Essay on Language of Power in Advertising

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I will be looking into the language of power in advertising. The reason I have opted to investigate this topic is because advertising is one of the most powerful and persuasive formulas used in sales industries and many organisations to promote products constantly grabbing our attention. I will be looking at how the language and graphology they use to persuade and encourage readers.

It’s remarkable how the majority of the target audience (depending what advertisement it is ) do not realise how they are persuaded or how their attention is grabbed by just using linguistic devices such as puns, rhymes, pictures and so forth. So this type of study is one I am very keen on as I am concerned with how/why/what language is used to convey power and persuasion.

I will be look at two charity texts.


I have collected both sets of data from the net. Both are charity leaflets from their respective sites.

I originally planned to collect the data without access to the net. However, I encountered some problems finding good quality data. Most data I managed to get hold of had little text but just catchy pictures. So my best option was to go online and search for a good quality leaflet which I did.

The aspects of language I have chosen to analyse are: lexis and semantics, grammar, graphology.

I expect the use of synthetic personalisation throughout in both charity leaflets (Fairlcough 2001). I also expect the use of imperative sentences.



The Unicef charity leaflet is dominated by a picture of three young, hungry and worried girls. It immediately grabs the readers attention. The use of three different children, different ages, d...

... middle of paper ...

... long. It uses simple connectives such as ‘yet’ and ‘but’ to achieve cohesion.

On the other hand, Action Aid has much longer sentences that makes more demands without being critical of the reader. The paragraphs are also much bigger. It also uses wider vocabulary than Unicef for example ‘opportunities’, ‘community’, ‘access’, this is because the target audience as this charity is aimed at more middle class families and possible donors. Some modifiers often have a emotional impact for instance ‘dreams‘,’ personal’, ‘emotionally’. Unlike Unicef who uses dramatic, forceful words, Action Aid decided to use positive modal auxiliaries such as ’bring’ and ’help’.

Action Aid uses interrogatives/rhetorical questions such as ‘how does sponsorship work’ and ‘want to find out more’ - this draws the reader in by using a question that requires to be looked into depth.

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