Tools and Techniques Used in the Language of  Advertisements: The Linguistic Perspective

 Article | Open Select

Media Watch | E-ISSN 2249-8818

Vol. 11 | Issue No. III |Page 565-580, 2020
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2020/11092020

 

Tools and Techniques Used in the Language of 
Advertisements: The Linguistic Perspective

 

Mohammad Shariq
Qassim University, Saudi Arabia

 

Received: 3 August 2020 | Accepted: 6 September 2020 | Published: 11 September 2020

 

AbstractThe present paper aims to highlight the linguistic tools and techniques used in the language of advertisements. The study becomes significant as the language used in the advertisements is purposely and deliberately created. The deliberate use of language makes the advertisements eye-catching and gets the attention of its viewers. This study investigates 75 different Indian TV advertisements and does linguistic analysis at phonological, morphological, and stylistic levels. At these three levels, the study reveals the use of phonological devices; such as rhyme, alliteration, and assonance; morphological devices; code-mixing; the degree of comparison, hybridization, and reduplication; and stylistic devices; antithesis, apostrophe, hyperbole, metaphor, onomatopoeia, and personification. Besides these devices, the study also focuses on graphological and national aspects that play an essential role in the advertising language.

 

Keywords:   Advertising, creativity, figurative language, language use, linguistic analysis, media, stylistic analysis

 

Introduction

The advertising market is in great competition as we watch advertisements on TV, listen on the radio, and read them in newspapers every day. No single day in our life passes without going through some kind of advertisement. In this great competition, the task of advertisement companies becomes challenging for the promotion of products. In this technological era, the question for advertisement creators is not to reach the majority of people but to reach the minds of people and to stay there for an extended period. According to Al-Azmi (2002), “The advertising copywriters attempt to frame the message in such a way that the potential customers would be convinced that it is better than other similar products. They try to make the best possible use of language and hope that it will have a persuasive effect on the consumer’s purchasing behavior.” The word ‘advertising’ simply means ‘the act of calling public attention to someone’s products or services etc. To get the attention of the people or to make advertisements memorable, attractive, enjoyable, trustworthy, and creative, there has been a use of several linguistic devices in the language of advertising. Leech (1972) calls the language of advertising as a “loaded language.” One of the essential aspects of advertisements is advertising slogans. According to Dubovičienė and Skorupa (2014), “the purpose of catchy phrases of advertising slogans is to draw the attention of a potential customer and help to distinguish a product or service from the majority of others in the market.” Simpson (2004) points out that many forms of discourse, such as advertising, journalism, popular music, etc. show a high degree of stylistic dexterity.

On the one hand, language is a means of communication through which we send and receive messages or share our feelings, emotions, and ideas using symbolic or verbal utterances, and linguistics is the scientific study of language on the other hand. Language plays an important role and leaves a powerful effect on the people and their behavior in terms of their activities and keeping relations with others. A similar case is with the language of advertising. The kind of language used in advertising is highly creative and foregrounded, which remains very different from the ordinary language that we use in our day-to-day conversations. According to Leech (1969), “The foregrounded figure is the linguistic deviation, and the background is the language – the system is taken for granted in any talk of deviation.” There has been frequent use of attracting words such as unique, special, extra, more, powerful, better, best, faster, fastest, number one (No.1), growing, glowing, new, forget your old, bring the new, fresh, refreshing, your own, India’s own, India’s No. 1, etc. in the language of advertising. Besides these attracting words, several linguistic, phonological, morphological, and stylistic devices are used to make the language of advertisement more attractive. Moreover, it is found that advertisements and branding have a bearing on patriotism, unity, and communal harmony and evoke emotional appeal among the citizens (Raghavan, 2015). The present paper is an attempt to discover these linguistic devices used in the language of Indian TV advertisements.

