A multimodal analysis of a controversial Israeli political campaign ad

Silvia Adler, Ayelet Kohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Israel’s April 2019 elections witnessed the use of unprecedented tactics by some politicians seeking to promote their political agenda. This study focuses on one of the most remarkable examples of these radical campaign ploys, the controversial TV ad released by the New Right party in which Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Minister of Justice at the time, appears to be modeling a perfume labeled “Fascism.” We investigate the campaign strategy in the framework of multimodality studies and social semiotics. In particular, we are interested in the incongruity between the promotion of a political agenda and perfume as a product, or an advertising genre suitable for the advancement of policies that will have an impact on the country’s future. Since the ad was purported to be a parody by its critics, and even by Minister Shaked herself, when she defended her peculiar choice, one of our main purposes is to explain why, even as parody, the message failed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-114
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Semiotics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Fascism by Ayelet Shaked
  • Israel’s 2019 elections
  • Political campaign advertising
  • TV elections campaign ad
  • multimodality studies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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