Persuasive techniques in advertising

IRINA D. ROMANOVA and IRINA V. SMIRNOVA

The article explores persuasive techniques employed in commercial advertising and linguistic devices used to realise them. This study views persuasive techniques as features of rhetoric used for expressing logos, ethos and pathos. Depending on the principle of argumentation employed, the techniques are classified into three groups: those pertaining to logical reasoning (logos), those presenting a positive image of the company (ethos), and those involving the emotional component (pathos). The authors provide a detailed description of the persuasive techniques identified in the course of the research and single out the corresponding linguistic devices. The corpus of materials for the analysis comprises authentic commercials and original scripts of sample advertisements recommended for advertising agencies. Statistical frequency of persuasive techniques is elaborated to identify and describe the universal persuasive technologies used in advertising. Awareness of persuasive techniques improves the quality of advertising that affects the recipient’s preferences and attitudes in a subtle way without limiting their freedom. The results of the study will prove useful for those involved in the advertising industry as well as for everyone interested in the issue.

KEYWORDS: persuasion, advertising, argumentation, ethos, logos, pathos, persuasive technique

IRINA D. ROMANOVA. Teacher in the Dpt of Foreign Languages, Moscow Aviation Institute (Russia). Currently works on her PhD concerned with the persuasion techniques in modern English business communication. Research interests cover communicative persuasion and linguistic and pragmatic aspects of business interaction.

IRINA V. SMIRNOVA. CSc in Linguistics, Associate Professor in the Dpt of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Economics, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University). Teaches Professional Translation and Interpretation, participates in organising and conducting research conferences. Research advisor for BA students. Research interests cover intercultural communication, translation and interpretation, and foreign language teaching methodology.

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