How to cite:
Abigail Azzahra Ramadhan, Veliana Hardjantini, Tirza Yedida Onasie (2024t) Universal Beauty:
Analysis of L’Oreal Paris Advertising by Semiotic Charles Sanders Peirce (06) 04,
https://doi.org/10.36418/syntax-idea.v3i6.1227
E-ISSN:
2684-883X
Published by:
Ridwan Institute
UNIVERSAL BEAUTY: ANALYSIS OF L’OREAL PARIS ADVERTISING BY
SEMIOTIC CHARLES SANDERS PEIRCE
Abigail Azzahra Ramadhan, Veliana Hardjantini, Tirza Yedida Onasie
Bina Nusantara University, Indonesia
Abstract
This study aims to analyze the universal message conveyed through the emphasized
symbols in the advertisement of L'Oreal Paris Infallible Foundation targeting
multicultural audiences. In the era of globalization, global beauty brands such as
L'Oreal Paris play a significant role in generating product innovations advertised
extensively, including through digital platforms. The Charles Sanders Peirce semiotic
analysis method is employed to identify signs and symbols in the advertisement and to
analyze the universal meanings and messages conveyed. The findings reveal that the
advertisement of L'Oreal Paris Infallible Foundation, showcased on the Official
YouTube L'Oreal Paris Indonesia, successfully delivers its universal message by
embracing diversity through the representation of models with diverse backgrounds. In
this context, diversity is not only seen in the variability of skin tones but also in
different cultures, races, and ethnicities. L'Oreal Paris effectively conveys the message
that beauty is not confined to specific standards; rather, it is perceived as something
broad, inclusive, and represented by various shapes and colors. Furthermore, the slogan
"you're worth it" implicitly rejects narrow beauty stereotypes and norms, reinforcing the
idea that every individual possesses unique and valuable beauty without having to
conform to narrow standards. Thus, this advertisement not only promotes beauty
products but also conveys a strong message of self-acceptance and appreciation for
diversity in beauty perception. The universal message in this advertisement creates a
positive and inclusive relationship with multicultural communities. This underscores the
importance of understanding and acknowledging cultural diversity and values held by
various societal groups in an increasingly interconnected era of globalization. Hence,
L'Oreal Paris is deemed successful in promoting its products with an inclusive and
culturally relevant approach, making it a good example of expanding market reach
positively and effectively.
Keywords: semiotics, cosmetic advertisement, global brand, universal massage,
multi-cultural representation
INTRODUCTION
The role of advertising in the era of globalization is increasingly crucial in
connecting and influencing societies, especially through digital platforms with extensive
JOURNAL SYNTAX IDEA
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Vol. 6, No. 04, April 2024
Universal Beauty: Analysis of L’Oreal Paris Advertising by Semiotic Charles Sanders
Peirce
Syntax Idea, Vol. 6, No. 04, April 2024 1725
reach capable of reaching multicultural audiences (Alamsyah, Aulya, & Satriya, 2024).
Advertisements must showcase the superior aspects of the products offered to
consumers to stimulate their interest in purchasing those products. To capture
consumers' attention, product presentations must be presented with maximum appeal,
thereby triggering an increase in curiosity about the products offered (De Mooij, 2019;
Meyers-Levy & Malaviya, 1999).
Mass media advertising not only serves as a means of promoting products or
services but also plays a significant role in delivering specific messages to society
(Shimp, 2000). Thus, in the advertising production process, a character is introduced
through the selection of advertising models that reflect certain identities. In addition to
the selection of advertising models, the use of language through taglines also plays a
significant role in capturing consumer attention (Alfadilah, Armin, & Hasyim, 2017).
The utilization of female models is often employed in advertising and marketing
practices, particularly in the beauty industry (Jeffreys, 2014; Wolf, 2013). Women's
beauty becomes a focal point in the media to market a product, aiming to attract
audiences' attention. Beauty is considered relative in societal views. As a global beauty
industry with a multicultural target market, there is certainly diversity in race and
culture. Therefore, it is important in marketing practice to acknowledge and respect this
diversity by striving to represent beauty in all its forms. This may include expanding the
scope of models used in advertisements, celebrating beauty in all skin colors, body
shapes, and physical characteristics, as well as adjusting marketing strategies to relevant
cultural and social contexts (Kafley, 2016).
This aligns with L’Oréal's strategy of universalization. L’Oréal's vision refers to
globalization that acknowledges, understands, and respects diversity, including
differences in desires, needs, and traditions with the aim of presenting customized
beauty products that meet consumers' aspirations worldwide. International models are
often used by L’Oréal Paris as representations in their advertisements distributed across
multiple countries. This reflects their efforts to expand market reach with a uniform
approach while still maintaining alignment with cultural diversity in each targeted
location.
