An Exploration of the Manipulative Use of Language and Visuals in Advertisements: A Critical Discourse Approach

An Exploration of the Manipulative Use of Language and Visuals in Advertisements: A Critical Discourse Approach

Magret Jongore (Bindura University of Science Education, Bindura, Zimbabwe), Pinky Phaahla (UNISA, Pretoria, South Africa) and Rose Masubelele (UNISA, Pretoria, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJSVR.2020010103

Abstract

The article presents an analysis of TV advertisements targeted at African audiences. It further foregrounds the use of language and visuals to associate a product to an appropriate solution to social conflicts rooted in oppositional African and Western worldviews. The author applies the critical discourse analysis (CDA) method to the analysis to highlight the use of manipulative language and visuals. The author argues that CDA is an effective tool for analysing both visual and linguistic elements of advertising discourse compared to other discourse analysis methods that focus on either texts or visuals. This article is relevant to the literature on semiotic construction of social discourse as applied in advertising.
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The Language Of Advertising: Leech (1966)

Leech (1966), in his pioneering and comprehensive study on English in advertising, has analyzed in detail different aspects of grammar, vocabulary, discourse and rhyme and rhetoric of advertising. Reference to television illustration, display typography, vocal emphasis, prompt spelling, grammatical solecism, metaphor and paradox and some of the aspects linked to attention value was made. Colloquial, straightforward style and common vocabulary were observed to be connected with readability. Phonological regularities such as alliteration, rhyme and jingle are said to be related to memorability. Frequent use of imperatives and superlatives were seen as connected to selling power. The distinctive property of advertising language was closely identified with the use of clauses, phrases and words as minor sentences, which constitute a different kind of grammar called disjunctive grammar.

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