Why do we communicate? It is simple - to meet with our social environment.
The communication process works as follows: A sender wants to send a message. In order to do so, he/she encrypts the message, which is called encoding. The message is then sent through a channel to the receiver. The recipient must then decrypt the message, which is also called decoding. The meaning of a message only emerges after the receiver decodes it.
Usually, we think we know the meaning of a message. However, we are often wrong, which results in a misinterpretations of the message.
When decoding or interpreting the message, the codes we use are very important. Without codes we would not be able to decrypt the message in a meaningful way. Codes can be verbal or nonverbal. Nonverbal codes are usually more important for decoding. Verbal codes can be spoken words and sound. When talking about nonverbal codes, we usually mean body language, such as appearance, facial expressions, gestures, posture, eyes, head movements, body contact and spacing, but also the tonality and voice. These signals are more subliminal, but essential for decoding.
According to Young and Matt*, communication in advertising works in a similar way: for the transmission of messages to customers different codes (pictures, texts or sounds) are used.
This means, that in advertising as well as in interpersonal communication, it is important how the message is decoded. Many means of advertising contain complex product descriptions that customers do not understand. It must be ensured that the message that is being sent also arrives at the receiver the way it is meant to.
*Young, H. and Matt, J.-R.: Momentum. Die Kraft, die Werbung heute braucht, 2004, Lardon Verlag. 38,- €