Given the diversity present in each country, researchers are interested in
examining how L'Oreal Paris can communicate this strategy in their widely distributed
advertisements targeting multicultural societies. To understand the intended meaning of
these advertisements, this research will employ Charles Sanders Peirce's semiotic
analysis method to analyze one of L’Oréal Paris' advertisements from the Official
YouTube channel of L’Oréal Paris Indonesia by identifying the signs and symbols
emphasized by the brand and determining the universal meanings and messages
conveyed in the advertisement
RESEARCH METHODS
This research employs a descriptive qualitative approach. According to Creswell,
(2015), qualitative research is an approach to constructing knowledge statements based
on constructivist perspectives, such as meanings derived from individual experiences,
social values, and history, with the aim of constructing specific theories or patterns of
knowledge, or based on participatory perspectives. In descriptive qualitative research,
researchers utilize an approach that describes or explains a phenomenon. This study
analyzes the universal messages and meanings conveyed in L’Oreal Paris
Abigail Azzahra Ramadhan, Veliana Hardjantini, Tirza Yedida Onasie
1726 Syntax Idea, Vol. 6, No. 04, April 2024
advertisements, as well as identifies the use of signs and symbols to communicate these
messages.
The research applies a qualitative method with Peirce's semiotic analysis
technique. Charles Sanders Peirce's semiotic method aims to analyze meanings
attributed to signs and symbols of material objects. According to Peirce Tinarbuko,
(2017), semiotics is the science that studies signs, their functioning, and the production
of meaning. Therefore, the researcher selects Peirce's semiotics because this method is
based on philosophy and is more suitable for analyzing visuals where the researcher will
identify the signs and symbols highlighted by beauty product advertisements under the
L’Oreal Paris brand. Subsequently, the researcher represents them according to what is
directly observed and explains the meanings of these signs and symbols.
Data validity is one of the crucial roles in analyzing data to ensure the truth value
of the collected information. In testing data validity, the data validity technique used in
this study is data triangulation. In this research, the researcher employs source
triangulation by collecting data from analytical documents, namely analyzing L’Oreal
Paris Infallible Foundation advertisements on L’Oreal Paris Indonesia's official
YouTube channel.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
This research examines the interpretation of messages conveyed in the digital
advertisement of L'Oreal Paris Infallible Foundation, which is available on the official
YouTube channel of L'Oreal Paris Indonesia. The advertisement was documented and
subsequently segmented scene by scene to facilitate further analysis of the scenes
contained within the advertisement. Subsequently, it was elaborated on and classified
based on the components of Charles Sanders Peirce's Semiotics.
History of L’Oreal Paris
The establishment of L'Oréal in 1909 was prompted by the increasing desire
among women for short, blonde hair, adopting a trend reminiscent of men's hairstyles.
Subsequently, a French chemist named Eugène Schueller created the first applicable
hair dye, known as "Auréale." This innovative product marked L'Oréal's early journey
as a cosmetic company and was sold on a mass scale.
Eugène Schueller was awarded the Advertising Oscar for his promotional talent in
1953. He passed away in 1957, and François Dalle took over as chairman and CEO at
the age of 39. Under Dalle's leadership, L'Oréal innovated with products that provided
desired results for women without compromising safety aspects.
The introduction of the hair dye brand Préférence in the 1970s marked a turning
point with the creation of its famous slogan, now internationally known as "Because
You're Worth It." The message conveyed in the first advertisement emphasized the
importance of self-esteem. However, L'Oréal Paris did not only view this slogan as the
sole symbol of empowerment. The brand presented a vision of modern femininity that
Universal Beauty: Analysis of L’Oreal Paris Advertising by Semiotic Charles Sanders
Peirce
Syntax Idea, Vol. 6, No. 04, April 2024 1727
challenged stereotypes by selecting ambassadors from diverse backgrounds of origin,
culture, and age to represent global diversity.
As women's participation in public and professional domains increased in the
1980s, L'Oréal Paris provided a range of cosmetic and skincare products to support
them in facing the world with comfort, confidence, and maintaining a youthful
appearance.
The transition to the Millennium era marked a new phase for L'Oréal, as the
company accelerated its expansion into new markets, segments, and distribution
channels while beginning to address sustainability challenges. L'Oréal also continued to
innovate to remain relevant with the evolving times and accommodate the changing
lifestyles and needs of their customers.
Vission and Mission of L’Oreal Paris
L’Oreal Paris envisions creating the world of Parisian beauty to inspire women
worldwide. From everyday life to the fashion stage, various interpretations of Parisian
beauty and femininity are continuously reimagined each day. As a French beauty icon
globally, L’Oréal Paris represents beauty in all its forms. L’Oreal Paris believes that
there are no universal standards of beauty applicable to everyone. Instead, the
uniqueness of beauty is recognized as something universal. They emphasize on the
individual uniqueness of each person and believe that beauty should not be confined to
one standard or universally applicable concept.
