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Dead Men Tell No Tales

One of the most iconic images of New York City is the well-known, yellow taxi cab. These cabs fill the streets of Manhattan and are an excellent way to advertise. Advertisements placed on the top of these taxis will be seen all throughout the day, day after day, and all over New York City. This particular cab has an advertisement for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Being that it is the 5th of the “Pirates” series, it is widely known and is being very well promoted.

This advertisement is very simplistic in its execution. Denotatively, on the surface, it shows the title of the movie, some of the main actors, the release date of the movie, and the classic skull and crossbones logo. The image of the skull and crossbones as well as the title of the movie carry different connotations with them as well. The skull and crossbones have been used for centuries as a symbol of death, and in more modern times, as a symbol to warn for danger, or in this case, pirates.

But in this particular setting, the skull has a headdress on  that directly references Jack Sparrow, excuse me, Captain Jack Sparrow. This symbolizes Jack as the skull, and connects him more with death and danger. This also references back to the first of the Pirates movies where Jack is “undead” and as a skeleton for parts of the film. Because of this, we can infer that this movie will take us back to that beginning of Jack’s story, as well as give us an ending, perhaps one that ends with death, as suggested by the skull and cross bones. If it does, then that will be the end of Jack and his story for good, as “Dead men tell know tales.”

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