Archive for April, 2008

Advertising Language

Posted in Uncategorized on April 16, 2008 by ablanch3

Advertising Language

Advertising has been said to have its’ own kind of language but is that really true? Does advertising language really differ from our everyday use of language? At first glance you might think one might think that advertisers do have whole different language when communicating to consumers. The question that I will attempt to answer if this language is so different from everyday language, how do we understand what is being said? Advertisers must have a specific way to show the consumer exactly what they want to say while still staying on the same “level” with the consumer. In this essay I will discuss how American advertisers use language in advertising products, how politicians use language to describe their political views, and how different countries use languages to describe a product to a consumer.

The first look at advertising starts with consumer research. Advertisers learn how to communicate with the target audience by researching their targets through surveys or focus groups. They also learn the type of language or even tone to use by the pervasiveness of the product (Figures of Rhetoric). Different types of products with different types of target audiences require a different type of language and tone. An advertisement advertising a new truck line might a have a male with a deep voice talking in a “southern” accent showing the “manliness” of the vehicle. An advertisement advertising a new type of kitchen cleaner might have a soft, female voice using slightly sophisticated words to show the cleanliness of the product. With all of that said, it proves that variations in the style of advertising language, in presence of the rhetorical figures, can be expected to have important consequences for how the ad is processed (Figures of Rhetoric). Advertisers have to use a language that will catch the attention of a consumer and force them watch and interpret the advertisement. The “pleasure of the text” must be in place to grab the consumer’s attention (Figures of Rhetoric). This means an advertisement unappealing to a consumer is worthless and will not produce the correct message. Advertisers also use repetition in text to catch the listener’s attention. “Repetition in a text can be expected to enhance recall just as repetition of the entire text does. For example, a rhyme forges extra phonemic links among headline elements” (Figures of Rhetoric). Repetition and rhyme often leave a headline or slogan in a consumer’s mind which in turn keeps the product being advertised on the mind also. On the other hand, we all have listened to that most annoying radio advertisement where we turn the radio down to not hear it. That is why advertisers must be careful to make an advertisement appealing and catchy but at the same time not annoying. “Most advertising texts must perform their function under circumstances in which the consumer is free not to process them at all” (Figures of Rhetoric). Along with not annoying the consumer the advertisers must catch the attention of the consumer when they have a choice to not listen. Most people rise up from the couch during the commercials of a football game to use the restroom. A good commercial will catch the eager bathroom user to stay seated and watch what the product has to offer.