An investigation into the linguistic features of supermarket advertising and its relationship with social class

2109 WordsJul 8, 20189 Pages
An investigation into the linguistic features of supermarket advertising and its relationship with social class Introduction and Literature Review This study will consider the grammatical and phonological features of supermarket advertising, using adverts from a range of supermarkets, each with a different target consumer range of a different social class group. Prior to gathering information, I consulted a plethora of literature. I shall begin this analysis by referring to a statement from Sean Brierley; ‘consumers self-identify with products, and buy when they can see a match with their own personality.(2002:124)’ This implies that the linguistic features advert should correlate with the linguistics of its target social class in…show more content…
Myers (2000:203) talks of the importance of some sellers to create ‘ordinariness’ in advertising. It is important to conjure a sense of ‘everyday conversation’ within an advert, in order for a company to identify with a target consumer group. With reference to Myers work, and its relationship to this investigation, the non-standard utterances may exist to lower the register of the advert, thus rendering it more accessible and relatable to its target consumer; the upper and lower working classes. When considering social grouping, it is important to consider the notion of speech communities, and their influences on language of advertising(2000:202). William Labov argued that ‘speech communities are a subconscious agreement about the relative values of different variants.’ Essentially, Labov is recognizing that within the social stratification system, there exists an acceptance of linguistic variation between social classes – something of an unwritten understanding about the implications of linguistic variables; for example, the elision of ‘of’ in ‘cuppa tea’ is present predominantly in the working class. It could be that the supermarkets have recognised these variables, and are employing them within their respective adverts in order to align their selves with their target speech community, and so, their target consumer. Linguistic Prestige With the concept of speech communities in mind, this

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