Asian Social Science; Vol. 9, No. 3; 2013
Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education
Beauty Product Advertisements: A Critical Discourse Analysis Kuldip Kaur1, Nalini Arumugam2 & Norimah Mohamad Yunus1
Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA Melaka, Alor Gajah, Malaysia
Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam, Shah Alam, Malaysia
Correspondence: Kuldip Kaur, Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA Melaka, KM 26, Jalan Lendu, 78000 Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia. E-mail: email@example.com Received: December 17, 2012
Accepted: January 11, 2013
Online Published: February 28, 2013
We thank Universiti Teknologi MARA for the Excellence Grant to fund the research and publication. This is very encouraging and inspiring for the researchers to publish further. Abstract
This study examined beauty advertisements in local English magazines from a Critical Discourse Analysis perspective. This study mainly focused on the use of language in beauty advertisements and strategies employed by advertisers to manipulate and influence their customers. The analysis is based on Fairclough’s three-dimensional framework. It demonstrates how the ideology of ‘beauty’ is produced and reproduced through advertisements in popular local women’s magazines. A qualitative research was conducted on beauty product advertisements in two popular local women’s magazines, Cleo and Women’s Weekly. The findings indicated that advertisers used various strategies to manipulate women. The advertisements promote an idealised lifestyle and manipulate readers to a certain extent into believing whatever that is advertised is indeed true. This study revealed how the ideology of beauty is constructed and reconstructed through magazines by stereotyping how beauty products are synonymous with a better life. Advertising language is used to control people’s minds. Thus people in power (advertisers) use language as a means to exercise control over others. Keywords: CDA, advertisements, power, manipulate
The stiff competition in attracting potential customers has forced advertisers to employ vigorous advertising strategies techniques such as, construct a problem that can only be solved by using their products. Similarly, beauty product companies advertise their products to convince women. Magazines are a good example of a powerful media which regularly reach a vast number of women. The local English Language magazines are constantly flooded with beauty product advertisements. Some of them provide quite a lot of information such as, the background of the product, its effectiveness, feedback or testimonies by celebrity’s or women who have used the product, price, and so on whereas some are rather short and condensed. These advertisements tend to manipulate readers to a certain extent into believing whatever that is advertised is indeed true. The major stakeholders in advertising are the manufacturers, consumers and advertising agencies. Advertisements reach out to consumers through various media such as internet, radio, television, magazines and newspapers. In order to ensure that advertisements are able to reach the target group, advertisers need to select the right medium. For instance, if the target group is the generation Y group, then internet would be the best source as many young people today go online when purchasing products be it clothes, gadgets, books and so on. As print media such as magazines can reach both young and old alike, advertisers or manufacturers of products take opportunity to promote their product through this media. Visuals and language in the advertisements play a pertinent role to attract women. The next section will discuss on the role of language in advertising. Cook (2001) points out that advertisements inform, persuade, remind,...
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