Pragmalinguistic Peculiarities of English Slogan in Fashion Domain/Chapter 2. Definition and classification of advertising text

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Advertising is an inevitable part of our consumer society whose outstanding feature is its competitive fight. “...Advertising is not some external curiosity which we examine, from which we are separated and superior, but something we are part of, and which is part of us...” [1]. It is everywhere around us: in newspapers, in magazines, on billboards along the streets, on TV, in radio, in means of public transport and in any place the sponsor pays for to distribute his message.

Definition of advertisement[edit | edit source]

There are many definitions of the term “advertisement” in modern linguistic literature.

  1. The American Heritage Dictionary says that the advertisement is:
    • The activity of attracting public attention to a product or business, as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.
    • The business of designing and writing advertisements.[2]
  2. Pride defined advertising as a beneficial kind of non personal communication executed to promote and publicize an organization and its products.[3]
  3. Advertisement is a concrete manifestation of advertising.[4]
  4. According to the Investorwords glossary advertisement is a description or presentation of a product, idea, or organization, in order to induce individuals to buy, support, or approve of it. [5]
  5. Greg Myers believes that advertising can be seen as a specific field of social communication between advertisers and the target audience of the advertising message to actively influence the audience and make them buy the promoted product.. [6]

All these definitions have in common the fact, that advertising is a means of promotion the product, idea, or organization on the market with the aim to give information and to persuade people of the advantage of the product and induce them to take and action (e.g. buy it).

History of advertisement[edit | edit source]

Advertising traces its history back to ancient times. The first forms of advertising messages were transferred by word of mouth, however, in the ruins of Pompeii commercial messages and election campaign displays have been found. Frank Jefkins states that "shouts" of those who announced the main events have become the Latin verb «reclamare», which means "shouting" and derives from the verb and the name of the phenomenon of advertising. [7]
J. Lapsanska adds that Egyptians used Papyrus to create sales messages and wall posters, while in Greece and Rome lost-and-found advertising on papyrus was common. Wall or rock painting for commercial advertising is another manifestation of an ancient media advertising form, which is present to this day in many parts of Asia, Africa and South America. [8]
With the form of advertising, we could meet in the marketplaces, where the sellers used to shout and extol their products. In the course of time, people more and more tried to differentiate their products and began to find out new ways of presenting. They started to accentuate the visual aspect of the advertisement. With the expansion of colour printing and colourful posters the streets began to revel in colours. These posters were ancestors to our modern billboards.
As the economy and the trade were expanding during the 19th century, the need for advertising grew. Gradually, advertising transformed into a modern, more scientific and sophisticated conception. New visual techniques have been launched. Not only the content of the message is important, but also the form. The creativity of copywriters, who are finding new ways, leads to the richness of various forms of advertising.

Functions of advertisement[edit | edit source]

The goal of advertisement (to make audience buy the product) defines its functions. The main functions of the social communication are informative, pragmatic, economic, aesthetic and communicative.[9]

1) informative function:
advertisement supplies the necessary information to consumers so that they know what is available and where to buy it. It broadcasts information about products, services and ideas sold on the open market through a variety of media portals. It reveals the special features being sold, what color and size a product is and where it can be bought.
2) pragmatic function:
advertisement is not only a text, but it is a communicative means which is used by a producer of a product in order to persuade the audience to buy a product. In other words pragmatic function realises in a certain impact on a recipient via language and provokes him to react (imperative, exclamation, question).
3) economic function:
economic function proves that effective advertisement enhances the sales level and increases profits;
4) aesthetic function:
views an advertisement as a kind of art, because it uses the most effective means of the latest;
5) communicative function:
advertisement is a process of communication between a customer and a manufacturer; in such a way the information is transmitted.

Types of advertisement[edit | edit source]

There are many ways to classify advertisements. This classification is based on the purpose of advertisement.

  1. According to Geoffrey Leech most frequent and important type of advertisements is ‘commercial consumer advertisement’ which is directed towards the audience with the aim of promoting sales of a product or service. This type of advertisement uses most money, professional skills, and advertising space.” [10] Most of the TV commercials belong to this category.
  2. Another type of commercial advertisement is ‘prestige advertisement’. Here the name and the positive image of the company are advertised rather than a product or a service.
  3. In industrial or trade advertisement appears when a company advertises its products or services to other firms, so the communication is between equals. They both (a copywriter and a reader) get particular knowledge about the product advertised. Therefore, “industrial advertisement" typically lays greater emphasis on factual information than prestige and consumer advertisement and less emphasis on the persuasive elements.” [11]
  4. A special type of advertisement is non-commercial advertisement, which represents purposes of associations and societies and is usually related to charity or political propaganda.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Cook, Guy. The Discourse of Advertising. London: Routledge, 1996. Print.
  2. American Heritage Dictionary Entry: Advertisement. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
  3. Pride, William. Marketing 2014. Oxford: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.
  4. "Advertisement." Motto. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
  5. "Advertising." InvestorWords. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
  6. Myers, Greg. Words in Ads. London: Arnold, 1997. Print.
  7. Jefkins, Frank. Advertising. London: Pearson Education Ltd, 2000. Print.
  8. Lapanska, Jana. “The Language of Advertising with the Concentration on the Linguistic Means and the Analysis of Advertising Slogan.” MA thesis. Komenskeho University, 2006. Print.
  9. Havranek, Bohuslav. “The Functional Differentiation of the Standard Language.” A Prague School Reader on Aesthetics, Literary Structure and Style. Ed. Paul Garvin. Washington: Washington Linguistics Club, 1955. Print.
  10. Leech, Geoffrey. English in Avertising: A Linguistic Study of Advertising in Great Britain (English Language Series). London: Longman, 1972. Print.
  11. Vestergaard, Torben, and Kim Schroder. The Language of Advertising. New York: Basil Blackwell Inc., 1985. Print.