Code-X (91)

By: Joshua Glenn
February 23, 2016

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Call this Chewing Gum category code: FLOATING PACK.

Definition: Before c. 1990, my research suggests, in chewing gum TV spots, the pack was typicLly shown in someone’s hand. But since then, the pack is most often shown floating — in the sky, in a void, superimposed on the action.

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Notes on this code: The meaning of gum — as communicated within the category — appears to have shifted, during the Eighties (1984–93). Prior to this time, gum’s higher-order benefit was a social/romantic one; since the Eighties, gum’s higher-order benefit has been about… intense experience. One thinks of 1984’s Repo Man, with its mantra: “That’s intense!”

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Codebreaking, Semiotics