A Discourse Analysis of Media Advertising Text on the Internet: c9,t11 Conjugated Linoleic AcidAbstractOver the last ten years the Internet has replaced television and radio as a major source of consumer marketing. Old methods of advertising have been swept away to make room for the new, and these new methods have left advertisers struggling to catch up. The Internet has replaced traditional media text with the sales letter, opening the door for an informal discourse between seller and customer before the sale even takes place. A content discourse analysis of the sales letter advertising the latest weight loss miracle on the market, c9, t11 Conjugated Linoleic Acid, provides a perfect example of how the Internet is changing the face of advertising on a global scale.
Through the analysis I will prove that the Internet has encouraged marketers to replace dull facts, numbers and fine print with a smooth, comfortable discourse between their consumers and themselves. Image analysis compared with the text will also show in spite of its gender neutral text the advertisement uses the males and female ideal of the perfect body as a gender bias to entice customers to buy.
Introductionc9,t11 Conjugated Linoleic Acid (referred to for the rest of the analysis as CLA) represents many societal ideals and historical representations of the human body that would drive a person to purchase the product. Its sales letter is ideal for an in-depth discourse analysis of the conversational style that dominates the Internet. The Internet has provided marketers with a whole new venue of advertising, and with this venue have come new methods of mass marketing. “Companies are moving their advertising dollars away from printed publications and using them more effectively on the web. ” (Malcolm, 2007) Sales letters have replaced traditional mottos and slogans accompanying colorful images, opening the door for more personal interaction and open discourse between buyer and seller long before the transaction is complete. Academic RationaleThis particular advertisement was chosen because it represents one of the major characteristics of both Internet advertising and open discourse media text: an informal, casual discourse to make the customer comfortable with a controversial product.
This advertising campaign also represents the role of social norms in advertising.
The need of men and women all over the world to meet the physical standards set for them by society rather than being comfortable with who and what they are opens the doors for an analysis of the roles that this norm plays in the effectiveness of this advertising campaign. A discourse analysis focusing on the development of personal relations was important when analyzing an Internet media text because the Internet allows advertisers to meet millions of customers a day, most of whom have no interest in taking the time to read facts, figures and dry text.
A personal approach is necessary to capture and keep their attention, and sales letters are usually void of the facts and figures that would make an ordinary content analysis with quantifiable material productive. Discourse analysis, on the other hand, focuses primarily on the presentation of the material and how the product is going to affect the lifestyle of the consumer, which is the principle behind all effective Internet advertising.