine context as portrayed in Nescafe’s “Bangon” and Blend 45’s “Gising Pinoy!” advertising campaigns. The researchers found out that in Nescafe “Bangon” advertising campaign, which included main video advertisement “Manifesto” as well as the series of commercials such as “Cultural Worker”, “Traffic Enforcer”, “Construction Worker”, and “Working Mom”, the dominant theme in relation to national pride conveyed was the portrayal of the Filipino being of service to others, which also becomes beneficial to the development of the nation. On the other hand, in Blend 45’s “Gising Pinoy!”, which included the main video advertisement “Maalaga” and commercials “Matulungin”, “Maalalahanin”, and “Malambing”, the dominant theme was the trademark values of the Filipino as hinted by such advertisement titles. For the study’s inquiry upon effects of the advertising campaigns towards the Filipino young audience and their national pride, data were gathered from one hundred individuals aged 15 to 30 through the survey method. Data has shown that the dominant message the respondents found in Nescafe “Bangon” advertising campaign was that of the self-sacrificing nature of Filipinos for others as a mechanism to uplift the nation. For Blend 45 “Gising Pinoy!” advertising campaign, majority of the respondents was able to imbibe the trademark values of the Filipino people as depicted by the commercials. In terms of respondent reception, both Nescafe “Bangon” and Blend 45 “Gising, Pinoy!” advertising campaigns generated more positive changes on the respondents’ national pride than negative changes. However, the positive differential changes (difference between positive and negative changes) generated by Nescafe almost matched the cases of neutral effects, while the positive differential changes of Blend 45 considerably outweighed its cases neutral effects. These findings have been a reflection that national pride contained along product advocacies affect the Filipino people’s national pride and further speaks of the power of advertising and its pervasive broadcast medium, television.

Cruz, M., & Santos, B. A. (2013). Mix of Meanings: A Semiotics Analysis of Nescafe and Blend 45 Advertising Campaigns and Effects to National Pride of Filipino Young Audiences, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

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Subject Index: Advertising, National Pride