An Investigation of the Framework of Relations among Language, Music, and the Advertised Product in Television Commercials

By Maria Kokkidou and Eleni Tsakiridou.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Advertisements in the media are polysemic and multimodal. The visuals, the music and the oral text (dialogues, narrations) constitute a unified whole; all these elements support each other. The advertiser does not state directly that we must obtain the advertising product but, rather, adopts a kind of a hidden communication. Barthes (1988) insists that the advertiser wants to replace the banal concept of “buying” with the display of a spectacular world, of an ideal way of life.
In any case, an important role in advertising in the electronic mass media is played by music and by way in which the spoken word is delivered, as these may contribute to the general development of the viewer’s awareness, may give selective emphasis to certain aspects of the message, and may render the whole context more attractive. A unified whole is formed by the text of the announcement, the script or story-line, the sound effects, the music and the images, making the semiological analysis of television advertising a particularly complicated task.
Despite increasing interest in research into consumer behaviour, the role of music and its link with the spoken word in advertising have not been researched in any notable breath or depth. In the present study, we examined a corpus of 391 television commercials, in search of the hidden relations among the music, the text, and the product that is being advertised. We focus on the functional role of music in the advertisement, on speech delivery (the speaker’s gender, the manner of delivery), and on the identification of certain choices to do with music and with the way texts are spoken, contributing to the promotion of the advertised product or service and to the reinforcement of the advertiser’s message.

Keywords: Communication, Message, TV Commercials, Language, Music

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp.133-144. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.164MB).

Dr. Maria Kokkidou

Music Education Specialist and Researcher, Department of Elementary Education, Campus of Florina, University of Western Macedonia, Ptolemaida, Kozani, Greece

May (Maria) Kokkidou, teaches within the field of Music-Pedagogy at the Department of Elementary Education (Campus of Florina), University of Western Macedonia. She has been posted as music educator and kindergarten teacher in Primary Education. She obtains a B.Sc. degree from the Preschool Education Academy of Thessaloniki and a B.Sc. from the Department of Preschool Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She also obtains a M.Sc. Degree on the field of Language- History and Culture from the Department of Elementary Education of Florina, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and PhD in Comparative Music Education (University of Western Macedonia). She has degrees in Classical Guitar, Higher Harmonic Theory, Counterpoint and Band Orchestration. She is a member of ISME, OMEP, EEME and ASCD and of artistic - pedagogical groups. She is author of several articles and books on Pedagogy, Music and Aesthetic Education.

Dr. Eleni Tsakiridou

Assistant Professor, Department of Primary Education, University of Western Macedonia, Kozani, Kozani, Greece

Helen Tsakiridou is currently an Assistant Professor of Applied Statistics and Educational Research in the Department of Primary Education of the University of Western Macedonia in Greece. She holds a BSc and a PhD from the Department of Mathematics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. Her research interests include Educational Research in preschool, primary and higher education and she has published several papers in Greek and international scientific journals on these issues.

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