Stylistic Peculiarities Of Advertisements Promoting Fast Food Products

Abstract

The rapid growth of mass production, world trade relations and market globalization has determined the increase in advertising activity, since advertising has one main task to promote effectively various goods and services. Advertising being a social, psychological, linguistic, aesthetic, and above all economic phenomenon attracts researchers of various fields of human activity. Advertising plays a crucial role in cash flow, marketing, economy, as its main function is to ensure uninterrupted marketing of manufactured products. Advertising should inform the potential buyer or customer as accurately and truthfully as possible about the properties and qualities of the assortment, about the rules of operation and consumption. Advertising is a huge industry and a successful marketing tool. Nowadays manufacturers tend to attract consumers’ attention by using creativity in language use trying to present a certain idea in a way that is different from the expected way. Therefore, we have to deal with intentional selection or choice of language use outside of the range of normal language. The subject of the article is the investigation of the deliberate choice of phonetic, grammatical and lexical means in advertising messages in order to form a positive attitude of the recipients to the goods or services being advertised.

Keywords: Advertisingchoicedeviationdevicemessagerecipient

Introduction

This article is dedicated to the investigation of the phenomenon of modern advertisements promoting fast food products, which aim is to introduce new food stuffs, shape the population’s taste preferences, and, what is more, to make a customer addicted to the product being advertised.

Problem Statement

Due to the rising demand in fast food products, the global food industry has expanded tremendously. There are several factors that have contributed to this situation, most important of which is changes in the life style of population (Ismail & Mokhtar, 2016). Bioethics food, which is the application of moral laws on food behaviours on the one hand, and on the other hand the manufactures who commercialize fast food, raises many controversial issues, such as: food production and marketing beyond economic and political barriers, though the scientific researches demonstrated that they are affecting the health of human body (Iancu, 2016). It’s not a secret that fast food manufactures struggle severely both for the right to retain long-term customers as well as to acquire new ones. As a customers’ relationship with the fast food company lengthens, companies can double their profits (Reichheld & Sasser, 1990). Creative advertising messages are intended to help brand makers establish successful relationship with consumers by shaping their favourable behaviours and positive attitude to the product (Ngelambong et al., 2016). Promoters try to investigate the consumers in all of their socio-cultural dimensions, including language, mentality, worldview, cultural, social and political values and norms of behaviour (Akimova et al., 2017). These investigations will help identify the vocabulary that is liked and disliked by the consumers of fast food chains. This language feedback will enhance the effectiveness of the future advertising campaigns, consequently enhancing the sales of the product (Zafar, 2016).

Small firms as well as large companies have to reach their target audience in order to promote products they offer. In this respect social media is considered to be the most powerful channel, as it helps manufactures get acquainted with their potential consumers (Musa et al., 2016).

Due to the rapid growth of new technologies, mass media can lose its leading position on the market, unless it changes consumption behaviour (Barabash et al., 2017). The investigation is concerned with both linguistic and extra linguistic peculiarities of English and Russian advertising messages. This fact especially refers to the segment of product advertising. The subject of investigation is the addresser’s deliberate choice of phonetic, grammatical and lexical means in advertising messages with the aim of formation of positive attitude of the addressee to the promoted goods and services. The producer attaches to the product some evaluative connotations (healthy, fast, available, tasty, etc.). For example: (1) Warm, delicious & made to order! (Duck Donuts).

The product can also be associated with the portrait of a target customer (for real men, for good housewives, for those who keep up with the times): (2) Wholesome goodness your whole family can enjoy (Krispy Kreme).

Besides, the promotional video often presents pleasant events at which you can use the product (meeting old friends, romantic evening, outdoor recreation, family breakfast): (3) Add a little sweet to your morning (McDonald’s).

It should be noted that advertising as a whole is characterized by the use of not only explicit, but also implicit meaning. It is done on purpose, since different people perceive things differently (Kabardov et al., 2017).

Therefore, the customer is supposed to decode the information contained in the promotional text on the basis of his or her personal experience, knowledge, expectations. Therefore, implicit information is the result of a loose interpretation of the text, and can be reached by humans through associations of any direction. The use of implicit information seems to be quite efficient and attractive for advertisers.

Thus, the importance of transition from the traditional language to the functional one must be acknowledged, as the times change (Alexandrova et al., 2017).

