Advertising - A Mechanism of Shaping Identities

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Introduction i
CHAPTER 1- Advertising: An Overview 1
1.1. What is Advertising? 1
1.2. The Evolution of Advertising 1
1.3. Means of Communication in Advertising 4
1.3.1. Media 4
1.3.2. Indirect Advertising 4
1.3.3. New Media and Advertising Approaches 5
1.4. The Mission of Advertising Nowadays 7
CHAPTER 2-The Discourse of Advertising 12
2.1. Advertising and Communication 12
2.2. Types of Advertising Discourse 13
2.3. Techniques of Advertising 14
2.4. The Syntax of the Advertising Discourse 17
2.5. The Semantics of the Advertising Discourse 20
2.6. The Rhetoric of the Advertising Discourse 21
2.6.1. Iconic Rhetoric 22
2.6.2. Linguistic Rhetoric 24
2.7. The Elaboration of the Advertising Discourse 26
CHAPTER 3-The Advertising Message 28
3.1. Specific Words and Phrases 28
3.1.1. Words, Text layout and Fonts 28
3.1.2. Novel Words - Breaking the Rules of Normal Language 31
3.2. Intertextuality 32
CHAPTER 4-The Language of Advertising Dictating Identities 34
4.1. The Construction of Postmodern Identity 34
4.2. The Influence of Language from Beauty Ads on Identities (case study) 36
Conclusion 45
Bibliography 47
Appendices 50
Rezumat 51
Resume 56

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The aim of this paper is to prove that advertising is more complex or difficult than it appears in the eyes of the consumer and to study its powerful mechanism of triggering reactions in the consumers' minds determining their behavior. It also makes an attempt to clarify and explain the ideologies that are created within the advertising discourse. I resorted to scientific literature and critical work in order to fully understand the way advertising functions and try to uncover the internal relationship which gives language its form and functions and its influence over the consumer's identity. 
In choosing this topic I was influenced by my learning experience with the analysis of the advertising discourse, being a student that will major in Applied Modern Languages opened new frontiers for me and it also changed my perspective and view on advertising and what it involves and its essential and influential role in shaping egos and dictating identities. 
The paper is structured in four main chapters. The first chapter contains an overview of the phenomenon of advertising: what it represents, its evolution in time, the means of communication in commercial advertising and the objectives of advertising in a postmodern society. It present in a detailed manner how advertising affects the consumers, what it does for business and society, underlining the fact that despite that advertising is an essential instrument for economic growth it has its social costs. It highlights the functions of advertising as a means of mass communication and emphasized the fact that advertising plays the role of an intermediary between the products and the customers. 
The second chapter is meant to distinguish the main features of the advertising discourse, while underlining the fact the advertising discourse is the fundamental factor of advertising's symbolic system. The discourse of advertising carries a eulogistic message of the consumption society. This chapter testifies that the never-ending and perpetual model of the advertising discourse undergoes a biaxial rhetoric: linguistic and iconic and that advertising is the disguise of meaning. It also focuses on studying advertising at a more abstract level in order to observe that advertising responds to a double demand: material and emotional, and it determines the consumption of the product form a double perspective: as an object and as a sign. I also cast my attention upon the elaboration of the advertising discourse, highlighting the fact that linguistically speaking, the advertising discourse is complementary with the text hence its request of good command of language. 
The third chapter focuses on linguistic aspects of the advertising message in magazine ad-vertisements and it contains an anticipation of the linguistic elements that will be approached in the practical part of the paper: specific words and phrases-I emphasize the fact that the language of advertising uses common words with both literal and emotional value, while casting light on the aspects of layout. It questions the normality of the language used in advertising and reveals the fact they the language used in advertising has its occasional artful deviations. It also lays accent on the issue of intertextuality in order to prove that it is an essential component of the ad-vertising message and it sets no boundaries. 
The fourth chapter of this paper commences with a short description of how the postmodern individual builds its identity, bringing attention on the defragmenting process of the postmodern identity as a result of an extraordinary persuasive mechanisms. The paper ends with a personal analysis on how the language used in slogans manages to influence identities. I chose to observe the phenomenon on 20 magazine ads, namely ads for cosmetic products. My aim is to emphasize the way in which language is used contributes to the way the average woman shapes her identity by revealing the duality of the advertising message. 
It is my hope that I have managed to demonstrate that writing this paper enabled me to raise awareness of the complexity and power of this great mechanism of advertising but also provided me an incentive for a different approach to my own experience. 
CHAPTER 1- Advertising: An Overview
1.1. What is Advertising?
Advertising represents a form of communication whose purpose is to inform potential customers about products and services and how to obtain and use them. Many advertisements are designed to generate increased consumption of products and services through the creation and reinforcement of brand image and brand loyalty. For these purposes advertisements often contain both factual information and persuasive messages. Every major medium is used to deliver these messages, including: television, radio, movies, magazines, newspapers, video games, the Internet (Internet advertising), and billboards. Advertising is often placed by an advertising agency on behalf of a company. Advertisements can also be seen on the seats of grocery carts, on the walls of an airport walkway, on the sides of buses, heard in telephone hold messages and in-store public address systems. Advertisements are usually placed anywhere an audience can easily and frequently have access: visuals and/or audio and print. Organizations which frequently spend large sums of money on advertising but do not strictly sell a product or service to the general public include: political parties, interest groups, religion-supporting organizations, and militaries looking for new recruits. Additionally, some non-profit organizations are not typical advertising clients and rely upon free channels, such as public service announcements.

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