The above AACT advertisement is a controversial text that uses connotations and denotations to reveal the ‘sign’ viewers see to create a meaning from the text.
Firstly, we need to discuss the things we see in the text, the denotations, to give insight on what it makes people think about. The rabbit is obviously a test for a new product, having bright red cheeks, lipstick and blue eyeshadow, and is accompanied by the “STOP ANIMAL TESTING” stamped in red in the bottom-left of the image.
But what do these signifiers make people who view this image actually think about?
Because it is unusual to find animals with any sort of make-up on, people primarily feel sorry for the rabbit in the advertisement. What people think about when seeing this image are the connotations. It is obvious that the aim of this advertisement is to protest or fight against the testing of products on animals, and does so by making people feel that animal testing is wrong. The stooped ears of the rabbit signify unhappiness, which is a connotation of how unethical and wrong animal testing is.
The hypothetical speech of the rabbit – “I’m beautiful enough thanks” also acts as a connotation, as it makes people think about how animals should be left to be natural, rather than exploited with product tests.
Overall, the rabbits situation as detailed in the AACT advertisement shows connotations of corporations overpowering, exploitation and disrespect for animals, demonstrated by the blue and red make-up and more importantly the sad expression of the rabbit, dominantly depicted from its slumped ears and the lipstick forming a frown on its lips. From this, viewers then feel against corporations who test their products on animals, which is the initial aim of the advertisement.