Research Questions

Theoretical approaches to determining the role of advertising messages to provide examples as well as to describe the most commonly used stylistic devices in advertising printed messages.

Research and practical analysis of the advertising messages.

Purpose of the Study

In the given article, we will try to consider some of stylistic aspects and devices used in advertising messages.

Research Methods

At the stage of preparatory work the advertising slogans were sorted out and the research material was collected. Afterwards the analysis of advertising texts has been carried out which helped to determine the stylistic means used in each of them. The material has undergone an overall observation and topical questions had been stated. The data was printed in a special table and thoroughly interpreted.

Findings

Ideas, events, emotions and author’s attitudes are all encoded in the text through language. The reader is expected to perceive and decode these things by reading and interpreting the text. Decoding stylistics is actually the reader’s stylistics that is engaged in recreating the author’s vision of the world. It may be based on various types of deviation or unexpected combination of language units. Deviation is an intentional selection or choice of language use outside of the range of normal language. The use of different kinds of deviation appeals to promoters since they help make the utterance more emphatic or expressive. In linguistics there are different terms to denote particular means by which utterances are foregrounded, i.e. made more conspicuous, more effective and therefore imparting some additional information (Gutt, 1991). They are called expressive means, stylistic devices, tropes, figures of speech and other names. All these terms are used indiscriminately and are set against those means which we shall conventionally call neutral (Galperin, 1981). Expressive means and stylistic devices are used on all language levels – phonetic, lexical and syntactical.

Phonetic expressive means and stylistic devices

Phonetic expressive means and stylistic devices are used to produce a certain acoustic effect, thus giving emphasis to the utterance and arousing emotions in the reader or listener. In written speech they are conveyed indirectly by expressive means and by special stylistic devices, such as rhyme, rhythm, onomatopoeia, alliteration, etc. This is the way a word, a phrase or a sentence sounds. The sound of most words taken separately will have little or no aesthetic value. It is in combination with other words that a word may acquire a desired phonetic effect; The advertising text must be sound-friendly, and its sound composition must correspond to the meaning of the advertising message. Such an effect can be achieved by using words dominated by sounds with semantics similar to the general meaning of an advertising message. What can be attributed to the phonetic features of the advertising text? This category includes a special rhythmic pattern. It is used by the promoters to produce the desired stylistic effect through the rhythmical arrangement of language units as a constant organic element.

  • Rhythm

Rhythm is created by various repetitions that give the advertising text emotion and expressiveness. Another characteristic often used phonetic technique when creating advertising text can be alliteration, in which not only words, but also sounds have meaning. The possibility to purposefully influence a person, his emotions with the help of certain words and phrases is a widely known stylistic technique. With the help of a successfully selected sound series, the slogan can convey a general idea, as well as at the subconscious level it can give an orientation to the selection of a certain product category, method and situation of product use. For example:

  • «Always fresh, never frozen» (Five Guys).

  • «It takes two hands to hold a Whopper» (Burger King).

  • Rhyme

Rhyme alongside with the rhythm is also effective way to help the consumer facilitate the perception of advertising text. Sometimes rhyme and rhythm can occur within a single slogan:

  • «Once you pop you cаnʹt stop» (Pringles).

  • «It’s good mood food» (Arby’s).

  • Onomatopoeia

This is another interesting phonetic technique used when creating advertising text. The language contains a large layer of sound-forming vocabulary and words called sound displays are quite widely used in the advertising industry. In the process of creating advertising texts, indirect onomatopoeia is often used. It is a combination of sounds aimed at turning a statement into an echo of its meaning. This phonetic technique reinforces the meaning of the statement:

  • «Schweppes! Schhh! You know who?» (Schweppes).

Voiceless consonant sound [ʃ] imitates the hushing sound of beverage at the moment of opening the bottle.

Lexical means

Lexical means are also used in advertising texts. Russian PR researchers correctly suppose that in order to offer a product, it is not enough to know the product itself, you also need to know people (Germogenova, 1994). Lexical means that the authors of advertising texts skillfully use in their works are the main means of convincing the consumer in the fact that the offered products are of high quality. Let's take a closer look to the lexical features of advertising texts.

  • Emotive and expressive vocabulary.

Emotionally coloured words with positive connotations are more frequently used in the analyzed texts:

  • «New cheezе-it twisterz. Bаked, twisty, turny, boldy, crunchy!» - "New cheese crackers Chiz-it. Baked, wavy, bold, crispy!» (Cheez-It).

