ADVERTISEMENT AS A LANGUAGE OF PERSUASION (A CASE STUDY OF EBONY MAGAZINE)
In today’s media landscape where it’s very difficult to shape consumers attitude and intentions and move them to next level of buying process, advertisers find it even more difficult and challenging to break through the clutter of competing advertisement. The advertising industry has experienced dynamic change over the last several decades. The changes have been good in terms of Technology advancement, Medium and more methods to attract consumers and on Creativity. This research is carried out on advertisement as a language of persuasion and has evaluated the influence of persuasive language on people. Also it has examined language as a strategy for marketing commodities and its effects on the consumers. Language as a medium of communication determines the success of the adverts and has a tool used to influence consumers to accept the advertised product. The research has to some extent looked at the linguistic components that make advertising successful and also informs better ways of drafting advertisement that enlighten consumers about their purchase. Also the research uses observation in gathering of its data; where it was gathered that appropriate use of language in advertisement can help to persuade consumer in the purchase of Ebony products. Given to these findings are appropriate recommendations made.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Language is a phenomenon that entails different definition depending on the individual reception of the concept. Language plays a vital role in or existence as human beings. The human existence is meaningless without language. It is therefore not surprising that language is said to be ubiquitous. It is part and parcel of the social man. Man use language to express his v as tied interest, aspiration and other social activities. Through language is not easy to define, many Linguists have given their various definitions for it according to Bloomfield:
Language is a code whereby ideas about the world are represented through conventional system of arbitrary signals for communication.
This assertion means that language is a system of words, which has meaning and enables man to communicate his views, ideas, feeling and perspective of the universe. Similarly, Hall defines Language as an institution whereby humans communicate and interact with each other by means of habitually used oral auditory symbols.
Central to the above definition, language is a system whereby man expresses his thoughts and feelings to his fellow man. It is then obvious that men use language to convince one another on issues which are of interest and benefit to them on daily basis. Language has a powerful influence on people and their behavior. It conveys specific message with the intention of influencing them. Brown and Yule say that language has transactional and interactive functions. The interactive function has an interpersonal relationship between the speaker and the hearer not only given information but building relationships. The transactional function of language deals with the use of language for business purposes, in that there is no relationship between the speaker and the hearer. Therefore it is focused on passing message across, which has to be accurate.
The above claims are not always true in the case of the language of advertising because it has a target to meet. It thereby has a convincing, that is to say advertising language may not always be correct in its uses. Its most important function is to communicate information in a manner to achieve a response. The language of advertising explains its position as a means to an end by the way it functions, namely to convince and to receive a response. Marketing and advertisement excel in the area of social influence. It informs people about availability of a particular product or service with the aim of making them respond by patronizing such products or services. Oxford English dictionary says,
Advertisement is a call to the attention of another to give him notice, to notify, admonish or impressive manner.
Advertising is seen here to have a convincing effect on the listener. That is, persuasive language must be uses to convince the listener into believing that nothing other than this particular product or service is better. This act therefore uses language as a device for persuasion.
This research intends to discuss the need for the language of persuasion in advertising. The research shall also analyze the linguistic components that make advertising persuasive and successful.
HISTORICAL EXCURSUS OF EBONY MAGAZINE
Ebony is a monthly magazine, founded by John H. Johnson in 1945. The magazine has evolved over the years; in 2010 it began a redesign process to update its longtime brand. In the past, the magazine was persistently upbeat, much like its postwar contemporary Life. Ebony, edited by John H. Johnson, has striven always to address African-American issues, personalities and interests in a positive and self- affirming manner. Its cover photography has focused on prominent African-American public figures, including actors and entertainers, and politicians.
Ebony magazine makes advertisement often on hair products for women and men; it uses advertisement to persuade their customers to purchase their products. For decades, advertisers created advertise specifically for Ebony, which featured black models using their products. Ebony contributes to diversity by also running advertise that feature non-black models.
The magazine focus is on Fashion Fair, automobiles, politics, health and new music articles.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is said that advertisement of products, especially new product is very important for target customers to be aware of the existence of the product in the market. It is also a remainder for existing customer about their products. This project is written to elaborate on the persuasive language in advertisement of Ebony hair treatment product, giving the following problem.
Customers are difficult in nature and really needs a persuasive language to convince them to purchase a product.
Advertising at the wrong time
The better ways of advertisement that will top the sale chart of the organization.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The reason for this research work is to lay emphasis on how Ebony Magazine Company uses advertisement as a language to persuade their target customer to purchase a particular product especially hair treatment products. With the selection of right words will help to persuade customer to purchase variety of products that will satisfy their needs. Also to review and bring out the various opinions and ideas used by Ebony magazine in the advertisement of their product. How advertisement can be used as a language of persuasion and to analyze the linguistic components of advertisement used in some selected copies of Ebony Magazine advertisement to market their Hair Treatment products.
1.4 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The aim of this research is to examine the linguistic components of persuasive language that make adverts effective and successful. The language of persuasion has influence on people. Therefore, advertisement uses it as a tool to achieve its success. This work also some at educating advertisement on better ways of producing advertisement that will top the “sales chart” as their most important concern and at the same time help consumers during purchase of products.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of adverts is to appeal to the emotion of the consumer by convincing them to accept or buy what the advertiser has to sell. Adverts are usually designed using attention seeking devices to attract people to buy the advertised items which are mostly presented in captivating forms.
The hair is known to add beauty to every woman in the way that she desires. That implies that for anyone to buy hair products, the product has to be effective. The success of any adverts depends on its persuasive ability. This work aims at helping advertisers to promote their product by effective use of advertisement to capture the mind of people.
Research methodology according to Abbag (18) “is the conceptual framework of which the whole research is based” on the other hand, it is a plan researcher uses to carry out the research work thereby selecting the important and adequate information in order to carry out a suitable and effective study for the best conclusion.
The method adopted in carrying out this study is through primary and secondary data. The primary data consist mostly of personal observation of some hair treatment products advertisement in Ebony magazine.
The secondary data is another method of data collection in which the study was based on.it entails library research in which numbers of text books, magazines, and journals were employed. Others include the use of materials from the internet and library, papers presentation, annual symposium, seminars and various write ups.
However, both sources of data were reliable and satisfactory in view of the fact that the researcher collaborated the information’s obtained with personal observation. These methods we’re adopted to analyze the persuasive language used for the success of the advertisement. The analysis will discuss the basic features in the data presented.