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Lesson Ten Multimodal Texts: advertising. Adverts over the years 1. Ivory Soap (slides 3-4) 2. “If it isn’t an Eastman, it isn’t a Kodak” (slide 5) 3.

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Presentation on theme: "Lesson Ten Multimodal Texts: advertising. Adverts over the years 1. Ivory Soap (slides 3-4) 2. “If it isn’t an Eastman, it isn’t a Kodak” (slide 5) 3."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lesson Ten Multimodal Texts: advertising

2 Adverts over the years 1. Ivory Soap (slides 3-4) 2. “If it isn’t an Eastman, it isn’t a Kodak” (slide 5) 3. Heinz “57 Varieties” (slide 6) 4. Eg. Nike (ad. has no obvious connection with product) (slide 7)

3 Ivory Soap (1882 ) cf. 2000 The ‘IVORY’ is a laundry soap, with all the fine qualities of a choice toilet soap, and is 99 44/100 per cent pure. Ladies will find this soap especially adapted for washing laces, infants’ clothing, silk hose, cleaning gloves and all articles of fine texture and delicate colour, and for the varied uses about the house that daily arise, requiring the use of soap that is above the ordinary in quality. For the Bath, Toilet or Nursery it is preferred to most of the soaps sold for toilet use, being purer and much more pleasant and effective and possessing all the desirable properties of the finest unadulterated White Castile Soap. The Ivory Soap will ‘float’.


5 Original names n If it isn’t an Eastman, it isn’t a Kodak n Mercedes Benz n Surf n Things go better with Coca Cola n Kaa

6 Heinz 57 varieties Disregard for truth or for accuracy (initially there were fewer than 57 varieties, now there are many more) Cf. ‘Probably the best beer in the world’.

7 Ads with no obvious or immediate relation to the product n Nike n Guinness n Marlboro man are all examples of multimodal texts that do not mention the product, or show it only at the end of a seemingly irrelevant video.

8 Lombardo n The type of product, the target audience and the context in which the advertisement appears will influence its style to some extent, but in today’s world where many products are far from necessary and where there is a plethora of brands of the same type of product, advertising tends to operate at the level of desirabiltiy and fantasy rather than that of informativity and rationality.

9 The grammar of advertising: some typical features n Imperatives: (‘BUY X;’ ‘Don’t be left behind!’) n Minor clauses: (‘connecting people’; ‘purissima, lievissima,…’ n Monosyllabics: (new, good, get, try) n adjective strings: (“smooth, mellow, tasty”) n generic terms: (some, all, every) n Deictics: (you, we) n etc. (see Lombardo, in ‘Massed Medias’)

10 Spoken language features Low grammatical cohesion short sentences, no subordination (eg. ‘Have a break, have a Kit Kat’) High lexical cohesion Eg. ‘The clean, cool taste of….’ Exclamations: Fresh! New! Interrogatives Eg. ‘Do you suffer from headaches?’etc.

11 Interpersonal language “The spoken language written” Vodafone website Tutto intorno a te. Tutti i tuoi amici In esclusiva per te Scegli anche tu Ti chiamano sul tuo cellulare Al tuo partner e ai tuoi amici

12 Slogans n Beanz Meanz Heinz n A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play n Snap, crackle and pop n Boom, boom,boom,boom - Esso Blue n Mcleans white teeeth mean healthy teeth n Probably the best beer in the world


14 A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play RHYME RHYTHM MONOSYLLABIC but with a total disregard for the truth, cf. HEINZ 57 VARIETIES

15 Snap, Crackle and Pop Rice Krispies (itself a play on words and spelling) ONOMAETOPEIC MNEMONIC

16 Boom boom boom boom Esso Blue A JINGLE highly mnemonic Associated with a cartoon character – ‘the Esso Blue Dealer’

17 Mcleans white teeth are healthy teeth APPEAL TO HYGEINE REPETITION KEY WORDS – white, healthy REPEATED IN SUCCESSION OF ADS.

18 Probably the best beer in the world Competitive advertising at the limit. Modern trend of merely hinting at the Product Cf. Guiness, Nike, modern car ads, cigarette advertising.

19 Creativity n metaphor ‘Say it with flowers’ (Interflora) n visual metaphor ‘Marlboro’ n word play ‘Metal Deflector’ (toothpaste) n associations ‘Go to work on an egg’ n invention ‘Ricicles are twicicles as nicicles’

20 What is a multimodal text? n Several semiotic modalities u dialogue u pictures/design u background noise u gesture u music u colour & light

21 “Multimodal texts are texts which combine and integrate the meaning- making resources of more than one semiotic modality – for example, language, gesture, movement, visual images, sound, and so on – in order to produce a text specific meaning.” Thibault 2000)

22 ANALYSIS OF AN AD. (link)

23 Linguistic Analysis n Theme and Rheme n Information Structure n Cohesion





28 Analysis of an ad. n Analysis of an advertisement n There are a number of approaches to analysing any text; n (a) The ‘Mitsubishi’ text is analysed both in terms of its written text and its non-verbal features:

29 Analysis of a ad. n The grammar of visual design: n  in this case the superimposed verbal text blends in with the background; n  the four lines add to the sense of perspective, the punchline being foregrounded – semantic hierarchy; n  the (interested) reader gets the impression of being in the vehicle; n  the promise – “get away from it all” with the letters of ‘So here I am’ of an exaggerated size; n  a semiotic construct - the background is surreal (and therefore tempting) while the product is real (and therefore attainable); n  two unequal halves – the picture and product are salient; n sharp division of two parts of text – promise/information (two different kinds of meaning)

30 Analysis of an ad. n So this ‘ad’ is a semiotic unit, structured, not linguistically, but by principles of visual composition... verbal text becomes just one of the elements integrated by the codes of information value, salience and framing... reading is not necessarily linear, wholly or in part, but may go from centre to margin, or in circular fashion, or vertically,... (p 185)

31 Insert video Insert video Citroen


33 Multimodal transcription n analyse the various semiotic modalities n presentation in table form n assess how each modality works to give meaning and how they work together n (see next lesson for detailed explanation)

34 Practical applications n analysis of advertisements to check most effective modalities n use in deciding translation strategies for subtitling film, if (some of) the meaning is provided by the other semiotic modalities.

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