 

Literature Review

The language used in the advertising media and market is an important role player in our society, and there has been extensive research work done in this field. Many Scholars such as Leech (1972), Fatihi (1991), Motes et al. (1992), Myers (1997), Foster (2001), Ding (2003), Kohli et al. (2007), Christopher (2012), Fatihi (2014) have contributed significantly in the area of the language of advertising media and its linguistic aspects. Mulken (2003) conducted a study on French and Dutch magazine advertisements and analyzed rhetorical devices. Fomukong (2016) studied the advertising of Dangote Cement on billboards in Bamenda, Cameroon, and examined what and how the message is communicated. He also pointed out that the advertisers make use of different stylistic devices that carry positivity and common ground that makes the readers identify with the advertisements, urging them to go for the Dangote Cement. Romanenko (2014) described the most commonly used linguistic means in advertising slogans about the thematic domain and revealed the connection between the use of advertising language and advertising objectives. Prasad (2017) explored linguistic and stylistic devices and described the appellative and descriptive function of advertisements. He further explained the role of the language of advertisements in affecting the readers, the listeners, and the audience.

El-Dali (2019) analyzed Arabic advertising in Egypt and presented linguistic and psychological perspectives focusing on language, image, layout, and persuasive advertising strategies. Blasco and Morales (2020) analyzed Soft Drinks and Sugar-Sweetened BeveragesAdvertising in Spain and argued that the use of language and endorsement of celebrities influence customers during a purchase even though the products have low nutritional value. Ahmad (2018) argued that it is the language that makes the most crucial part of advertising despite relying on the visual content and design of present-day advertisements. He also pointed out that the central concern of media linguistics is creativity in general and linguistic creativity in particular. Vasiloaia (2009) pointed out that in the language of advertising, there is the frequent use of figures of speech and other typical stylistic devices such as puns, metaphors, neologisms, alliteration, assonance, or rhyme. She further argued that these devices are full of a high degree of creativity in the language of advertising, and they contribute to the secondary function of advertising to entertaining the recipients. Ahmad (2018) analyzed linguistic techniques and discussed intertextuality in the language of advertising. He argued that the preferable effective strategy among advertisers is intertextuality. The study focuses on the following research objectives:

  1. To present a linguistic analysis and discover the linguistic tools and techniques used in the language of advertisements. 
  2. To highlight the phonological, morphological, and stylistic devices used in the language of advertisements. 
  3. To discuss the other aspects like graphological and national and shed some light on the importance of these devices and aspects in the language of advertisements. 

 

Methodology

In this study, several advertisements were collected from television channels and searched on YouTube. This study analyses 75 different advertisements based on the qualitative approach. To reach to the inference, several linguistic tools and techniques used in the language of ads were identified and then systematically categorized. The content and structure of each category are explained with five different advertisements as examples to understand the linguistic tools and techniques used in the language of advertisements and also to maintain the harmony in the text of this research work. Moreover, this categorization was linguistically interpreted and explained what phonological, morphological, and stylistic devices are used in the language of advertisements that develop beauty, attraction, and creativity in language use.

Furthermore, the other two essential levels, such as graphic and national, were also identified and explained their importance and effect on potential customers. It should be noted that more than one of the linguistic devices and other linguistic techniques were also identified in many advertisements. They are left unexplained due to the limitations of this study.

 

Results and Discussion

In this paper, the creative use of language is explored in 75 different advertisements selected from Indian television channels and searched on YouTube. These advertisements are analyzed and discussed in the following categories: 

 

Phonological level

 

Phonology studies the arrangement or organization of sounds in a language. The phonological level of analysis deals with sounds and sound patterns in the language of advertising. Simpson (2004) suggested that the sound system of a language proposes numerous resources for linguistic creativity in style. In the phonological level of analysis, linguistic devices such as rhyme, alliteration, and assonance are focused in this study. 

 

Rhyme 

Rhyme is the phonological device that is widely used in poetry and the language of advertising. Rhyme is defined as the repetition of the same sounds in the ending of lines of a poem. According to Leech (1972), the rhyme makes slogans and headlines easier to remember. The advertisers frequently use rhyme in the advertising slogans and the language of advertisements. The name of the product/brand is also used in many advertisements when the rhyme scheme is followed. Ding (2003) argues that the slogan may lose its identity if the brand name is not used in the slogan. Table 1 shows some of the examples where rhyme can be easily observed. 

 

Table 1. Rhyme

No.

Advertisement

Company/

Product

Rhyme

Rhyming Words/ syllables

1

Mint-o Fresh. Bole  toh  ekdum Fresh.

(Mint-o Fresh. when you speak, absolutely fresh). 

