Rhetorical Strategies in Advertising: The Rise and Fall Pattern

Anne A. Christopher


Throughout the decades, there have been changes in persuasive strategies used by advertisers. A study was carried out on 500 advertising slogans dating from the late 19th century till the early 21st century, spanning a period of over a hundred years. The slogans were selected from 13 multinational and established companies and arranged according to the year they were created. The companies selected were ones that existed from the late 1800s and which still exist today. A cross-section of the slogans were analysed qualitatively for the presence of rhetorical figures and various persuasive strategies in a pilot study. The trend of the use of rhetorical figures and communicative and stylistic strategies used throughout this period was also calculated using quantitative analysis. The findings reveal a rise and fall pattern throughout the decades of both rhetorical figures and communicative and stylistic strategies used in advertising slogans. The pattern is also present in the layering of the rhetorical figures throughout the decades. Therefore the study has discovered the presence of a cyclical continuum that involves the selection of certain rhetorical figures and persuasive strategies in a particular period but not in others.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n8p773

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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