Along with the rapid development of society and economy, advertisements have penetrated into every stratum of the society, becoming the indispensable part of our daily life. Like newspapers, magazines, television, radio, films, telephone directory, art performance, the Internet, and even the human body, advertising makes use of various media to deliver information to the consumer. Absolutely, we are confronted with it all the time. For its important role, advertisement, hence, has been studied by a large number of linguistics from different angles on different levels. This paper will discuss the stylistic features of the advertising slogans, which are taken from the World Ten Classical Perfume advertisement. It covers how some stylistic devices are applied in the female and male perfume advertising slogans based on four levels: the graphological level, the lexical level, the syntactic level and the semantic level. So let’s take a look at the stylistic features of these fabulous slogans to see how it can achieve its aim.
Ⅰ. At the Graphological level
A slogan is a form of verbal logo. In a print ad, it usually appears just beneath of beside the brand name or logo. A slogan sums up what one stand for, one’s specialty, the benefit, and one’s marketing position and one’s commitment. In order to make consumer remember or recite its slogan, the ad is prone to make full use of a variety of typing forms.
Consistent use of initial capitalization. To produce prominent emphatic effect, the ad slogan is just like a headline which uses initial capitalization or random initial capitalization to attract more attention and to stress the significant word to impress the consumer. For instance,
LANCOME: The Fragrance For Treasured Moments
Dior Addict: Dior Addict The Now fragrance from Dior.
Sometimes full use of capitalization.
Sometimes for the same reason as above, the ad slogan needs to emphasize every letter it uses or to make the ad slogan look trim and tidy. For instance,
LANCOME: ♂ POUR HOMME
Seldom use of specific symbol.
As the sample shows above, “♂ POUR HOMME”, we could see a very interesting creation used in the slogan. The mark ♂ represent both the name of perfume and the symbol of masculine, through which this male perfume can easily appeal to a large variety of male consumer. Punctuation use like exclamation mark and question mark.
Exclamation mark can always show feelings of the advertisers and it can also stimulate consumer into buying their perfumes. While question mark is occasionally used to arouse the potential buyers’ curiosity: Does it can real make me special? For instance,
LANCOME: Miracle, so magic!
Estee Lauder: Is staying in touch the same as being in touch?
ⅡAt the Phonological Level
One of the best techniques for bringing in the brand name is to make the slogan rhyme with it. An ad slogan is better if it reflects the brand’s own peculiarity. By this kind of rhyming, the brand name is highlighted. The ad slogan is thus highly purposed. Through the special rhyming, it appears to be more vivid, attractive and effective, and therefore can create an unforgettable mental image in the mind of the consumers.
Use of rhyme
Rhyme is the repetition of identical or closely similar end sounds in lines of verse. On one hand, the rhythmic effect comes from parallelism. On the other hand, the effect is derived from certain phonetic figures. That is to say, the vowel sounds are identical, which is often used in different types of perfume slogans. Look at the following example,
Dior: Gold is cold. Diamonds are dead. A limousine is a car. Don’t pretend. Feel what’s real. C’est Ca Que J’adore.
2. Use of alliteration
Alliteration can help the slogan achieve the strong beating rhythm which can make it an repeatable sentence. By using it, the sentence is more slogan-like. They can be easily remembered by the consumer. Alliteration can also achieve an emphatic effect of the meaning. An example like,
Calvin Klein: Be good, be bad, just be yourself.
We are one for all for ever.
Ⅲ. At the Lexical Level
Use of the celebrity’s personal story
Unlike most other ads which take advantage of large numbers of adjective, the perfume advertising does not attract the potential customer by piling with positive but useless adjectives such as beautiful, glamorous, graceful, wonderful and so on so forth. Instead, these kinds of luxury advertisements fix their eyes on celebrity, or we can say models. And slogans are usually accompanied with a magic love story. This is a very interesting watching focus of these types of advertisements. They usually have plots, conflicts, and the final settlement.
At the beginning, the audience would think they are reading a story or watching a play. But when the perfume appears, they suddenly realize the fact that it is not a story or a play but an advertisement. Usually by then, they have already been attracted, and fall into the trap of the advertisers. Moreover, we have to mention another reason to use the celebrity is make the perfume untouchable and extravagant. Buyers can feel like being under the spot like those celebrities do. Just like a gorgeous woman said, “Every woman alive wants Chanel No.5”, every woman has a yearning for being concerned and lives her princess dream.