Mint-o Fresh

/mɪnt-o freʃ bole to ekdǝm freʃ/

/freʃ/

2

Kahi aur kyu jaana. Jab Flipkart hai na. (Why go anywhere else when Flipkart is there)

Flipkart

/kǝhi: aur kju jana:

Jǝbflipka: rt hai na:/

/na:/

3

Jaage Raho. Aage Raho.

(Stay awake. Stay ahead)

Kopico- pocket coffee candy

/ja:ge rǝho: a:ge rǝho:/

/rǝho:/

4

No fikar. Chat Quikr.

(No worry. Chat Quikr)

Quikr

/nǝʊ fɪkǝr tʃæt kwɪkǝr/

/kǝr/

5

Pet safa. Har rog dafa.

(petsafa ‘clean stomach’. Every illness out)  

Pet safa Ayurvedic constipation powder

/peT sǝfa:hǝr ro:g dǝfa:/

/sǝfa:/ and /dǝfa:/

 

The five examples in the Table-1 above show rhyme that produce musicality and can be easily remembered. The first example starts with the product’s name /mɪnto-freʃ/ and ends with the same word /freʃ/ that maintains rhyme. In the second example, the first clause ends with the word /ja:na:/ that has the final syllable /na:/. The final syllable /na:/ is also shown in the second clause. In the third example, the words j: age and a:ge have the ending with similar syllable/ge/, while the second word /rǝho:/ is repeated at the end of the second part of the slogan. In the fourth example, the syllable /kǝr/ is repeated. The last example shows rhyme in the words /sǝfa:/ and /dǝfa:/ with the same ending syllable /fa:/.   

 

Alliteration

In this phonological device, the initial consonant phoneme is repeated in different words. It is also called as head rhyme or initial rhyme. This device is also frequently used in the advertising language. Alliteration plays a vital role in the language of advertising slogans as it creates rhymes and musicality in the lines of slogans and makes readers/ listeners remember them. According to Ruban and Backiavathy (2016), alliteration renders musical rhythm and makes reading more appealing and absorbing.  

 

Table 2. Alliteration

No.

Advertisement

Company/

product

Alliteration

Repeated consonant sound

1

Fine fragrance.

Wild Stone Deo

/fa:ɪn freɪgrǝns/

/f/

2

Meri Maggi meri masti.

(My Maggi  My Fun)

Nestle Maggi

/meri: mægi: meri: mǝsti:/

/m/

3

Break the language barrier.

Idea Cellular

/breɪkbæriar/

/b/

4

Masala lagega to maza badhega.

(If you add spice, the fun will increase)

Parle Krackjack & Monaco

/mǝsa:la: mǝza:/

/m/

5

Fair & Lovely fairness, facewash.

Fair & Lovely Face Wash

/feǝr feǝnǝs feɪs/

/f/

 

The examples in Table 2 clearly show the use of alliteration. The words in example 1, start with the same labio-dental fricative consonant/f/. In the second example, the bilabial nasal consonant/m/ is repeated at the initial position of all the words. The bilabial plosive consonant/b/ in the third, bilabial nasal /m/ in fourth, and the labio-dental fricative consonant/f/ in the fifth examples are shown at the initial positions of the words used in the examples.    

 

Assonance 

Assonance is also a phonological device in which there is a repetition of identical vowel phonemes in different words with different consonant phonemes. It is sometimes called as ‘vocalic rhyme.’ Assonance also creates rhyme and musicality like alliteration. 

 

Table 3. Assonance

No.

Advertisement

Company/product

Assonance

Repeated vowel sounds

1

Lo. Do. Khatam  Karo.

(Take. Give. Finish)

freecharge app

/lo: do:xǝtǝm  kǝro:/

/o:/ and /ǝ/

2

Sab sahe mast rahe.

(Bear everything. Stay delighted)

Century Ply

/sǝb  sǝhe:mǝst  rǝhe:/

/ǝ/ and /e:/

3

Apki  khareedari   hamari     zimmedari.

(Your purchase our responsibility)

Flipkart

/a:pki:  xǝri:da:ri:  hǝma:ri: zɪmmeda:ri:/

/a:/, /i:/ and /ǝ/

4

Fun. Learn. Score. More.

topscorer.com

/fɅn  lɜ:n  skɔ:r  mɔ:r/

/Ʌ, ɜ:/ and /ɔ:/

5

Bright is Right.

