Linguistics Senior Research Projects

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Millennials, marketing, media, technology, semiology, media semiotics, icons, pictographs, symbols, visual literacy


This paper is a linguistic analysis of symbols in regard to marketing strategies becoming relevant to the Millennial generation. This study aims to examine how technological advances affect Millennial characteristics and behaviors arnd contribute to the growing phenomenon of visual literacy. Research on the topic was synthesized and used to create a survey with various symbols. Utilizing Abdullah and Hubner’s (2006) semiotic design analysis of icons and pictograms, fourteen popular brand name symbols were chosen to be first analyzed and then anonymously named by Millennials. This study found that marketing professionals’ strategies are successfully relevant to the Millennial generation, causing a mutual understanding between the signifier and the signified, or more specifically, the message marketing professionals are conveying through symbolic design and the message Millennials are receiving. The data observations show the parallel between the efficiency of the design and the efficiency of symbols’ usage in society. This study asserts that pictographic language is gradually replacing written language in order to be generationally relevant.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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