MANIPULATION AS A MARKETING STRATEGY: A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF BILLBOARDS IN GHANA
Journal: Malaysian E Commerce Journal (MECJ)
Joyce Coleman, Elisabeth Sekyi-Whyte
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
The discourse of advertising has provided a fertile ground for scholars with keen interest in the effects persuasive rhetoric has on both the emotional and the psychological dispositions of people. This study focused on one particular type of advertisement, the billboard advertisement. The aim of the study is two-fold: first, to explore the linguistic and nonlinguistic devices used as persuasive artifacts in billboard advertisements; and second, to find out how ideology was projected by the billboard advertisements. The study is qualitative research. Data collection was done in the Cape Coast metropolis. A total of fifteen billboards were collected. Of these, five were sampled for analysis. The sample was a mixture of billboards that advertised institutions, services, products, or people. The analysis reveals that linguistic devices such as nominals, participles, etc., images, and multiple colours are employed in billboard advertisements to persuade consumers to patronize some product or service. Secondly, billboard advertisements make use of the technique of positive self-representation and negative other-representation in an attempt to manipulate the perceptions of their target consumers. Significantly, the study contributes to existing scholarship on the discourse of manipulation.