Halonix

/braɪt  raɪt/

/aɪ/

 

The examples in Table 3 shows assonance. In the first example, the close-mid back long vowel/o:/ is repeated at the final position of the words /lo:/, /do:/, and /kǝro:/, while the central vowel /ǝ/ is repeated at the medial position of /xǝtǝm/ and /kǝro:/. In the second example, the central vowel/ǝ/ is repeated at the medial position, which is the second sound in all the words. The second and third words have the same close-mid-front long vowel /e:/. The third example shows the repetition of the open-back long vowel /a:/and close-front long vowel /i:/in all the four words, while the central vowel /ǝ/is repeated in the second and the third words. In the fourth example, the central vowels /Ʌ/ in ‘fun’ and /ɜ:/in learn are very similar to each other with respect to the part of the tongue used in their production. The third and fourth words have the same back long vowel /ɔ:/. In the last example, the repetition of diphthong /aɪ/ is seen in the words ‘bright’ and ‘right.’

 

Morphological Level 

 

This level of analysis deals with words and the creation of words. Below are some devices which are analyzed at this level.

 

Code-Mixing 

Code mixing is a process of mixing words from another language in a sentence. In this process, the rules of one language are followed while creating a sentence, but the words from another language are inserted within a sentence. India is a multilingual country where most people know at least two languages. Shariq (2013) pointed out that the use of two or more languages helps people express their emotions, feelings, thoughts, and shape their identity. Advertisers make use of this technique and convey their message to potential customers creatively. 

 

Table 4. Code-mixing

No.

Advertisement

Company/product

Sentence structure

1

Information smart  toh  decision  bhi smart.

(Information is smart, then the decision is also smart)

sbismart.com

SOV- Urdu-Hindi

2

Nikhaar powder finish ke saath.

(Glow with powder finish)

Fair & Lovely Powder Cream

SOV- Urdu-Hindi

3

Pal banaye magical.

(Make the moments magical)

Lays

SOV- Urdu-Hindi

4

Dil toh roaming hai.

(The heart is roaming)

Makemytrip.com

SOV- Urdu-Hindi

5

Invest in PNB MetLife mera term plan and be double sure. (mera ‘my’)

PNB MetLife

SVO- English

 

The examples 1-4 in Table 4 above show that the structure of the sentences is Subject-Object-Verb (SOV), which is the structure of Urdu-Hindi, but the English words like information, smart, decision, powder, finish, magical, and roaming are inserted within the sentences. The structure of the last sentence is Subject-Verb-Object (SVO), which is the structure of English, and the word mera is inserted within the sentence. 

 

Reduplication 

Reduplication is commonly found in Hindi-Urdu, which deals with the repetition of words. Reduplication could be total or partial. Total reduplication referred to the repetition of the whole word and used when speakers give more attention to a particular word and make the speech expressive and attentive. Sharma (2012) pointed out that “reduplication has various morphological functions depending on the lexical category, which is reduplicated.”Partial reduplication (also called echo-formation) refers to the repetition of a part of a word and used by the speakers when they refer to similar things or ideas in the sense of ‘etc..’ The examples 1-3 in Table 5 shows total reduplication, and the examples 4-5 show partial reduplication. 

 

Table 5. Reduplication

No.

Advertisement

Company/Product

Reduplication

1

Thanda thanda. Cool cool

Navratna Cool Talc

Thanda-Thanda, Cool-Cool

2

Man fisal fisal jaye (Heart keeps on slipping)

Namaste India Desi Ghee

Fisal-Fisal ‘slip-slip’

3

Very very tasty, tasty

Britannia 50-50

Very-Very, Tasty-Tasty

4

Na koi jaat     paat  na koi bhed  bhaav

(Neither caste etc. nor discrimination etc.)

Idea Cellular

Jaat-paat ‘caste-etc.’, bhed-bhav ‘discrimination-etc.’

5

Jio dhan dhana dhan.

(Live money money money)

Reliance Jio

Dhan-dhana-dhan ‘money-money-money.’

 

Degree of Comparison 

This morphological word-formation process is also widespread in the advertising language. In this process, the suffix –er is attached to adjectives for comparative degree and –est for the superlative degree. Advertisers widely use this technique to make a comparison of their new products with people’s old products and convey the message that the new product is better than the old one. Table 6 shows the examples of comparative and superlative degrees used in the advertisements. 