This message is rich in epithets – adjectives with positive connotations that contribute to creating a bright image of the product in the recipient’s imagination.

  • Verb Combinations

Since the verb denotes an action, it possesses hidden dynamics, movement, and has greater motivational power than other parts of speech:

  • «Try both аnd pick а side» (Twix).

  • Pronouns

When the personal pronoun «we» is used in the advertising text, the promoter implies himself – as a manufacturer, retailer, banker, etc. However, when the personal pronoun «you» is used it can be considered as an appeal to the audience, directly to the consumer.

  • «You're the boss» (Burger King).

  • Adjectives and adverbs

Some scholars believe that adjectives and adverbs are the main lexical components of advertising texts, and therefore more attention should be paid to their use in advertising messages. Moreover, with the help of adjectives and adverbs a unique tone of advertising is created, which contributes to the effective transmission of qualities and benefits of the product being advertised:

  • «Fresh, never frozen. That’s right» (Wendyʹs).

  • «The loudest tаste on Earth!» (Doritos).

According to the thorough analysis of English advertising texts it had been found out that the most frequently used adjectives are «natural», «sensual», «romantic», etc. In Russian-language advertising messages these are the lexemes «new», «novelty», «first», «revolutionary», «unusual», etc.

  • Phraseological Units

The advertising slogans are saturated with figurative language means, including phraseological units that reflect the essence of the author's media message (Baryshnikova et al., 2017). Phraseological units are used in advertising messages as a bright, colourful, successful and easily recognized device. The habitualness and recognition of phraseological units increases the ability of the consumer to perceive, memorize and reproduce the slogan.

  • «Finger lickin' good» (KFC).

Rethought phraseologism is used when the integral meaning of the phraseologism breaks up into separate meanings of its constituent words, as a result of which the expression acquires new shades of meaning associated in the consumer’s mind with the object of advertising. Such phraseological units are more effective than ordinary, more familiar for auditory comprehension. For example:

  • «This is whаt coffee tаstes like when you pour your heаrt into it» (Stаrbucks).

Syntactical stylistic devices

Apart from phonetic and lexical expressive means, promoters tend to use syntactical stylistic devices in advertising texts. When the utterance is expressive, the effect of influence on listener is increased due to a peculiar organization of utterance structure. Let’s focus on each of them in more detail.

  • Parceling

Parceling is a deliberate split of one single sentence into two (or more) parts, separated by a full stop or its equivalent. Being structurally independent, they acquire greater communicative value and impart expressiveness to the whole utterance:

  • «Аnd life. Аnd hаppiness. Аnd style. Аnd expression. Аnd emotions. Аnd music. Аnd tаste. Аnd feeling. Аnd you. АNDY» (АNDY Food).

  • Nominative sentences

Nominative sentences are used to highlight the uniqueness and high quality of an advertised product. A nominative sentence is a variant of one-member structures: it has neither subject nor predicate. It is called nominative or nominal because its basic (head) component is a noun or a noun-like element (gerund, numeral). For example:

  • «Treаts. Food. Drinks & more» (Dаiry Queen).

  • Constructed response questions

These are borrowed by advertising from spoken syntax and are used to draw attention of the advertising consumer to the content of the message, in order to encourage him or her to think independently. Such constructions create ease of statement.

  • «Where’s the beef – M’m! M’m! Good!» (KFC)

  • Antithesis

Antithesis means opposition. It is a figure of thought, which arises as a result of opposition in thinking. It consists in juxtaposing of contrasting words or ideas and thus achieves greater expressiveness:

  • «You’ll either love them or you’ll hаte them» (Mаrmite).

Here the contrast exists in verbs “love-hate”. The stylistic device of antithesis is a common technique in advertising, since people are more likely to remember such slogans, even if they only remember it because they found it irritating, it still sticks in their brain, which is all that an ad needs to do.

  • Exclamatory sentences

Exclamations play the role of signals – they indicate the importance of advertising information and add special expressiveness to the utterance. Promotional messages frequently contain highly expressive exclamations, as they usually convey the author’s exceptionally positive emotions and admiration and they are meant to be read and said with a particular emphasis:

  • «Love at first bite!» (Five Guys).

