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Figures of Rhetoric in Advertising Language

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Author Info

  • McQuarrie, Edward F
  • Mick, David Glen

Abstract

A rhetorical figure can be defined as an artful deviation in the form taken by a statement. Since antiquity dozens of figures have been cataloged, ranging from the familiar (rhyme, pun) to the obscure (antimetabole). Despite the frequent appearance of rhetorical figures in print advertisements, their incorporation into advertising theory and research has been minimal. This article develops a framework for classifying rhetorical figures that distinguishes between figurative and nonfigurative text, between two types of figures (schemes and tropes), and among four rhetorical operations that underlie individual figures (repetition, reversal, substitution, and destabilization). These differentiations in the framework are supported by preliminary validation data and are linked to suggested consumer responses. The article also considers the theoretical import of the proposed framework for future research on rhetorical structure in advertising. Copyright 1996 by the University of Chicago.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

Volume (Year): 22 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (March)
Pages: 424-38

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:22:y:1996:i:4:p:424-38

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/

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Cited by:
  1. Davison, Jane, 2014. "Visual rhetoric and the case of intellectual capital," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 20-37.
  2. de Burgh-Woodman, Helene & Brace-Govan, Jan, 2006. "What's in a Name? A Comparative Analysis of Surf and Snow Brand Personalities," MPRA Paper 25385, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 28 Dec 2006.
  3. Joy, Annamma & Sherry Jr., John F. & Deschenes, Jonathan, 2009. "Conceptual blending in advertising," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 39-49, January.
  4. Jane Davison, 2011. "Barthesian perspectives on accounting communication and visual images of professional accountancy," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(2), pages 250-283, February.
  5. Michelle Amazeen, 2011. "Gap (RED): Social Responsibility Campaign or Window Dressing?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 167-182, March.

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