 

Table 6. Degree of comparison

No.

Advertisement

Company/Product

Degree

1

Ideas that make life brighter

Godrej 

Comparative

2

Generations changed, techniques changed, but best remains the best.

LG Washing machine (6 Motion motherly wash

Superlative 

3

India’s widest 4G network.

Airtel 4G

Superlative 

4

Security made simpler.

CP Plus CCTV

Comparative

5

Nobody cools better.

Blue Star AC

Comparative

 

Hybridization

Hybridization is a process of word formation in which words or parts of words of two languages are mixed to create new words. Gupta (2017) pointed out that “Various Hindi TV advertisements carried some elements of hybridization to bridge the barriers among different languages to reach the mass public successfully.” Advertisers use this technique and produce new words mixing two languages that contain creative ideas. This use of creativity helps them reach to the potential customers in a multilingual and multicultural country like India.

 

Table 7. Hybridization

No.

Advertisement

Company/Product

Hybridization

1

Safar ke     waqt no ullu  banawing.

(while traveling, do not make fool)

Idea Cellular

banao + ing = banawing

2

So no chipkoing to your old products.

(So don’t stick to your old products)

Olx

chipko + ing = chipkoing

3

Kurtas for every occasion. 

Manyavar Summer cotton collection

Kurta + s = kurtas

4

Jitna clickega utnabikega. 

(The more you click, the more you sell)

Olx

Click + ega = clickega

5

Welcome to Selfiestan.

(Welcome to selfie region)

Gionee A1 Mobile Phone

Selfie + stan = Selfiestan

 

The Urdu-Hindi verbs banao ‘make’ and chipko ‘stick’ in the examples 1-2 given in Table 7 are combined with the English progressive verb suffix –ing. This compounding produces hybridized words banawing and chipkoing. The third example shows hybridization in the word kurtas. The Urdu word kurta (A loose shirt) being a noun takes the English plural suffix –s and creates hybridized plural noun kurtas. The fourth example shows hybridization in the word clickega. The English verb click is combined with a half portion of the Urdu-Hindi verb karega ‘will do.’ Taking –ega as a future marker from karega, the verb clickega has become the hybridized verb. In the last example, the word selfiestan is hybridized by the combination of English selfie-and Urdu istan (originally from Persian) means ‘place or region.’

 

Stylistic Level

 

Stylistic is a branch of applied linguistics which studies styles. Simpson (2004) defines the purpose of stylistics as “to explore language, and, more specifically, to explore creativity in language use.”This level of analysis focuses on figurative use (associative or connotative) of language in advertisements, which differs from the literal use (usual or ordinary) of language. Figurative language is used in poetry and also in advertisements, which is full of figures of speech crating beauty and attraction in the language. 

 

Antithesis 

Antithesis is a figure of speech in which there is a use of opposite words that give opposite ideas. These opposite ideas help readers/listeners understand the contrastive concepts hidden between the lines. The examples of this figurative device are shown in Table 8.

 

Table 8. Antithesis 

No.

Advertisement

Company/product

Opposite words

1

Intel Inside Amazing Experiences Outside

Intel

Inside-Outside

2

Todo nahi     Jodo.

(Don’t break. Affix)

Fevikwick

/toRo- joRo/

‘break-affix’

3

Big Videocon Offer. It makes everything else look small.

Videocon

Big – small

4

Choose anything. Waste nothing 

Airtel My plan Postpaid 

Anything – nothing

5

Life ki kamai chahe jitni choti ho. Yaar uski party badi honi chahiye.

(No matter how small is life’s earning. Dear, it should have a big party)

Domino’s Pizza

/tʃhoTi – baRi/

‘small – big.’

 

Apostrophe 

The apostrophe is defined as an exclamatory figure of speech. According to Cuddon (2013), it is “a figure of speech in which a thing, a place, an abstract quality, an idea, a dead or absent person, is addressed as if present and capable of understanding.” The use of apostrophe can be easily seen in the examples given in Table 9.

 

Table 9. Apostrophe

No.

Advertisement

Company/Product

Apostrophe used

1

What an idea!

Idea Cellular

Idea!