Therefore, L’Oreal Paris expands the definition of beauty by emphasizing offering
everyone worldwide the best in terms of quality, efficacy, safety, sincerity, and
responsibility to fulfill all beauty needs and desires in limitless diversity. L’Oreal Paris
acknowledges that beauty is more than just looking attractive. Beauty is a power that
instills confidence in people and helps them feel comfortable with themselves. To
realize this vision, L’Oreal Paris has a mission to provide innovative, safe, and effective
products and services, as well as to promote diversity, inclusivity, and equality in the
beauty world.
The research findings obtained from Charles Sanders Peirce's semiotic analysis of
a digital commercial video aired on YouTube by L'Oreal Paris Indonesia will be
presented. This study focuses on observing and analyzing scenes that can provide
insights into the universal message conveyed in the L'Oreal Paris Infallible Foundation
advertisement, thus ensuring its acceptance by multicultural societies. The selected
scenes have undergone a selection process aligned with the research objectives and
Charles S. Peirce's semiotic model, which includes the representamen, object, and
interpretant. The analyzed screen captures from the advertisement are categorized into
several aspects, including models, settings, costumes, and narration, facilitating the
analysis within Charles S. Peirce's semiotic framework.
Abigail Azzahra Ramadhan, Veliana Hardjantini, Tirza Yedida Onasie
1728 Syntax Idea, Vol. 6, No. 04, April 2024
Visual
Representament
Qualisign: the narrative, “New L’Oréal Paris Infallible Foundation
with a better formula,” gives a confident impression that the product
can be trusted.
Sinsign: The L'Oréal Paris Infallible Foundation product is visualized
in different skin tones on a black background with a sign directly
related to the object described.
Object
Icon: Product visualization with different skin color variations shows
that this product can be used on different skin types.
Intepretant
Dicisign: The use of narrative highlighted in the scene above shows a
strong belief in the quality of the product and conveys the message
that the product can be trusted. Furthermore, by visualizing the
different skin tones variations of the L'Oréal Paris Infallible
Foundation, it shows its diversity, reflecting the diversity of races and
skin tones. The importance of skin color as a key element in building
beauty is at the core of product implementation that emphasizes the
dynamic evolution of beauty (Wiraputra & Pristica, 2023). This
emphasizes the impression of an integrated and representative
product, arousing the interest and recognition of different social
groups.
Visual
Representament
Qualisign: The backdrop of the building's neo-classical architectural
concept and the smart casual clothing style worn by models depict
visual quality in the advertisement.
Sinsign: Five models from diverse cultural backgrounds, with smiles
Universal Beauty: Analysis of L’Oreal Paris Advertising by Semiotic Charles Sanders
Peirce
Syntax Idea, Vol. 6, No. 04, April 2024 1729
on their faces while narrating L'Oreal's slogan "you're worth it,"
convey a message about self-worth and confidence delivered by
L’Oreal Paris.
Object
Icon: Five models from diverse cultural backgrounds representing
global diversity. Furthermore, the incorporation of architectural
backgrounds featuring neo-classical concepts and attire styled in
smart casual fashion reflects the origins of the L’Oreal Paris brand
originating from Paris.
Symbol: The slogan narrative "you're worth it" holds connotations
conventionally linked with social values such as self-worth, self-
confidence, and self-value (Wijaya, 2022).
Intepretant
Argument: The utilization of five iconic models from diverse cultural
backgrounds, races, and skin tones reflects L’Oreal Paris' endeavor to
embrace diversity, inclusivity, representing beauty in all its forms,
and equality in the beauty world. As asserted by Wiraputra & Pristica,
(2023), the representation of diversity in advertisements encompasses
ethnic backgrounds, age, experiences depicted in the ads, product
packaging, and beauty narratives. Furthermore, the incorporation of
building backgrounds featuring neo-classical architectural concepts in
the advertisement adds an authentic Parisian touch, as noted by
Perdana, Putra, & Budiantoro, (2021), who highlighted that the neo-
classical architectural concept is predominantly associated with
European regions and is commonly found in buildings in England,
Rome, Paris, and Berlin.
The visualization of model attire in the aforementioned scene,
showcasing a combination of casual and formal wear, reflects the
choice of smart casual style, portraying an authentic impression of the
Parisian lifestyle, where individuals opt for smart casual attire to
express simplicity by adopting classic and elegant pieces (Mehata,
2021)
The slogan, serving as L’Oreal Paris' tagline, carries the meaning of
unifying women worldwide, encouraging them to fearlessly pursue