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The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society cover
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society


Full article in PDF format | 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.


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