2

I’m lovin’ it

McDonald’s

I’m lovin’

3

You’re worth it

L’oreal Paris

You’re

4

Aisi     taazgi  ki  saans ban jaaye  hhh!

(Such a freshness that makes breathing  hhh!) 

Mint-o fresh

hhh!

5

We’ll be there!

Exide care

We’ll and there!

 

Hyperbole

Cuddon (2013) defines hyperbole as “a figure of speech which contains an exaggeration for emphasis.” According to Walesa (2014), this figure of speech is “often used for emphasis as a sign of great emotion or passion.” The use of hyperbole is very common in poetic language as well as in the advertising language. Table 10 shows examples of this figurative use of language.  

                                

Table 10. Hyperbole

No.

Advertisement

Company/Product

Hyperbole

1

Ham samjhe apki dunia. (We understand your world)

HDFC Bank

We understand your world.

2

Uparwal  aapko apki biwi ke gusse se bacha leta hai. Aur ham apke ghar ko  Uparwale ke gusse se. (God saves you from your wife’s anger. And we save your home form God’s anger)

Asian Paints Apex Ultima Protek

We save your home from God’s anger.

3

Rishte me to ham sabke  baap     lagte hain. (In relation, we are the father of all)

Khaitan Fan- Celebrate Father’s day

We are the father of all in relation.

4

Main hoon toofani. (I am stormy)

ThumsUp

I am stormy.

5

Diamonds unlimited.

Malabar Gold & Diamonds

Diamonds unlimited.

 

 

Metaphor 

A metaphor is a figure of speech that refers to one thing by mentioning another thing. It is different from a simile in a way that it does not have comparing words such as ‘as’ or ‘like.’ Simpson (2004) defines it as “a process of mapping between two different conceptual domains.” Fatihi (2015) suggested that metaphors serve the purpose of understanding difficult and complex entities in terms of easier and simpler entities.  Dubovičienė and Skorupa (2014) define metaphor as it “contributes to the aesthetics of the message and emphasizes the main idea, describing one object in terms of another, usually using implicit comparison.” The advertisers make frequent use of metaphors in the language of advertisements and create a poetic effect.  

 

Table 11. Metaphor

No.

Advertisement

Company/Product

1

Dimag  ki  batti  jala de.

(Turns on the light of brain)

Mentos

2

My kind of size zero.

There’s me in every Milano.

Parle Platina- Milano choco delight 

3

Super Star- Taste ka Blockbuster. 

Super Star- Taste’s blockbuster)

Priyagold – Choco Nouga

4

Bharose ka Pratik! (The symbol of trust!) / The name you can bank upon!

Punjab National Bank

5

Amul Macho- bade aram se. 

(Amul Macho- With great comfort)

Amul Macho Inner Wears 

 

The examples in Table 11 shows the metaphorical use of language. The first example, dimagki batti  jala de ‘turns on the light of the brain’ indicates the use of batti ‘light’ or ‘bulb’ referring to an intellectual activity or creative ideas. If we watch the advertisement, the comparison between an ordinary life and mentos life is shown, where a person does ordinary things in ordinary life. Still, he cleverly does extraordinary things with creative ideas when he eats mentos. Thus mentos metaphorically refer to the cleverness, intellect, and innovative ideas, etc. The second example, My kind of size zero. There’s me in every Milano, is represented by a famous Bollywood actress Twinkle Khanna who is physically fit and good looking. The term size zero refers to the minimum size in the US women’s clothing catalog system. The use of size zero and the actress saying me in every Milano, the Milano cookie metaphorically refers to the fit and slim body. The third example, superstar- taste ka blockbuster, is represented by another famous Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif who is one of the most beautiful actresses and a superstar in Bollywood. The superstar chocolate bar metaphorically refers to the term ‘blockbuster,’ which is meant for highly popular things. The fourth example Bharoseka Pratik! In Hindi, and The name you can bank upon in English is a bank’s slogan. The Hindi slogan can be translated as The symbol of trust. The words bharosa ‘trust’ and bank upon metaphorically refer to the bank, The Punjab National Bank. The use of trust becomes more important when the question of depositing our income or doing business transactions arises. This use of trust attracts depositors towards Punjab National Bank even though several other banks are equally trustworthy. In the fifth example, Amul Macho- bade aram se ‘Amul Macho- With great comfort,’ the use of aram ‘comfort’ metaphorically refers to the Amul Macho inner garments. In the advertisement, the famous Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan shows the comfort wearing the Amul Macho inner garments and easily and comfortably does the tasks/things which seem to be very difficult, rather impossible, for an ordinary person. 

