A SOCIO-PRAGMATIC STUDY OF PERSUASION AND THE EFFECT OF GENDER IN MEDIA LANGUAGE
Promoting products and services to society is achieved through advertisements which is a form of communication that differs from other language practices in daily life. They inhabit a significant position where the written text has developed from a simple technique into attracting and influencing people’s decisions and choices upon the targeted commodity in question to make a purchase. Thus, the present study tries to discover a better interpretation of the persuasion process in English television commercials by examining both the sociolinguistic and pragmatic aspects of the targeted message in male and female commercial advertisements. The purpose of this study is to recognize, as well as investigate the persuasive appeals, devices and speech acts sellers use in male and female television commercial advertisements. For this to be completed, the study adopted Searle’s (1969) speech act theory, Lucas’s (2009) persuasive appeals and Mick and McQuarrie (1996) persuasive devices. This study hypothesizes that persuasive devices are the most frequently used by advertisers to persuade customers into making a purchase in regards to the product being advertised. Secondly, advertisers depend on the persuasive devices of hyperbole and ellipsis to promote products and services. Thirdly, female commercial ads use the trope of hyperbole more significantly than male commercial ads. Fourthly, the logical appeal is the most commonly occurring appeal in both male and female commercial ads. Lastly, the representative and directive speech acts are of high usage in the creation of commercial ads.