p.270). The employment of scientific terms is a strategy that always succeed in
attracting customers. The
second strategy used in the text 1 was intertextuality, which means how to build
new meaning by borrowing words from one discourses such as science and use it
in another discourse
understanding the situational context, we had a clear image to analyze the
discourse practice. This level tackled the texts production and how the
dominant party was using language to exercise their control. First, these texts
were full of emotive words that exaggerated the attributes of the product, and
promised women to gain these attributes e.g. fantastic, WOW, natural look,
brightness. This strategy could be also included under the textual analysis,
but it is mentioned here because interpretation level includes interpreting vocabulary
of the text (Fairclough, 2015, p.156).
Before analyzing, it is important to
understand the situational context of these two texts. Fairclough listed four
aspects which are related to the event, the participants, participants
relations and the function of language in this event (Fairclough, 2015, p.160).
Regarding the event, these two texts were cosmetics advertisements in Snapchat
where the speakers aimed to sell different products to their followers. The
relation between these participants is somehow complex. ‘A’ and ‘B’ implicitly
preformed as if they were members of a dominant group who confidently knows the
right prescription for being beautiful and ideal, and invited their followers
to be ingroup. At the same time these advertisers explicitly trying to minimize
the social distance between them and their followers by using different textual
features and friendly tone as mentioned in textual analysis. So, the
advertisers were working on different layers of consciousness. On the other
hand, the followers were extremely affected by the degree of control that the
advertisers exercised over them. The advertisers were directing the followers’
choices to the extent that most of the recommended products were sold out. Meanwhile,
the followers were engaged in such relation by feeling that the advertisers
were their friends, and did not notice the advertisers’ dominance.
The following tackled the next levels,
interpretation and explanation. In the level of interpreting the discourse
practice, I analyzed how these influencers employed emotional words,
intertextuality, code switching and celebrity names (Iqbal et al, 2014, p.127).
To conclude, grammar and vocabulary
played a role in conveying ideologies that enhanced the importance of beauty
and promoted the ideal image of modern Saudi women. These linguistic features
were employed as successful strategies to manipulate consumers and sell the
In addition, ‘A’ and ‘B’ used short
phrases that have one or two words when presenting the product, e.g. The
packaging WOW!, Maximum volume, to grab the followers’ attention to the
product itself and not distract their attention with any monologues. Also, they
drew a delusive fancy image of beauty that contributed in building the ideal
image for Saudi women, e.g. The highlight is a flash! , maximum volume.
Adjectives are also commonly used in cosmetics advertisements due to its
influence in carrying positive or negative view (Delin, 2000, p.133). For
instance, new, nice, full, top, famous, fantastic,
convenient, fabulous, special, pinkish, best of the best, maximum, clear,
brightness and youthfulness, hate, natural, gorgeous, suitable. These
texts contained many positive adjectives compared to the negative ones, because
advertisers aimed to make women associate these products with such attributes.
Moreover, in terms of vocabulary, these adjectives could be considered
overwording, which Fairclough explain as having “unusually high degree of
wording that are near synonyms to show preoccupation with some aspect of
reality” (Fairclough, 1985, p.133). In other discourses,
these words nice, full, top, fantastic, convenient, fabulous, special,
maximum, clear, gorgeous, suitable, are not synonyms, but in these texts,
they share a common ideology which created a synonymic relation between them
(Fairclough, 2015, p.133).
Imperatives were another linguistic
feature that ‘A’ and ‘B’ used in order to convince women to buy the products, e.g.
Look at the colors they are
fantastic, don’t apply too much, and use beauty blender.
Imperatives in such context are said in a very friendly tone which gave an
impression of low in formality and high in intimacy. According to Fairclough,
formality is a vocabulary feature that is linked to relational values, so
informality of these advertisements context entails informality of the relation
between the participants in Snapchat (2015, p.135). This indicated that the
advertisers were trying to show friendship and equal status between them and
the follower. But in reality, and by critical analysis, the advertisers were in
a higher status due to the power and dominant they had which enabled them to persuade
their followers to buy whatever they recommend. This power could be
metaphorically described as a soft power, a term that politicians often use,
that force people to do what the advertisers want but with the followers’
By analyzing the linguistic features of
the texts, there were some possessive pronouns, first and second personal
pronouns like I, you, it, they, your. This technique is common in
advertisements to give the viewer the feeling of being valuable as they are
individually addressed (Fairclough 2015, p.143; Kaur et al, 2013, p.63).
Addressing the audience personally is called “synthetic personalization” which
gives an impression of a one-to-one conversation (Fairclough, 1989, p.62). The
following examples were extracted from the texts, It makes your
complexion clear, you can apply it daily, it gives you
brightness and youthfulness.
noticeable feature was the use of modality e.g. Each one should have
this palette, I will show you this fabulous palette, I’ll show
you a lipstick, you can apply it daily, and parallelism
e.g. 3 in 1 blusher, contour, highlight.
The choice of various words is the result of
different ideological opinions, so words are “working as a code”
(Fairclough,1985, p.745). This is what Fairclough called the experiential
values of words and grammar (Fairclough, 2015, p. 131, 137). The use of
vocabulary and grammatical features in cosmetics context here was basically to
draw the ideal image that Saudi women should be.