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Language Analysis of Manipulation in Advertising (English and German Languages)

Student: Viktoriia Sokolova

Supervisor: Elena Lutkova

Faculty: School of Foreign Languages

Educational Programme: Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communication (Bachelor)

Final Grade: 10

Year of Graduation: 2021

Initially aimed at communicating the product’s value to potential customers, advertising does not merely inform the audience about the goods, but also implies influencing purchase intention of consumers by indirectly manipulating their preferences and values. Manipulative advertising as a research field emerged in modern linguistics a few decades ago but is increasingly gaining prominence in academic circles due to the pressing issue of competition in the context of an oversaturated market. Penetrating a new product or service under such intense conditions may prove extremely challenging. Therefore, to stimulate the customer’s desire for a purchase, advertisers heavily rely on language manipulation when designing an ad. Since values and attitudes manipulated through advertising are deeply rooted in our culture, successful manipulation cannot disregard cultural specificities of the target culture. This paper explores manipulative advertising in two different cultural settings and applies a cross-cultural content analysis of American and German TV commercials in order to examine the most prevalent strategies and means of linguistic manipulation commonly employed in modern advertising. The study also identifies similarities and differences in the use of certain manipulation techniques between the two different cultural and linguistic systems and attempts to reveal a correlation between the choice of language manipulation tools in the advertisements and specifics of the American and German cultures.

Full text (added May 20, 2021)

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