 

Onomatopoeia 

In this process, those words are formed, which imitate sounds reflecting the sense or idea. According to Leech (1969), onomatopoeia refers to the purely mimetic power of language- its ability to imitate other mostly (non-linguistic) sounds. Advertisers make use of onomatopoeia in the language of advertisements to create a unique effect which becomes more expressive and interesting for the viewers and leaves an impact on their sense. Table 12 shows some examples of this figurative device.

  

Table 12. Onomatopoeia

No.

Advertisement

Company/product

Onomatopoeia 

1

Itna Smooth… Likhe san sananan  saayen     saayen

(So smooth…. Writes like san sananan  saayen     saayen) 

Cello – Butter flow pen

San  sananan  saayen     saayen  ‘the sound of blowing air.’

2

Orangy     Chatka Fun ka  Fatka (Orangy taste. Fun’s slap)

Fanta

Chatka ‘clicking sound made with tongue while having something sour’.Fatka ‘the sound of a slap.’

3

No, Chip Chip. No JhikJhik

(No sticky. No arguments)

Fevicol–Fevistik

Chip chip ‘something sticky,’

Jhik  jhik ‘arguments made in anger.’

4

Go Myntra- La- La

Myntra

La-la ‘sound made in happiness, especially in Bollywood songs’

5

12 Hour Dhishum  Dhishum     Lagataar (Continuous 12-hour fighting)

Pepsodent     Germi Check Toothpaste

Dhishum     dhishum ‘sound made in films when ahero punches a villain.’

 

Personification

Personification is a figure of speech in which human qualities are attributed to inanimate objects. Personification is a widespread element that can be easily found in poetic language. The use of personification makes the language more creative, attractive, and interesting. Skorupa and  Dubovičienė (2015) mentioned that the advertisers make use of personification “so that the customer can better relate to the advertised personified objects and memorize the slogan or the advertisement. Thus, the brands are turned into something real and identified a real-life figure by the customer.”  The examples in Table 13 show the use of personification. 

 

Table 13. Personification

No.

Advertisement

Company/product

Personification

1

The Baap of all pay apps. 

(The father of all pay apps)

Ask me pay

father of apps

2

Is Eid  apne     ghar  ko  dein     Narolac  ki  Eidi.

(This Eid, give your home Narolac’s Eidi)

Narolac Paints

Narolac’s Eidi to home

(Eidi ‘money given to children on Eid festival’).

3

Buddy ho to esa.

(Buddy should be like this) 

SBI buddy app

Buddy app

4

This Valentine’s Day. TVS Scooty wishes you great love life!

TVS Scooty – Zest 110

Scooty wishes

5

Deewana Tamatar.  Dildaar Masala.

(Crazy tomato. Beloved spice)

Kurkure – Desi Beats

Crazy tomato

Beloved spice

 

Other Aspects

 

Besides phonological, morphological, and stylistic aspects of language, some other aspects such as graphology and national are also found in the language of advertisements. These aspects also have great importance in the advertising language.  

 

Graphology

Graphology is a level of linguistic analysis that comprises the visual aspect of language. Wales (2014), in a dictionary of stylistics, explains the features of graphology or graphemics. According to him, different registers make specific use of graphological features as “size of print and capitalization in newspaper and advertising layouts; different typefaces and sizes in dictionaries; special lines in poetry, etc.” The graphological aspect carries the visual impression and leaves them like an image in the mind of viewers/readers that can stay longer and, most importantly, recognize the brands/ products. The examples in Table 14 show the creative use of graphology in the language of advertisements.  

Table 14. Graphical aspect

No.

Advertisement

Company/Product

1

Biggerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Softerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Betterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Mentos mint

2

Hɐ rstiƆk mein alag  twiƧt

(Different twist in each stick)

Bingo- TedheMedhe

3

Center fruit 

Kaisi jeebh laplapayee!

(Center fruit- How the tongue wagged!)

