There are many types of language uses that are found in different contexts. My language study will focus specifically on the language used in cosmetic advertising in magazines. Through my study, the particular linguistic features and conventions of this type of language and its purpose in its context will be determined. The process, which will lead to these findings, will involve the collection of samples, which will incorporate the language used in cosmetic advertising. The samples will be chosen from numerous magazines aimed at females to ensure that there is a variety in the examples collected so that the information on this type of language will be comprehensive and in-depth. The unique linguistic features depicted in the samples identified will then be analyzed for their function in their contexts. Furthermore, the implied audience and the effect that the language has on them will be discovered through recognizing whom the language would primarily appeal to and how they would react to what is being conveyed to them.
There were a range linguistic features and conventions evident in the samples which were analyzed, all of which contributed in enhancing the effectiveness of the content of the advertisements and persuading the audience to purchase the products.
Firstly, many striking similarities were found in the layout of the cosmetic advertisements, particularly in the samples that advertised makeup products, which had visual elements that were more prominent than the textual elements. Photographs of celebrities and models were what made up most the visual elements of the advertisements and their function was to convey to the audience images of what they could look like if they used such products. The textual elements of the samples were placed at certain areas around the image and took up much less space. Enumerations of the name and brand of the product in large font and descriptions of the products and what they were capable of doing were evident in a majority of the samples.
Furthermore, the content and the vocabulary of the samples were analyzed and it was found that adjectives, verbs, numbers, scientific terminology, jargon and alliteration were most frequently used in the advertisements.
Out of the samples acquired and analyzed, all contained at least one adjective, validating that adjectives were the most commonly used language technique used in advertising cosmetics. The majority of adjectives found in the samples were used to describe the product and what their supposed effects were. An example of this was the L’oreal’s ‘Infallible, 8 hour Gloss’, which claimed to create a ‘comfortable, light, non-sticky feel.’ The purpose of these adjectives describing the lip-gloss was to lure the audience into buying the product. The adjectives appealed to the reader’s senses, particularly their sense of touch, as they were able to imagine how the product felt and looked when applied. In addition, the adjective ‘new’, which targeted people’s desire for original and fresh ideas, was found in a large portion of the samples. In the Revlon Colorstay Aqua Foundation advertisement, the ‘new’ was used before the name of the product to create the impression that the product was recent, improved and thus the best.
Moreover, verbs were an important language technique in the samples analyzed as they contributed to persuading the audience into buying the cosmetics. They helped to allow the reader to envision the product being used and how it worked. One example was the Rimmel London ‘Lasting Finish’ Foundation that guaranteed the foundation to be ‘Stress-proof, Fade-proof, Transfer-proof’. This line allowed the reader to imagine the effects of the foundation and how it would feel on them. Another example was the Olay ‘Pore Refining Mousse Cleanser’ where phrases containing verbs were used to show the reader how easy it was to use to...
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