Advertisement

The Discourse of Advertising for Luxury Residences in Hong Kong: A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis

  • May Wong
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter documents the operation of multimodal strategies in the discursive construction of social actors, social actions and legitimations in luxury property advertising discourse, with a focus on the interplay between verbal and visual modes. It describes how advertising discourse exploits the inclusion of Caucasian models and their depiction as a culturally homogeneous group endowed with hedonistic, opulent lifestyle identities through their social actions in order to market a luxury residence. It is argued that legitimations are put in place to enhance the persuasive power of the advertising discourse, with particular reference to the symbolic values of luxury products in general, the rationalisation of knowledges of habitual social actions, and the narratives that target recipients of the ads who are hailed as intellectual buyers. It is hoped that the analysis demonstrates that such ideologies are very effectively studied through their multimodal realisations, where the visual mode, in particular, can draw on and reproduce stereotyped representations.

Keywords

Television advertisements Luxury property Multimodal critical discourse analysis Lifestyle identities Discourse of legitimation 

References

  1. Baker, Hugh. 1983. Life in the cities: The emergence of Hong Kong Man. The China Quarterly 95 (Sep.): 467–479.Google Scholar
  2. Baldry, Anthony. 2005. A multimodal approach to text studies in English: The role of MCA in multimodal concordancing and multimodal corpus linguistics. Campobasso: Palladino Editore.Google Scholar
  3. Baldry, Anthony, and Paul Thibault. 2006. Multimodal transcription and text analysis: A multimedia toolkit and coursebook with associated on-line course. London: Equinox.Google Scholar
  4. Barthes, Roland. 1977. Image-music-text. Translated by Stephen Heath. London: Fontana.Google Scholar
  5. Basil, Michael. 1996. Identification as mediator of celebrity effects. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 40 (4): 478–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berger, John. 1973. Ways of seeing. New York: Viking Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bernstein, David. 1974. Creative advertising. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  8. Berthon, Pierre, Leyland Pitt, Michael Parent, and Jean-Paul Berthon. 2009. Aesthetics and ephemerality: Observing and preserving the luxury brand. California Management Review 52 (1): 45–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1984. Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Chan, Kam Wah. 2000. Prosperity or inequality: Deconstructing the myth of home ownership in Hong Kong. Housing Studies 15 (1): 29–44.Google Scholar
  11. Chaney, David. 1996. Lifestyles. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Cheung, Sidney, and Cheung Ma. 2005. Advertising modernity: Home, space and privacy. Visual Anthropology 18 (1): 65–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chugani, Michael. 2012. Hong Kong’s fear of ‘mainlandisation’ stems from everyday frustration. South China Morning Post, 11 October.Google Scholar
  14. Cook, Guy. 2001. The discourse of advertising. 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Djonov, Emilia, and Sumin Zhao, eds. 2014. Critical multimodal studies of popular discourse. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Dreyfus, Hubert, and Paul Rabinow. 1982. Michel Foucault: Beyond structuralism and hermeneutics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  17. Fairclough, Norman. 1989. Language and power. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  18. ———. 1992. Discourse and social change. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  19. ———. 1995. Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  20. ———. 2003. Analysing discourse: Textual analysis for social research. London and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. ———. 2007. Introduction. In Discourse and contemporary social change, ed. Norman Fairclough, Giuseppina Cortese, and Patrizia Ardizzone, 9–21. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fairclough, Norman, Giuseppina Cortese, and Patrizia Ardizzone, eds. 2007. Discourse and contemporary social change. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  23. Fleming, David, & Harrison, Simon. 2018. Selling (un)real estate with “Shi(势)-nema”: Manipulation, not persuasion, in China’s contemporary cinematic-cities. Social Semiotics. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10350330.2018.1526856.
  24. Foucault, Michel. 1977. In Language, counter-memory, practice: Selected essays and interviews, ed. Donald Bouchard. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  25. ———. 1986. Disciplinary power and subjection. In Power, ed. Steven Lukes, 229–242. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  26. Goffman, Erving. 1979. Gender advertisements. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Harris, Zellig. 1952. Discourse analysis. Language 28 (1): 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hiramoto, Mie, and Cherise Shi Ling Teo. 2015. Heteronormative love makes a house a home: Multimodal analysis of luxury housing ads in Singapore. Journal of Language and Sexuality 4 (2): 223–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Howers, David, ed. 1996. Cross-cultural consumption: Global markets, local realities. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Jaworski, Adam, and Crispin Thurlow. 2009. Taking an elitist stance: Ideology and the discursive production of social distinction. In Stance: Sociolinguistic perspectives, ed. Alexandra Jaffe, 195–226. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. ———. 2017. Mediatising the “super-rich,” normalising privilege. Social Semiotics 27 (3): 276–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jaworski, Adam, and Simone Yeung. 2010. Life in the Garden of Eden: The naming and imagery of residential Hong Kong. In Linguistic landscape in the city, ed. Elana Goldberg Shohamy and Monica Barni, 153–181. Clevedon, Buffalo and Toronto: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jewitt, Carey., ed. 2009. The Routledge handbook of multimodal analysis. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Jewitt, Carey, Jeff Bezemer, and Kay O’Halloran. 2016. Introducing multimodality. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. Kang, Agnes. 2008. At the intersection of elitism and gender in Hong Kong: Advertisements of luxury residences. In Proceedings of the 5th biannual International Gender and Language Association conference (IGALA 5), ed. Julia de Bres, Janet Holmes, and Meredith Marra, 97–106. Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington.Google Scholar
