Code-X (14)
By: Joshua Glenn | Categories: Codebreaking

Sentry Investments ad: stock ticker symbols UP for “Big Picture” and “Windex,” DOWN for “Rose-Coloured Glasses.”

Call this financial services category code: Boomer Visionquest.

Definition: Throughout their lives, Boomers have sought inspiration in visionary “eureka” moments. This generational tendency is exploited via investment and other financial services advertising.

blackrock

Notes on this code: Metaphors of vision, liminality and transformation (bridges, windows), rational yet utopian plan for change (rainbow made of bar graphs is a nice touch). Tricky balance between scare tactics — your financial situation is insecure! — and appeal to Boomer faith that nothing truly bad will ever befall their generation.

prudential

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Joshua Glenn is an author, publisher, and semiotic analyst. He is co-author (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) of THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY, co-editor of the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY and (with Rob Walker) SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS, and co-author (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen) of the family activities guide UNBORED and three forthcoming spinoffs, including UNBORED Games. He is editor of HILOBROW and publisher of the Radium Age science fiction imprint HiLoBooks. Also: Glenn manages a secretive online community known as the Hermenautic Circle; he is founding editor of the e-book club Save the Adventure; and he's a frequent co-host of Boing Boing's podcast GWEEK. In the ’00s, Glenn was an editor, columnist, and blogger for the Boston Globe's IDEAS section, he co-founded the international semiotics website SEMIONAUT, and contributed to CABINET, SLATE, and elsewhere. In the ’90s, he published the high-lowbrow zine/journal HERMENAUT, worked as a dotcom and magazine editor, and contributed to THE BAFFLER, FEED, and elsewhere. His publishing company is King Mixer, LLC; and his semiotic analysis consultancy is Semiovox LLC. He lives in Boston with his wife and children.