Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Writing,rhetoric

A Comparative Study of the Visual Rhetoric in English and Chinese Automobile Print Advertisements from the Semiotic Perspective

Author ZhangJuan
Tutor WangQinLing
School Southwestern University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Visual rhetoric Automobile print advertisements Semiotics Comparative study
CLC H315
Type Master's thesis
Year 2010
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As a means of persuasion, rhetoric has been the nucleus of research in advertisements with the verbal contents as the subject. The visual signs are constantly been ignored. Nowadays, it is not difficult to find that there is a tendency of visual bombardment in automobile print advertisements and certain problems have gradually been exposed. Thus this thesis attempts to compare the visual rhetoric in English and Chinese automobile print advertisements so that English and Chinese automobile print advertisers can learn the lessons from the advantages and disadvantages of the award-winning works at home and abroad.It is impossible to explore visual rhetoric in automobile advertisements without discussing the visual signs which are the basic constituents in advertisements. Through comparing the visual signs, visual argument and visual tropes in English and Chinese award-winning advertisements, it can be found that the selection of signs varies according to the focal information advertisers intend to convey and the organization of visual signs focuses on the three types of visual arguments:image of the brand, social status and performance of the car. This is the similarity between English and Chinese automobile print advertisements. However, the visual signs in each English automobile print advertisement are unitary and the visual argument prominent. On the contrary, the number of visual signs in most Chinese automobile print advertisements is overwhelming, making people feel confused and have difficulty in telling the primary from the secondary. Both English and Chinese automobile print advertisements employ visual tropes, but the proportion in English advertisements is slightly higher than that in Chinese ones. Besides, the visual tropes in English advertisements are exploited more effectively than those utilized in Chinese counterparts. Furthermore, English automobile advertisements are inclined to the performance or specific technology of the car while Chinese automobile advertisements lay particular emphasis on the social status the car symbolizes.Based on the similarities and differences along with the experience generalized from the English and Chinese award-winning works, a few implications are put forward to guide Chinese automobile advertisers to construct effective visual text and English automobile advertisers to adapt their works to the target audience and market for the goal of optimizing the visual persuasion in their works.

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