2. Sometimes use of personal pronouns
The use of second person pronoun “you” tends to shorten the distance between the product and consumers, as if the ad is speaking to you face to face, making sincere promises, honest recommendations. By using “you”, the perfume slogans stand a better chance to move the receiver or customer to action, because the receiver feels that he is being thought of and taken care of and he is the center point of the producers. The sample sees the statement containing the second person pronoun “you”: ANNASUI: Live your dream.
Calvin Klein: Be good, be bad, just be yourself.
The use of first person pronoun “I” is the most direct way to tell the audience what perfume stands for, the celebrity’s idea, the celebrity’s view and the celebrity’s credit. One of my favorite perfume slogan is that, I wear nothing but a few drops of Chanel No.5.
This is the most famous slogan in the fields of perfume and it also brings Chanel No.5 to glory. It’s a little bit like self-introduction to the potential customers to let them know Marilyn Monroe, recognize her, believe her and trust her. It not only make the ad to be erogenous and erotic, it also contributes to the credibility of the ad and reinforces the enchantment of Chanel No.5.
Ⅳ. At the Syntactic Level
To be easily comprehensible, advertising tends to be grammatically simple. This is shown in the following features respectively.
1. Preference for short sentences and simple structure
Undoubtedly, the slogan must be short and simple, it can not afford to be complicated. Short sentences are easy to remember. They are space saving and always to the point. From the World Ten Classical Perfume’s slogan, we can notice that the longest slogan has 20 words while the shortest one has only 3 words. The average length is 8 words to make the slogan memorable.
2. Frequent use of negation
Negation is rarely used, since no advertiser wants to say No to his products. But this does not mean negation has no place in advertisements. Strangely, those perfume ads are excessively fond of using negation to attract more consumers: Chanel No.5: I wear nothing but a few drops of Chanel No.5. Gucci Guilty: Never feel guilty for their own happiness.
Burberry: The good things in life never change.
It can be inferred from the above slogan that the perfume is exclusive, which indicates that Chanel, Gucci and Burberry surpass others in the perfume field.
Use of interrogative and imperative sentences
The use of questions in advertising discourse is a powerful way to arouse buyers’ attention, since questions do not usually occur without a potential answerer. As is shown in the following example, Estee Lauder: Is staying in touch the same as being in touch? The question is likely to create the same doubt among the audience while at the same time they are more assured of the charm and fragrance of this type of perfume. By comparing “staying in touch” with “being in touch”, it combines the smell imagery and tactile imagery. Sometimes even the body contact cannot catch up with the smell contact. In addition, the advertisers like using imperative sentence, they use every opportunity to exhort the potential customers to act, to buy and to consume. The slogan is their last battle field to get people moved: Gucci Guilty: Never feel guilty for their own happiness.
ANNASUI: Live your dream.
This kind of slogan is the most direct way to achieve the ideal effect.
Ⅴ. At the Semantic Level
Use of Puns
A really good pun can work miracles. The pun using can help the name be remembered while offer a two layered meaning to the slogan. The second layer of meaning can interest and impress the people with its smartness and its novelty. Like the following slogan of Gucci: ENVY for men and women.
The word envy is used as a pun. It is the name of the perfume on one hand, on the other hand, it indicates that those men and women who wear this kind of perfume are easily envied by others.
Use of Hyperbole and Contrast
Hermes: This is for the man who has his feet firmly on the ground, but his head is in the stars. To achieve vividness and deep impression, rhetorical devices are often employed in slogan. Like the Hermes Ad, the advertiser uses both hyperbole and contrast. By using these kinds of rhetorical devices, the ad arouses man’s strong possessive instinct as well as the purchasing desire.
Slogan needs both to inform and persuade. Thus, a good advertising slogan must have selling power, aesthetic value, attention value as well as readability, as previous mentioned. Naturally, its language should be persuasive. The graphological features must please the eye. The appropriate lexical choices should make it vivid, personal, friendly and persuasive. The sentence structure must arouse the potential consumers’ interest or desire to purchase. Finally the use of rhetorical devices should be added to advertising slogan, making it more unique.
1). Adams, Valerie 1982 An introduction to Modern English Word-formation. London: Longman Group Ltd. 2). Fowler, H.R. 1983 The little, Brown handbook. Boston:Little, Brown&Company. 3). Thornborrow, J. 1998. Patterns in Language: Stylistics for Students of Language and Literature. London: Routledge. 4). Angela, Goddard. The language of Advertising[M]. London and New York: Routledge, 1998.
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