  • Ellipsis

Ellipsis is expressed by skipping a statement element that can be easily restored in an existing context or in a presented situation of communication (Germogenova, 1994):

  • «Hot! Wow!» (Krispy Kreme).

  • «Nespresso. What else?» (Nespresso).

Ellipsis in advertising is used either to save space or to avoid drawing attention to details which do not serve the advertiser’s interest (Cook, 1996).

  • Repetition

Repetition helps the consumer to better remember the advertised product. Repetition, or reprieve, is a figure of speech in which sounds, words, morphemes, synonyms or syntax constructions are repeated under conditions of sufficient close row, that is, they are located very close to each other, so that they are easily noticed (Germogenova, 1994):

  • «Wokker is an integral part of modern urban life, food in the rhythm of a big city, a place of intersection of different people with different interests and wealth, but united by common motives and desires. Wokker is not fast food, but exceptionally fast service. Wokker is simple and understandable, delicious and very fast!» (Wokker).

  • Syntactical parallelism as a private case of symmetry and as a repeat. Syntactical constructions are lined up identically (fully or partly) (Galperin, 1981). For example:

  • «Loose аn hour. Gаin а doughnut» (Krispy Kreme).

  • grammatical parallelism is an important tool

  • to satisfy the readers aesthetically. It also serves as a potent tool of persuasion as a main source of the persuasive

  • power in many advertisements. Moreover, grammatical parallelism is a tool to harmonize elements across texts.

  • It assists readers by allowing them to anticipate, structurally and logically, what is going to come next. The value

  • of grammatical parallelism goes beyond aesthetics. It points out the structure of the sentence, showing readers

  • what goes with what and keeping them on the right track. Advertisements must be persuasive. Thus, rhetorical

  • devices are to be expected. Finally, grammatical parallelism exists in both Arabic and English and it indicates

  • similar grammatical structures. But parallelism in English has a different function; it operates as a figure of

  • speech while in Arabic it is a text-structuring device

  • grammatical parallelism is an important tool

  • to satisfy the readers aesthetically. It also serves as a potent tool of persuasion as a main source of the persuasive

  • power in many advertisements. Moreover, grammatical parallelism is a tool to harmonize elements across texts.

  • It assists readers by allowing them to anticipate, structurally and logically, what is going to come next. The value

  • of grammatical parallelism goes beyond aesthetics. It points out the structure of the sentence, showing readers

  • what goes with what and keeping them on the right track. Advertisements must be persuasive. Thus, rhetorical

  • devices are to be expected. Finally, grammatical parallelism exists in both Arabic and English and it indicates

  • similar grammatical structures. But parallelism in English has a different function; it operates as a figure of

  • speech while in Arabic it is a text-structuring device

  • grammatical parallelism is an important tool

  • to satisfy the readers aesthetically. It also serves as a potent tool of persuasion as a main source of the persuasive

  • power in many advertisements. Moreover, grammatical parallelism is a tool to harmonize elements across texts.

  • It assists readers by allowing them to anticipate, structurally and logically, what is going to come next. The value

  • of grammatical parallelism goes beyond aesthetics. It points out the structure of the sentence, showing readers

  • what goes with what and keeping them on the right track. Advertisements must be persuasive. Thus, rhetorical

  • devices are to be expected. Finally, grammatical parallelism exists in both Arabic and English and it indicates

  • similar grammatical structures. But parallelism in English has a different function; it operates as a figure of

  • speech while in Arabic it is a text-structuring device

Syntactical parallelism is an important tool to satisfy the readers aesthetically. It also serves as a potent tool of persuasion as a main source of the persuasive power in many advertisements. Moreover, it harmonizes elements across texts. It assists readers by allowing them to anticipate, structurally and logically, what is going to come next. The value of syntactical parallelism goes beyond aesthetics. It points out the structure of the sentence, showing readers what goes with what and keeping them on the right track.

Conclusion

From a syntactical point of view, advertising is characterized by the active use of ellipsis, imperatives and questions of various types, repetitions, exclamations, and syntactical parallel constructions. The advertising texts or messages lean towards the neutral style from the axiological point of view; and towards the literary style in the functional aspect. Whereas the presence of different stylistic expressive means and devices in slogans – such as phonetic, lexical and syntactical make them far more expressive and recognizable.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

27.05.2021

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.02.13

Online ISSN

2357-1330