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    Puns in the language of advertising

    i am working on my gradutation paper which is Puns in the language of advertising. Before going deep into the main part, I have to introduce about advertising, its structure and types. However, i cannot find the material about its types and structure. Could you please help me with this, thank you.

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    Re: Puns in the language of advertising

    Professor Guy Cook did a book called the Discourse of Advertising, which covers this in some depth.

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    Re: Puns in the language of advertising

    Generally speaking, in copywriting an advert the following points have to be taken into consideration:
    I. Structure Any copywriting of an ad is usually structured around three principles:
    1. Revive or create a need You try to make people believe there is a problem using vocabulary which show wants and needs like:
    Do you need, want? Have you ever felt...? Are you looking for...? Are you missing...?
    2. Satisfy that need i.e. you tell people: Do not worry about the problem we are your friends and here to help you solve it. You of course highlight the benefits and features, give some facts and figures.
    3. Call for action Use imperatives like: phone today, we dare you..., come and test drive it before it's too late (in a sense putting people under pressure to take action)
    Apart from your structure, you need to choose your vocabulary carefully to create a certain picture or atmosphere (implications):
    - the use of extreme adjectives
    - sounds that go together, alliteration
    - the use of metaphor
    - the coice of a picture
    There are many ways how to create a specific atmosphere. Tell your students to use their imagination.
    Usually the text should not be too long since people don't feel like reading a long text. So I believe your implication in the copywrite depends on the play on words and using metaphors. In addition the picture you choose should imply what's in the text. This is psychology since you have either to revive, energize needs or create new ones.
    III. Methodology(meant only for teaching purposes) Personally after introducing the structure using any ad, analysing the language and the implications in the text and in the picture to find out the target group, I ask my students to cut some pictures from magazines or newspapers (alternatively I take some pictures to the classroom) and then let them work in small groups depending upon the size of your class to write a text around the picture. This is a lot of fun and would provide some competition.
    Additional Notes
    1. Whatever we say or write is communicating a message with a certain audience or social situation in mind (audinece or social bound communication i.e. within certain boundaries). Of course advertising is also communicating a message but it is not always meant to work within certain cultural or social boundaries. Your audience might often be or is often culturally different. So the question is: how to make meaning across cultures and disciplines?
    2. In order to communicate a message or make meaning we need a variety of resources. However, these resources are of differnet layers which vary in sequence:
    The first layer is linguistic: (literal or direct communication) achieved by using a variety of linguistic resources: phonetic, syntactic, semantic. In fact language learning and teaching has often been based only on this layer. But language and communication is more than that. Viewing language linguistically provides the most important or the basic layer but it is ultimately a simplification.
    The second layer is context (pragmatics or indirect communication) how to communicate and understand a message through implication (implicature) and playing on words. This is social or cultural bound easy to learn in the natural environment but difficult to achieve when living or learning in a different culture. In addition, there is the interfernce of foreign context.
    The third layer is related to gender, age, level of education...which might even not be understood in L1 setting just take gender related communication problems. Sometimes women and men need an interpreter.
    The fourth layer is extra-linguistic such as non-verbal communication (body language), pictures, graphs. Even silence or no reaction or the abscence of information is communication. If you keep silent (silent communication) and don't react (ignore) you impart a message which might even be more effective. Again it depends on culture. For example Western society has a predominantely verbal culture. We become uneasy and nervous once we stop talking. The pattern of silent communication in oriental languages might frighten the westerners. Some cultures like the French and the Japanese are highly contexual and business partners from other countries must be filled in before business can be properly discussed. On the other hand North American and West European are cultures with low context.
    So advertising across cultures (in the age of globalisation) use implicature and guarantee the message gets across. I think we have to rely on the linguistic layer and use universally (like Chomsky's) understood implicature which is a challenge now. Business is becoming more and more global with the help of IT (Information Technology) and globalisation and advertising cannot afford to be restricted to certain cultures and social situations. After all the film industry and TV have also helped communicating messages across cultures. Perhaps non-verbal communication replaces a bit of linguistic or pragmatic competence.
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 22-Mar-2006 at 10:52.

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