A Linguistic (Critical Discourse) Analysis of Consumer Products’ Advertising in Nigeria

Oyedokun Alli, Wasiu Ademola

Abstract


Language is the chief means by which humans communicate among themselves; it is also a veritable means of socialisation. In essence, language is an important arsenal used to influence others around us. Clive Johnson and Jackie Keddie (2011) assert that “the impact of what and how we communicate can be very profound for others”. This paper examines the use of language in the advertising industry and posits that in advertising, not only is language used to inform or sensitize, but it is also used to deceive. Language has immense power, and its impact depends entirely on how we wield it. Advertising has a great influence on our purchasing decisions. Consumers are exposed to countless commercial messages everyday “persuading them to buy brand name products”. This is achieved through certain contrivances, which the paper fully discusses. The searchlight of this paper beams on such questions as: does advertising tempt us into buying things we don’t need; does it affect us subliminally in ways we can’t control; how much latitude should marketers have in the kind of products they promote and how they advertise them; do consumers have some responsibilities in the process; what is the proper role of government, especially in protecting the consumers? In sum, the paper sets for itself the task of determining the “border line” between persuasion and deception, in the language of advertisement. It finds that through the subtle means of “appealing” and “persuading, certain deceptive contrivances and even outright falsehood are sued to hoodwink the consumer. The implications are that consumers are “tricked” to buy what they don’t really need; advertisers “overstretch” claim on their products and services; and, finally the advertising, not the product itself, becomes the selling point. It also recommends among others that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Advertisement Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria and such other regulatory agencies should be empowered to verify all claims in advertisements before such claims are published.

Keywords


Language, Advertising, Persuasion, Deception, Linguistic, Critical Discourse, Analysis

Full Text:

PDF

References


Adekoya, S and Adetoro, J. (2001) Fundamentals of Statistics and Researches Methodology Lagos: Tunwobi Publishing Services.

Allen, F. (1994) Secret Formula: How Brilliant Marketing and Relentless Salesmanship Made Coca-Cola the Best Known Product in the World. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.

Althusser, L. (1971) Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Arens, W., Weigold, M. and Arens, C. (2011) Contemporary Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications. New York: McGraw Hill Publishers

Bamgbose, A. (1963) A Study of the Structure and Word Classes in the Grammar of Modern Yoruba, Ph.D. Thesis, Edinburgh

Banjo, A. (1969) A Constructive Study of Aspects of the Syntactic and Lexical Rules of English and Yoruba, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Ibadan.

Bloomfield, L. and Newmark, N. (1963) Language: An Introduction. New York: Rinehart and Winston.

Bovee, C. and Arens, W. (1989) Contemporary Advertising. Illinois: Irwin Eaglewood. Chafe, W. (1994) Discourse, Consciousness and Time Change. University of Chicago Press.

Coulthard, M. (1985) An Introduction to Discourse Analysis. London: Longman

Downing, J. (1984) Radical Media: The Political Experience of Alternative Communication. Boston: South End Press.

Fairclough, N. (1995) Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language. London: Edward Arnold.

____________(1992) Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity Press

Fairclough, N. and Wodak, R. (1997) Critical Discourse Analysis. In T. A.van DIJK(ed.) Discourse Studies: A Multidisciplinary Introduction, Vol. 2. Discourse as Social Interaction. London: Sage Publishers.

Foucault, M. (1980) Power/Knowledge: Selected Writings and Other Interviews. ed. C. Gordon. New York: International Publishers

Fromkin and Rodman (1974) An Introduction of Language New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc.

Gramsci, A. (1995) Selections from the Prison Notebooks. New York: International Publishers.

Greenberg, J.H. (1996) Language Universals, Mouton.

Johnson, C. and Keddy, J. (2011) The Power of Language and Its Impact. [www.mediate.com].

Lado, R (1965) Linguistics Across Cultures: Michigan, Michigan University Press.

Lasker, A. (1995) What Advertising Agencies Are-What They Do and How They Do It. 7th Ed. New York: American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Littlejohn, S. And Foss, K. (2005) Theories of Human Communication. Australia: Wadsworth.

Louis, C. (2010) Essentials of Advertising. London: Harcourt Publishers.

Nesler, M. (1993) The Effect of Credibility on Perceived Power. Journal of Applied Psychology, 23 (17).

Quirk, R. and Greenbaum, S. (1973) Performance and Judgement Tests. London: Longman.

Sedivy, L. (2014) A History of Human Communication: A Biographical Approach New York: Free Press.

Tinuoye, M. (1991) A Constructive Analysis of English and Yoruba Morphology; M.A Thesis Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Van Dijk, T. (1993) Discourse and Society. London: Sage Publishers

Wodak, R. (1997) Determination of Guilt: Discourses in the Courtroom. In C. Kramarae, M. Schulz and W. O’ Barr (eds), Language and Power. Beverly Hills; Sage

_______(1984) Gender and Discourse. London; Sage Publishers.

(www.wikipedia/critical-discourse-analysis/)

(www.readwritethink.org)




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.10n.2p.159

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.