Conceptual metaphors in cosmetic advertisements

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Conceptual metaphors in cosmetic advertisements


Author: Xu, Jing
Title: Conceptual metaphors in cosmetic advertisements
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2014
Subject: Metaphor.
Symbolism in advertising.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: vii, 69 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: This paper examines conceptual metaphors in cosmetic advertisements. Based on the conceptual metaphor theory (CMT), the study explores the mapping of metaphors in the advertising language of cosmetic industry and investigates how certain types of cosmetic products are conceptualized by different metaphors. The data are derived from cosmetic advertisements of the world-renowned women magazine - Cosmopolitan. After excluding advertisements with same textual contents or only with images, 114 advertisements with metaphorical meanings are used for the study. The data mainly cover four types of cosmetic commodities for skin, hair, eye and lip. The findings show that the advertisements of skin and hair care products share plenty of source domains and the most frequently occurred metaphor is SKIN/HAIR CARE IS WAR; the advertisements of eye and lip care products are more likely to be conceptualized as a sensational object, viz, EYE/LIP CARE PRODCUT IS A SENSATIONAL OBJECT. It suggests that cosmetic advertisers tend to employ different linguistic advertising strategies, namely, using metaphors in the main textual contents of advertisements or employing metaphors in product names. The study contributes to metaphor research in the advertising discourse and also delivers insightful implications for both companies and consumers.

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