An Analysis of Representational, Interactive and Compositional Meanings in Selected Nigerian Mobile Telecommunication Advertisement Handbills

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Department of European Languages, Federal University Birnin-Kebbi


Advertising is a huge and pervasive industry which plays a significant role in communicating with the target audience about a particular product or displayed services so as to meet certain societal needs. The designer or encoder of consumer advertisements essentially the telecommunication print advertisements employ language and various semioticr esources to project messages to the target audience. This paper examines how various semiotic resources are imbuedin selected mobile telecommunication advertisements in Nigeria and how the meanings derived from these modes relate with the target audience. Utilisng Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen’s (1996,2006)Systemic Functional Visual Social Semiotic approach to Multimodal Discourse Analysis as a method ofanalysis, this paper analyses four randomly selected mobile telecommunication handbill advertisements of two service providers in Nigeria which are MTN and Airtel.The analysis reveals that linguistic and visual modes have interdependent relationship for meaning making. The modes are often manipulated for the purpose of persuasion to appeal to the audience reasoning and sustain their interests. The paper concludes that advertising handbills are not mere pictorial drawings and simple words but they have in them embedded messages which are meant to interact and communicate with the intended audience.



Semiotic resources, mobile telecommunication, advertisements