Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 5

Martin Pinker (2013)

Rhetorical Devices
Rhetorical devices serve as a tool to give beauty, variety and power to the language in
which we intend to state. They are highly valued in thedevelopment of contemporary
English advertising. To achieve vividness and humor and to appeal to more readers,
various rhetorical devices are employed in advertising. Some of the most commonly used
rhetorical devices are discussed in the following.
5.1 Simile & Metaphor
Smile and metaphor are used in advertisements to illustrate the characteristics of the
advertisedproducts or services. A simile is a figure of speech which makes a
comparisonbetween two unlike elements having at least one quality or characteristic in
common. A metaphor, like a simile, also makes a comparison between two unlike
elements, but unlike a simile, this comparison is implied rather than stated. A metaphor is
in a sense a condensed simile, differing from the latter only in form and artistry. It is a
higher form and requires greater ability on the part of the reader to perceivethe hidden
association, the insight into persons, things or ideas that is implied(,1997:158-
167). Clearly, with the use of simile and metaphor, two irrelevantmatters can be bridged
and observed.
Lets see an example of simile:
No wonder people say our service is legendary. Smooth as silk.(Youd better
cite complete sentences!!!)(Thai Airway International)
Silk is known for its quality of smoothness. Here the advertiseruses simile, which is
usuallyintroduced by likeor as,to associate its excellent services provided for the
passengers and thus help create an impressive vivid image in the mind of the passengers.
Another example:
Breakfast without orange juice is likea day without sunshine.(Orangejuice)
Here, the writer compares this brand of orange juice to sunshine, which provides people
with comfort and warmth. Drinking theorange juice will give you the pleasant feelingof
have sunshine???,which gives the readers very fresh and warm feeling. Thus, it realizes
its function of persuasion.
Now two examples of metaphor:
Clean skin from head to toe. Neutrogena Body Clear body wash treats, even prevents
body breakouts. (Cosmo Girl, Oct. /Nov., 1999:8) (This sentence does not involve
any use of metaphor!!!)
It's a country richin art, with a wealth of museums. Blessed by year round good weather,
Spain is a magnetforsunworshippersandholidaymakers.Spain Traveling Advertisement

The first one implies that this kind of body wash can help clean your skin
completely.???? The second one likens Spain to a magnet which strongly attracts the
travelers there.
From these examples, we can find that with these figures of speech, the readers can get
very wonderful imagination??? when reading these advertisements. Besides, through
the abundant application of figures of speech in the advertising, the creativeness and
imagination of the advertisers can be revealed. Simile and metaphor have been the
shortcut to arrest the readers attention.
Also this is another example of metaphor
-Connecting People (Nokia Corporation Slogan)

By definition, personification is a figure of speech that gives human form or feelings to
animals, or life and personal attributes to inanimate objects, or to ideas and abstractions (
, 1997:177). The effectiveness of personification in English advertisement lies in
its potency of giving products with emotion and liveliness. Most people agree that the
personified products can foster more trust and affection in potential customers and
therefore arouse more desire for the purchase. The following are some examples.
It may be your car, but its still our baby. (Ford Quality-Care)
Flowers by Interflora speak from the heart. (Interflora flower shop)
Thirty colors. Some so spectacular they send messages.(Ad. of dye)
Unlike me, my Rolex never needs a rest. (Rolex)
In these advertisements, the products are treated as human beings. The first oneis
specifically treated as a baby, since babies are always deeply loved and kindly treated by
their parents and others. From the advertising slogan we can easily know that Ford
Quality-Care workers love and care for Ford cars as much as they do their own children.
The other three advertisements touch upon emotions of love, care and happiness. Flowers
from Interflora are no longer emotionless plants but truthful messengers. The advertised
dye can send messagesthrough its thirty colors. The Rolexs excellent quality is quite
evident as it doesnt need rest. They have good access to the would-be buyers. The
advertisement composers succeed in establishing the affinity between customers and the
advertised products with appropriateapplication of personification.
5.3 Pun
Advertisersusually play with words to make the advertising language interesting and
attractive. Punis an amusing use of a word or phrase that has two meanings
which is called Polysemy or of words with the same sound but different meanings, which
is called Homonymy. We often use puns to make jokes. Although pun is implicit, it gives
the readers much food for thinking. For example:
To write with a broken pencil is pointless. (Polysemy)
Pointless means dull and blunt here. It also means meaningless. The meaning of this
sentence is that a pencil without a sharp end cant write well and meaningfully.
A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired (too tired). (Homonymy)
The one who invented the doorknocker got a No-bell (Nobel) prize.
Pun, the game of words, is used widely in our life. It will leave a deep impression on
readers by its readability, wit, and humor. However, to make a successful and impressive
pun is not easy. Except for its own meaning, the word used as a pun is usually closely
related to the characteristics of a certain product or the brand name of the product in
advertising language. Such coincidence doesnt occur often. Here we present several
classic pun-used advertisements. For example:
Coke refreshes you like no other can. (Coke-cola)
Can has two meanings. One is to be able to do something. The other is a closed metal
container in which foods or drinks are preserved, called tin also. The two different
meanings of can give rise to two different interpretations of this advertisement: Coke
refreshes you like no other drinks can do; Coke refreshes you like no other can-packed
drinks can do. Here is another example:
Give your hair a touch of spring. (a kind of Shampoo)
As a pun, spring means a place where water comes up naturally from the ground and it
also means elasticity. This advertising slogan wants to promise the consumers that the
product can keep your hair moist and your hair will have an active healthy quality
through use of this kind of Shampoo. There are more examples:
Ask for More (More is a brand of cigarette)
A deal with us means a good deal to you. (a department store)
Filled with wit and humor, puns help the advertised product win favor from readers or
potential consumers. Through use of pun, advertisements will be easily remembered
by the readers. (More sentences are needed here!!!)
5.4 Hyperbole
LONGMAN Dictionary of ContemporaryEnglish (1998751)defines hyperboleas[c;u]
an example ofa way of describing something in order to make it sound bigger,
smaller, better, worse, etc, than it really is.In advertising, the use of exaggerated
statements puts emphasis on the particular features of the products or services, or
sometimes achieves humorous effect. For instance:
Coverage so invisible,
Its time to rewrite history. (Ad. of cosmetic)
In this advertisement, the advertiseruses rewrite history, which exaggerates the quality
of the product which can give users the incrediblebeauty.
Another example:
Samsung presents World best. (Samsung)
Here, the advertisement composer uses the hyperbole to claimthat their product is the best
in the world. It shows the confidence and heroic spirit of this brand of product. Thus, it
gives the readers a very profound impression.
Of course, hyperbole should be appropriatelyused in advertising, otherwise it will arouse
the readersdoubt about the products or services and make the advertisement a total
Another example
Red Bull gives you wings. (Red Bull Company)