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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 Readings

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Craig Chambers

Language and Advertising Readings for Week 9 16.4.1 Language and the Goals of Advertising - Advertising is a business in which language is used to persuade people to do thing: to buy a particular product, to watch a certain television show, donate to given cause - In almost every single advertising campaign, at one level or another language is used to convey a message - Advertisers must be very savvy users of language, regardless of whether they have any formal training in linguistics or language analysis - Successful advertisers must do at least three things: o Must establish the trust of their audience so that the audience is compelled to pay attention to the content of the advertisement o They must convey some message about what is being advertised o They must convince their audience to act in some way: buy the target product, or to do whatever else the advertiser has set as a goal - Language can be used to accomplish all three of these tasks and often it takes rather subtle linguistic analysis in order to discern how the language of advertisement is used to manipulate its audiences 16.4.2 Using Language to Establish Trust - The trustworthiness of a product or company is addressed indirectly, through an implicature o For example, one common strategy is to announce how long a company has been in business. Although it may have nothing to do with the product, we infer that such claims are intended to mean that a company does something well enough to stay in business for an extended period of time. - Trust is also about foraging a relationship between the audience and the advertiser or the product o One strategy is presupposition – underlying assumption implicit in an utterance o By using a presupposition, an advertiser can create a feeling of common ground between itself and a consumer - Presupposition triggers have been underlined in order to call attention to what the advertiser is presupposing o “We’re cutting prices again.”  Presupposes that prices have been cut before  The advertiser suggests that there is a shared understanding between the advertiser and people watching the commercial that the viewers should have familiarity with previous price cuts  Other cases, presuppositions are more personal, presupposing information not about what is being advertised, but rather about the consumer! o “Don’t forget to come check out our super end-of-season close-out sale!” 
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