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Advertising and Society

a form of communication; v. powerful tool


with us all the time
addresses the anonymous public (readers, viewers,
listeners)
Critique: we are deluded into giving meanings to
things they dont have
Types of media
(traditional)

newspapers
magazines
on buildings
in tube stations
on buses
inside novels
TV / during films
radio

New media:
websites
text messages

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Why Advertise?
To increase
The purpose of the
ad:
- sales of a product
remind people of the
- the use of a service
existence of the firm
- to get us do smth
influence consumers
/take an action
towards buying the
product
(advertising is
leave a generally
strategic)
favorable impression,
REMEMBER: We are all
BUT also it may
potential buyers
annoy/vex, disturb,
subvert
it must reflect pretty
closely the current

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Structure of an Ad
Behavioral model (AIDA)
raise AWARENESS (attract
attention)
arouse INTEREST
stimulate DESIRE (create
conviction)
get ACTION

Types of ads.
Commercial
generate increased
consumption of
products/services
through branding,
the repetition of an
image/product name
to associate related
qualities with the
brand in the minds
of consumers
(Hoover: vacuum
cleaner, Xerox:
photocopy,
Starbucks: coffee)

Non-commercial
Political parties
Interest groups
(non-profit
organizations, etc.)
Religious
organizations
Governmental
agencies/actions

Modes of address
Direct (Just do it, Nike), use of
imperative, 2nd singular/plural verbs
Indirect (a conversation, a slice-of life
ad, a print image)
Time is crucial: 1,5 seconds to read
short+concise: snappy sentences,
compound words, heavy punctuation;
dashes (-), full stops (.), semicolons (;)

How is the advertising message


communicated?
Linguistic communication (verbal):
headline (main point) and a catchy slogan
to hook the reader; typographical
enhancement; linear layout: a beginning
and an end; its position in the ad is crucial
(foreground vs background)
Visual communication (non-verbal):
illustrations, pictures
Easier to read: free eye movement, take less
effort
TV: combined effect of sound and picture
One-way communication

Language used
Verbs (synonyms of buy): get, try, win,
save, ask for, take, use, call, hurry,
come/see/remember/discover, choose/look
for, serve/introduce
Modal verbs: You can use it when you take
a shower (action passed on as an advice)
Adjectives that create positive imagery
new, free, young, fun, soft, strong, smooth,
quiet, warm, modern, better, best, full, fresh,
find, full, rich, delicious, clean

Adverbs: gently, smoothly, etc.

Strategies
Have a catchy memorable slogan
that rhymes: A Mars a day helps you
work, rest, and play
Choose a product name with
favorable associations
(Dovefreedom, purity)
Use repeated claims that establishlead to elaborate parallelism (attach
meanings to brands)
Draw on scientific and technical
discourse

Catchy Slogans / Strategies


used

Alliteration: the repeated sound is a


consonant (Top people take The Times)
Assonance: repetition of vowels (Gillette
the best a man can get; Coca Cola)
Rhyme: My gown stays white from morn to
night; A Mars a day helps you work, rest,
and play
The use of unexpected letters that stand
out (scrabble): Q, Z, X, J (Kleenex, Dulux,
Xerox, Lucozade, Jif)
Parallelism (associations): London (Big
Ben), Paris (Eiffer Tower), Athens
(Acropolis), Rome (Coliseum)

Figurative language
Metaphor: establish the product as metaphor, make
it stand for smth else, Esso ad: put a tiger in your
tank (Tiger strength, fast); most frequent
persuasive device
Simile: like metaphor with like or as if to show it is
not literal ( )
Synecdoche: name a part for the whole, e.g. I need
a hand for the washing up; hes a prick (as a whole,
not just the organ)
Metonymy: take smth related to stand for the whole,
e.g. 10 Downing Str., the crown, ,
, ,
(in colours): purple Silk Cut, gold cigarette box
Benson & Hedges, red Marlboro, green Body
Shop, red-gold McDonalds

Sentence structure
Use of exclamations, question marks,
commands
Statements assert facts
Questions involve/engage the reader
(most are rhetorical)
Exclamations express readers surprise
Ellipsis: Leave smth out for the reader to
supply (usu. the verb)
Repetition: If Thomson dont do it, dont do
it. If they do, do.
Incomplete sentences (get readers
involved)
Use of puns (a word with two possible

Attention and interest


Make (hyperbolic) claim for the
product in the headline/slogan (now,
new, improved, unique, Greece
biggest) printed in distinctive type
(exploding balloons): At last! An
entirely NEW collection of
If clauses: to arouse and hold
readers interest
Usu. basic communicative situation:
I, you, we (friendly context); direct
address

How to create a myth/


paradise

Connotation vs Denotation
Denotation
the information
one reads in the
ad or sees in the
illustration
straightforward

What is evoked by
the sign (verbal or
otherwise);
interpretation
attached
Varies from person
to person; depends
on our entire
previous
experiences
Complicated; multilayered

Emotional vs rational
Beatson (1986): Successful advertising appeals
both to the head (reason) and to the heart
(emotions)
Supply a reason to support your product instead
of your competitors; present a solid rationale for
the purchase (Continental Airlines: More airline
for the money); use of actors in lab coats to prove
its reliability
OR
Work on emotions or stereotypes: Work hard. Fly
right.
Be artful, dramatic to involve prospect buyers
Family gathered, soft music at the background, all happy
and smiling

Elements of a successful
marketing campaign
Establish the identity of a product
Make it a brand/a product to be
remembered for decades! (Just Do It; Think
Small; Get a Mac)
Carry out extensive research (eye movement,
memorability, comprehension, persuasion)
Gather data to understand the psyche of
consumers
Create a target audience; users vs buyers; who
makes the influencing buying decision?
Work on stereotypes

Marketing: not a simple linear


message, heterogeneous
Varied profile of prospective buyers

Family income
Social class
Age
Gender/sexuality
Ethnicity
Lifestyle

Usu. mix marketing strategy


The four dimensions of Marketing:
Product, Price, Place, Promotion
Price can be a promotional tool

Masculine vs Feminine ideal


More
understanding
Friendly
Kind
Less macho
Or
- More competitive
or aggressive for
women / success
(business &
politics)

To active,
independent
woman assuming
multiple identities
(mainten physical
appearance for the
attention of
husband, lover,
boss)
From good mother
and wife (passive
ideal)

Sex in advertising
Use erotic or sexual imagery (sex
appeal)
To draw interest to a particular
product
Usually, no connection is established
Think of the use of half-naked women
or men when a new campaign is
launched; everything is expendable;
the end justifies the means

References
Charles Forceville, Pictorial Metaphor in
Advertising
Sean Brierley, The advertising handbook
Greg Myers, Words in Ads
T. Vestergaard & S. Schroder ,The language of
advertising
http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2008/01/s
lowly-ive-watc.html
http://consumerpsychologist.blogspot.com/2010/0
1/action-advertising-be-warned-its-hard.html
http://consumerpsychologist.blogspot.com/2008/1
0/rational-vs-emotional-advertising.html
http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2007/01/emotional
_advertising.php