Seminar Paper, 2008, 18 Pages
Together with the spreading commercialization, mass production and globalization especially in the 20 th century, advertisement has become a significant and an omnipresent feature of our civilization and of our cultural life.
Wherever we are, we behold advertisings of different kind and various appearance. Walking through the streets, we see panels and luminous advertisings; browsing through newspapers and magazines, we notice advertisements; watching TV, we are confronted with commercials.
In addition to written media, advertising has moreover occupied radio, television - consider those channels presenting products all day long - and finally the Internet.
Ads can be inconspicuously small, black-and-white and located in the utter corner of a magazine, but they may also be eye-catching, startling, remarkable through the involvement of celebrities, sex or the innovative, surprising use of metaphors, questions or neologisms. Owing to this polymorphism and prevalence, but also due to the importance of advertisement to society, this subject has ever been extensively analyzed and discussed by scholars from different academic disciplines. In linguistics, scholars like Leech 1 and experts such as the advertiser Ogilvy 2 published important works about advertisement.
Many theories about many aspects have been developed, but generally, one can say the following: the chief purpose of advertising is - e.g. according to Lewis' A.I.D.A.-model - to successively attract the consumer, to create an interest for the product or service, to make the recipient desire the advertised product and - finally - to induce an action, i.e. the purchase of the product 3 . In a “commercial consumer advertising” (Leech 1966, 25) public sellers, non-profit-making bodies or private individuals attempt to convince the consumer to buy their product A rather than to choose the competitive products B, C or D (Leech 1966, 26). At best, a process of persuasion is actuated and, in the end, successful. This term-paper is - among other things - meant to present the role adjectives play in this whole process of advertising.
With a restriction to written advertisement, the following questions are to be answered: Can adjectives accomplish to attract a consumer? Can they initiate interest, desire or the action of buying the product?
1 Leech, Geoffrey. English in Advertising - A Linguistic Study of Advertising in Great Britain. London: Longman, 1966; quotes from this text will from now on be referred to as Leech 1966.
2 Ogilvy, David. Ogilvy on Advertising. London: Prion Books 2001; quotes from this text will from now on be referred to as Ogilvy 2001.
3 Wells, William & Sandra Moriarty & John Barnett. Advertising: Principles & Practice. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education 2006, p. 102; quotes from this text will from now on be referred to as Wells & Moriarty & Barnett 2006.
In addition to these basic aspects, it is examined, which adjectives are primarily employed in advertising in general as well as in advertisings of particular product groups. In this context, both examinations by scholars as well as an own analysis of a corpus covering different editions of the magazines Glamour and Cosmopolitan from 2004 to 2007 will be juxtaposed.
Further questions will be answered with special reference to cosmetic and body care advertising. In which position do the respective adjectives occur in a phrase or sentence and why? Is it possible to assign adjectives to particular sub-groups within the larger product group of cosmetics? Which adjectives do occur in a compound construction?
Every result will be underlined by exemplary advertisings taken from secondary literature as well as from the magazines and the Internet.
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