  36. Kapferer, Jean-Noël, and Vincent Bastien. 2009. The specificity of luxury management: Turning marketing upside down. Brand Management 16 (5/6): 311–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Keller, Kevin Lane. 2003. Brand synthesis: The multidimensionality of brand knowledge. Journal of Consumer Research 29 (4): 595–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kress, Gunther. 2010. Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Kress, Gunther, and Carey Jewitt, eds. 2003. Multimodal literacy. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  40. Kress, Gunther, and Theo van Leeuwen. 2001. Multimodal discourse: The modes and media of contemporary communication. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  41. ———. 2006. Reading images: The grammar of visual design. 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Leonard, Peter. 1997. Postmodern welfare: Reconstructing an emancipatory project. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  43. Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1967. The scope of anthropology. Translated by Sherry Ortner Paul and Robert Paul. London: Jonathan Cape.Google Scholar
  44. Liu, Juliana. 2012. Hong Kong debates ‘national education’ classes. BBC News Hong Kong, 1 September. Accessed October 4, 2018. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-19407425.
  45. Lowe, John, and Eileen Yuk-ha Tsang. 2017. Disunited in ethnicity: The racialisation of Chinese Mainlanders in Hong Kong. Patterns of Prejudice 51 (2): 137–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Machin, David, and Joanna Thornborrow. 2003. Branding and discourse: The case of Cosmopolitan. Discourse & Society 14 (4): 453–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. ———. 2006. Lifestyle and the depoliticisation of agency: Sex as power in women’s magazines. Social Semiotics 16 (1): 173–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Machin, David, and Theo van Leeuwen. 2003. Global schemes and local discourses in Cosmopolitan. Journal of Sociolinguistics 7 (4): 493–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. ———. 2005. Lifestyle and language style: The case of a global magazine. Media, Culture & Society 27 (4): 577–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. ———. 2007. Global media discourse: A critical introduction. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. O’Halloran, Kay. 2004. Visual semiosis in film. In Multimodal discourse analysis: Systemic functional perspectives, ed. Kay O’Halloran, 109–131. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  52. Park, Whan, Bernard Jaworski, and Deborah MacInnis. 1986. Strategic brand concept-image management. Journal of Marketing 50 (Oct.): 621–635.Google Scholar
  53. Rooney, Nuala. 2001. Making house into home: Interior design in Hong Kong. In Consuming Hong Kong, ed. Gordon Matthews and Lui Tai-lok, 47–79. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Saunders, Peter. 1990. A nation of home owners. London: Unwin Hyman.Google Scholar
  55. Thibault, Paul. 2000. The multimodal transcription of a television advertisement: Theory and practice. In Multimodality and multimediality in the distance learning age, ed. Anthony Baldry, 311–385. Campobasso: Palladino Editore.Google Scholar
  56. Tomlinson, John. 1991. Cultural imperialism: A critical introduction. London: Pinter Publishers.Google Scholar
  57. van Leeuwen, Theo. 1995. Representing social actions. Discourse & Society 6 (1): 81–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. ———. 1996. The representation of social actors. In Texts and practices: Readings in critical discourse analysis, ed. Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard and Malcolm Coulthard, 32–70. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  59. ———. 2000a. The construction of purpose in discourse. In Discourse and social life, ed. Srikant Sarangi and Malcolm Coulthard, 66–82. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  60. ———. 2000b. Visual racism. In The semiotics of racism: Approaches in critical discourse analysis, ed. Martin Reisigl and Ruth Wodak, 330–350. Vienna: Passagen Verlag.Google Scholar
  61. ———. 2005a. Introducing social semiotics. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  62. ———. 2005b. Time in discourse. Linguistics and the Human Sciences 1 (1): 125–145.Google Scholar
  63. ———. 2007. Legitimation in discourse and communication. Discourse & Communication 1 (1): 91–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. ———. 2008. Discourse and practice: New tools for critical discourse analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. ———. 2011. The language of colour: An introduction. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  66. Vickers, Jonathan, and Franck Renand. 2003. The marketing of luxury goods: An exploratory study—Three conceptual dimensions. The Marketing Review 3 (4): 459–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Vinikas, Vincent. 1992. Soft soaps, hard sell: American hygiene in an age of advertisement. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Williamson, Judith. 1978. Decoding advertisements. London: Merion Boyars.Google Scholar
  69. Zhang, April. 2012. Hong Kong identity caught between political reality and insecurity. South China Morning Post, 17 October.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • May Wong
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EnglishUniversity of Hong KongPok Fu LamHong Kong

Personalised recommendations