OPERATIONALIZING THE CHANDLEREAN SEMIOTIC PROCESS: DECONSTRUCTING(Stage two- three)

DECONSTRUCTING

Issues regarding the reasons why a text is chosen must at this point be discussed. Specifically, discussions at this stage must focus on the primary role of the text in conveying a specific message effectively. In order to bring this phase to life, the author assembled a total of one hundred and nineteen editions of corporate advertisements that were syndicated by First Bank in Daily Times between 1986 and 2012. Using judgemental sampling, the copy titled ‘You’ll always leave FIRST BANK with a smile’, supported by a rider: ‘that’s our goal’ was chosen. This copy, which appeared on page fifteen of Daily Times edition of September 18, 1989, was chosen as the analytical sample for two major reasons.

First is that this is the only corporate advertising text throughout this period that was never re-rendered. Others were. It is a singular edition and this is the only edition. Second, like many other corporate identity campaigns by First Bank Nigeria Plc, this particular corporate advertising text equally laid emphasis on corporate identity factors that give insight into the nature of the bank’s personality. These corporate identity factors include core competencies, efficiency in customer service delivery, unrivalled experience in banking services in Nigeria, large and unparalleled branch network, unique strategic alliance, strong asset and resource base. The other one hundred and eighteen advertising texts syndicated in Daily Times by First Bank of Nigeria Limited between 1986 and 2012 were re-rendered using various cues. Buyers and Sellers

The researcher’s must establish whether each text is one among many editions or whether it is virtually unique or produced as a singular edition. This exercise could be achieved by making a count of the number of words used in the text as well as the different words used – ignoring repetition. This is to enable the author establish whether the text was of a specific type, which is its own sole token (i.e. unique or original) or simply one token among many of its type (‘a copy without an original’). With reference to the First Bank advertising text under interrogation, only one edition of this copy was produced. For reasons best known to First Bank, this advertising text did not appear in any other newspaper of that period.

This makes this advertisement unique. The core message conveyed in this advertisement provides a rundown of signs or identities that appeared in all other editions of the newspaper. This edition is unique for a number of reasons. First, the number of words contained in body copy of the advertisement (when counted) is either less or more when compared to all other editions. Second, the picture contained in the corporate advertisement differs from the pictures in other editions. In addition, the visuals (picture) that appeared in this copy create a synergy with the written signs in the body copy.