eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society cover
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society
PDF | doi:10.3176/esa58.05

Laivi Laanemets

Persuasive techniques of using adjectives in advertising language
The purpose of this article is to study methods of influencing in persuasive communication. The article focuses mainly on advertisements that are clearly designed to persuade their recipient. The study identifies the ways of persuasion that are used in Estonian advertisements. Linguistically, the main focus is on adjectives as they play an important role in advertisements. Their function is to give an advertised product or service an attractive description.
Some advertisements primarily provide information in an attempt to influence people’s attitudes towards an advertised product or service. These advertisements explain what the product does and describe its features. They can describe, for instance, its colour, size, material, shape, etc. These features describe the product as it is and do not add subjective evaluation.
Nevertheless, advertisements often appeal to the affective or emotional component of people’s attitudes. Appealing to emotions is often the best way to influence beliefs and behaviour. Many advertisements appeal to positive values and attach them to the product. Such values may be, for instance, positive physical features of the product, nature and environment, positive features of humans, traditions, modernity, sense of security and confidence, patriotism, uniqueness, etc.
The study also showed that in advertisements it is quite common to influence consumers by appealing to the authority of the advertiser, and, therefore, its experience and professionalism are often mentioned. Moreover, in order to enhance authority in advertisements, one can use terminological adjectives and adjectives referring to widespread use of the advertised product.
Advertisers wish to sell their product or service by using both informative and emotional adjectives that influence consumers.


Adjectives 2010 = Adjectives: Formal Analyses in Syntax and Semantics. Ed. Patricia Cabredo Hoffherr, Ora Matushansky. John Benjamins Publishing Company; (13.04.2012).

Bettinghaus, Erwin P. 1973. Persuasive Communication. Second edition. United States of America: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

Bolinger, Dwight 1980. Language – the Loaded Weapon. The Use and Abuse of Language Today. London and New York: Longman.

Cook, Guy 2001. The Discourse of Advertising. Second edition. London: Routledge.

Dijk, Teun A. van 2005. Ideoloogia: multidistsiplinaarne käsitlus. Culture 2000. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus.

Dyer, Gillian 1982. Advertising as Communication. London and New York: Routledge.,+Gillian+1982.+Advertising+as+communication&hl=et&sa=X&ei=n3azT8bzM8fk4QSOju3ZAg&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Dyer%2C%20Gillian%201982.%20Advertising%20as%20communication&f=false (09.04.2012).

EKG = Mati Erelt, Reet Kasik, Helle Metslang, Henno Rajandi, Kristiina Ross, Henn Saari, Kaja Tael, Silvi Vare 1995. Eesti keele grammatika I. Morfoloogia. Sõnamoodustus. Peatoim. Mati Erelt, toim. Tiiu Erelt, Henn Saari, Ülle Viks. Tallinn: Eesti Teaduste Akadeemia Eesti Keele Instituut.

Harris, Richard Jackson 2004. A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication. Fourth edition. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Jhally jt 1997 = Sut Jhally, Stephen Kline, William Leiss. Social Communication in Advertising. Second edition, revised and enlarged. London and New York: Routledge.

Kasik, Reet 2000. Reklaamikeel tekstiliigina. – Eesti keele allkeeled. 9.–10.12.1999 Tartu Ülikoolis toimunud seminari kogumik. Toim. Tiit Hennoste. (= Tartu Ülikooli eesti keele õppetooli toimetised 16.) Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus, 111–127.

Kasik, Reet 2007. Sissejuhatus tekstiõpetusse. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus.

Kübar, Silvia 2006. Looduslikkusele ja keskkonnale apelleerimine reklaamides. Bakalaureusetöö. Käsikiri Tartu Ülikooli ajakirjanduse ja kommunikatsiooni osakonnas.

Laanemets, Laivi 2010. Adjektiivid reklaamikeeles. Bakalaureusetöö. Käsikiri Tartu Ülikooli eesti keele osakonnas.

Laanemets, Laivi 2012. Adjektiivide mõjutamisfunktsioonid reklaamikeeles. Magistritöö. Käsikiri Tartu Ülikooli eesti keele osakonnas.

Leech, Geoffrey N. 1966. English in Advertising. A Linguistic Study of Advertising in Great Britain. London: Longmans.

MacRury, Iain 2009. Advertising. London and New York: Routledge.

Myers, Greg 1994. Words in Ads. London: Arnold.

Perloff, Richard M. 2003. The Dynamics of Persuasion. Communication and Attitudes in the 21th Century. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Põhjala, Priit 2010. Kahest vastandlikust sõnade grupist reklaamileksikas (eesti reklaamide näitel). – Acta Semiotica Estica VII, 204–220.

Simpson, Paul 2001. ’Reason’ and ’tickle’ as pragmatic constructs in the discourse of advertising.. − Journal of Pragmatics. Vol. 33. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 589−607; (09.04.2012).

Stiff, James B., Paul A. Mongeau 2003. Persuasive Communication. Second edition. London and New York: The Guilford Press.

The Language 2008 = The Language of Advertising. Major Themes in English Studies. Volume I. Ed. Guy Cook. London and New York: Routledge.

Trehan, Mukesh, Ranju Trehan 2010. Advertising and Sales Management (for BBA - 1). India: V.K. Enterprises;
=kPbT6sE8MbsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Advertising+and+sales+management+(for+BBA+-+1)&hl=et&sa=X&ei=PLWzT5aeIoXP4QTmiumQ&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Advertising%20and%20sales%20management%20(for%20BBA%20-%201)&f=false (15.04.2012).

Tutin, Agnès 2010. Evaluative adjectives in academic writing in the humanities and social sciences. − Constructing Interpersonality: Multiple Perspectives on Written Academic Genres. Ed. Rosa Lores-Sanz, Pilar Mur-Duenas Enrique Lafuente-Millan. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing; (26.03.2012).

Vadi, Ene 2002. Reklaamide väärtusdiskursused. – Tekstid ja taustad. Artikleid tekstianalüüsist. Toim. Reet Kasik. (= Tartu Ülikooli eesti keele õppekooli toimetised 23.) Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus, 157–172.

Vintean, Adriana 2010. Aspects of language and meaning as used in advertising. – Revista Academiei Forţelor Terestre. Vol. 15. Romania: „Nicolae Bălcescu” Land Forces Academy, 370–375; (12.02.2012).

Wiebe, Janyce M. 2000. Learning Subjective Adjectives from Corpora. Department of Computer Science. Las Cruces: New Mexico State University;


Williamson, Judith 2000. Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. London; New York: Boyars.

Back to Issue