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    The language of advertising Essay

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    I have noted that generally, most property advertising of new housing estates, is done by using an artist’s impression of the new/proposed, development. Whilst this is practically feasible, it must be pointed out that these graphic representations are intended to represent the idyll and set out to do exactly that through the imagery used – see appendix 2 (Tournore Court) at the rear of this assignment. These images are then supported and their message enforced through the wording used on the advert – eg “Make the Right Move, Choose Tournore Court, Dungarvan.

    The very first word of this statement sets out to convince and persuade the potential purchaser to initiate/take a course of action. The following words, ” the Right Move”, is an appeal to a person’s general tendency and desire to want to do the “right thing”, and is intended to convey the impression that purchasing a house in this development (as opposed to any other in another development, and as highlighted by the word “Choose”) would in fact achieve and fulfill this desire.

    In order to enforce this message, the name of the housing estate/development, has been repeated twice on the cover (ie the heading, and in bold typeface in the promotional statement). Another common form of advertisement (and technique) observed by auctioneers in the Dungarvan area, is illustrated by the newspaper advert at appendix 3. This picture attempts and intends to convey the message (by association), of the ideal and close-knit, happy family lifestyle, and that the proposed development will ensure this.

    The format chosen for the wording of the advert is intended to catch your attention by “Announcing”, then letting the picture enforce this word/announcement and preceed what the advert is then actually saying. It thus leaves scope for your own initial interpretation and reaction, and makes the whole experience of the advert more personal. The personal aspect of the advert is then enforced through the relatively close distance between the camera lense and the family photographed.

    Persuasion is added to the advert in the use of the developer’s name, which is well-recognised locally and associated with good, quality workmanship, and the ‘welcome’ mat – adding a nice domestic and instantly recognisable and ‘friendly’ touch. In the above example, the advert also notes that there is a “Limited number available in First Phase” – this has been done in order to create a sense of urgency.

    A sense in which this advert might be considered misleading, is that one of the impressions gained from the photograph is that the development is within close proximity of a wooded walking area, which is not the case, as it is centrally situated within the Ballinroad (suburban) area of Dungarvan. The third advertisement example (Appendix 4), is a good case where an advert might be considered misleading. The third house advertised – “Three Arches” – has highlighted as one of its chief selling features/advantages, the fact that it overlooks Clonea Beach.

    Having conducted a personal site visit, whilst this may be considered strictly true, the view is however a more distant one than that conveyed through the use of the word ‘overlooking’, and the more obvious view and one with greater impact, is that of the main Waterford – Cork N25 almost immediately outside the front door, and on what could be considered a relatively hazardous bend and high accident area.

    This fact that the house is located on the N25 has been obviously avoided, with the intention of trying to gain interest and a personal viewing in the hopes of being able to sell the property. This is considered misleading in that the full facts of the property location and situation have not been revealed, thus conveying a different impression of the property to many people who would not even have considered giving the property a first viewing.

    It is considered that the fact that this particular property has been on the market for a period of at least 2 and a half years, provides further substantiation of this. Conclusion Brokers and salespeople, including auctioneers and property advertising, are subject to a plethora of rules, regulations and statutes regulating their advertising and marketing activities and materials (some of which have been listed already), and through which legal recourse may be obtained should any person consider themselves to have been misled by any advertisement.

    It is therefore considered that introducing further legislation, simply to regulate property (which may be regarded in the same light as any other consumable commodity), would serve no purpose, and merely duplicate what legislation etc already exists. As has been highlighted above, a major element of advertising are the words used to attract attention, describe the product, and persuade potential purchasers to buy.

    However, as alluded to in the assignment topic, the way advertising can use words can often be described as less than ethical. Although it is illegal for advertising to lie, the way it can tell the truth, through the use of connotations, fuzzy rather than concrete words, logical fallacies, and careful choice of language roots, creates illusions, delusions, and the belief that advertisements are saying one thing when in fact they are saying something totally different, if indeed they are saying anything at all.

    This is neither good nor bad; it is advertising doing its job, selling products under extreme restrictions in time, space, and lack of immediacy. However, knowing how advertising uses language makes it possible for the average consumer to make better, more informed purchase decisions.


    Course Lecture Notes: 04/11/2003

    1 Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland

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