Champagne and Ladders.

What first comes to mind when you see this advertisement? You’ll probably notice an extremely attractive woman (Scarlett Johansson) holding a bottle of expensive champagne (Moet) standing on top of a ladder. Quite simple right? But if you actually take a step back and deconstruct the image in order to deduce what message is being conveyed, it might just be conveying a whole new height of meaning (pun un-intended).

Ow my eyes, too much beauty. Scarlett Johansson in the Moet & Chandon ad campaign.

Ow my eyes, too much beauty. Scarlett Johansson in the Moet & Chandon add campaign.

If we first come down to brass tacks and look at the image closely we see that there is a woman, standing on a ladder in a pale blue dress holding a bottle of champagne amongst several champagne glasses stacked upon each other in what appears to be a ballroom type-setting. Now if we look at these basic factors, its hard to come up with any greater message other than if you drink this champagne you may end up on a ladder and you’ll be a very attractive blonde woman in an expensive looking gown. Seem simple? Bear with me …

Now this may seem simple but there isn’t actually a bigger picture that we’ve deduced from these elements or “signifiers” of the adds and in order to discover these, we must look at the signs which convey meaning by looking more closely at these images…

If we take a second look we see that the unbelievably attractive woman on the ladder is successful (and damn fine) Scarlett Johansson, who is in fact holding a bottle of expensive French champagne Moet (Moet &Chandon), with an almost cheeky facial expression; she’s looking away from the camera which suggests that she might have been caught in the act of drinking the champagne and is embarrassed by the fact that she’s now standing on a ladder surrounded by thousands of champagne glasses. The pale blue dress may represent her innocence, supported by her facial expression in addition to the glasses, which convey her fragility in this very situation. The tilt of her head may also suggest this. The glasses may also suggest that this champagne is not to be consumed by the everyday Joe Blogs (took that name from my Year 12 Business Studies teacher, ha) as it’s classy, expensive and should not be wasted. The positioning of Scarlett on a ladder above all the glasses also conveys a certain air of superiority, as it can be said that the champagne is “above” its competitors.

So now we’ve analysed the elements of the image, what is the message that the marketing team of Moet are trying to suggest? Is it that their champagne has an expensive image, which they’ve shown by the amount of champagne glasses and the endorsement by wealthy and attractive actress Scarlett Johansson and should therefore be only consumed by attractive wealthy people? Perhaps … I’m sure you’ll probably come up with your own ideas of what this advertisement is really saying. After all, who doesn’t love a good glass of champers?


2 thoughts on “Champagne and Ladders.

  1. I also see a reference to the hall of mirrors (salon des glaces) at Versailles (French champagne for the kings) and the implied joke that Scarlett is about to climb the ladder with her jeroboam of champagne to make the biggest champagne fountain of the lot. Nice ad!

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