Center fruit 

4

Virgin mobile

Think hatke

(Virgin mobile- Think different)

Virgin mobile

5

Kurkure  ke  saath  family  free

(Family free with Kurkure)

Kurkure  Namkeen

 

National Aspect

The national aspect is also widely used in the language of advertisements. Advertisers make use of ‘country’s name’ giving national identity to their products. This aspect leaves a patriotic emotional impression in the mind of viewers, listeners, or readers. The examples of this aspect can be seen in Table 15 below.  

 

Table 15. National aspect

No.

Advertisement

Company/Product

1

Come on, India, Jio Digital Life.

(Come on India, live digital life)

Reliance Jio

2

Ab     Daudega  Hindustan.

(Now, India will run)

Dabur Glucose-D

3

Bharat ka apna biscuit.

(India’s own biscuit)

Parle-G

4

Naye     India ke  Saath.

(With new India)

Flipkart

5

The fan of India.

Khaitan Fan

 

Conclusion

Advertisements have become a part of our life, and in fact, it is now impossible for us to pass a single day without going through some advertisements. These creative, striking, and appealing advertisements are available on television channels, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, hoardings, posters, pamphlets, YouTube videos, mobile applications, and websites, etc.  Some studies have reported that the use of creative language, image, graphic design, and endorsement of celebrities like: famous film stars, cricketers, footballers, etc. leave an impression and great impact on the mind of customers. Because of this impact, they don’t even realize the low nutritional value of the products such as soft drinks and fast food, etc. To conclude this study, we can say that the advertisers make use of several linguistic devices which are found and discussed in this study. These linguistic devices are encoded in the meaningful messages that are delivered to potential customers. The success of advertisements is not only in the logic hidden in them but also in the fantasies that they deliver to the viewers, listeners, and readers. The advertising language is foregrounded, and it is highly creative that it keeps potential to attract people and help them remember the advertising slogans which are directly associated with the products/ brands. The phonological devices such as; rhyme (Mint-o Fresh. Bole toh ekdum Fresh.‘Mint-o Fresh. When you speak, absolutely fresh’); alliteration (Meri Maggi  Meri  Masti. ‘My Maggi My Fun’); and assonance (Lo. Do. Khatam  Karo. ‘Take. Give. Finish’), etc. create rhythm and musical quality that make the advertising slogans easily memorized.

Moreover, the morphological devices, such as; code-mixing (Information smart toh decision bhi smart. Information is smart then the decision is also smart’); the degree of comparison (Ideas that make life brighter); hybridization (Safar ke  waqt no ullu  banawing.‘While traveling, do not make fool’); and reduplication (Thanda  Thanda. ‘Cool Cool’), etc. help advertisers in producing creative words through the morphological word-formation processes. Furthermore, the stylistic devices, such as; antithesis (Intel Inside Amazing Experiences Outside); apostrophe (What an Idea!); hyperbole (Ham samjhe apki dunia. ‘We understand your world’); metaphor (Dimag ki batti jala de. ‘Turns on the light of brain’); onomatopoeia (Itna Smooth… Likhe san sananan saayen saayen. ‘So smooth…. Writes like san san sanan saayen saayen’); and personification (The Baap of all pay apps. ‘The father of all pay apps’), etc. make the language beautiful, interesting, attractive and figurative. Finally, besides these devices, some other important aspects, such as; graphological (Center fruit- Kaisi  jeebh laplapayee! ‘Center fruit- How the tongue wagged!’); and national (Come on India, Jio Digital Life. ‘Come on India, live digital life’), play an important role in the advertising language. The graphic design of the language, such as capitalization, font size and color, background, and use of images, leaves an unforgettable picture in mind. The national aspect, such as the use of the country’s name and flag in the advertisements, also plays an important role as it is associated with the emotions, feelings, and love towards the nation.

 

Declaration of Conflicting Interest: The author declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. 

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Mohammad Shariq (Ph.D., Aligarh Muslim University, 2013) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Translation at the College of Sciences and Arts, Methnab, Qassim University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His areas of academic interest are theoretical, descriptive, and applied linguistics. 

  

 

Correspondence to: Mohammad Shariq, Department of English and Translation, College of Sciences and Arts, Methnab, Qassim University, Qassim- Buraidah P.O. Box 6666-51452, Saudi Arabia.

 

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