Investigating the cultural influences on advertising style in the UK and Greece

  • Andriani Theocharous

Student thesis: Phd


Acknowledging the need for an interdisciplinary approach to the examination of advertisements, the present study develops a methodological apparatus for the analysis of advertising copies that draws on visual semiotics and marketing and advertising research, and incorporates a comprehensive linguistic analysis of the text. For the development of this apparatus, four potentially culture-bound dimensions of advertising style are identified and operationalized, namely (i) advertising forms, understood as the way the message is organized; (ii) advertising appeals, i.e. the motives for purchase; (iii) verbal and visual communication style, and (iv) execution of advertisements, involving aspects of the visual design.This framework is applied in the analysis of a comparable corpus, consisting of advertisements for local food products in the UK and Greece, and a parallel corpus, consisting of advertisements for the same multinational cosmetics in the two cultural contexts. It is proposed that the analysis of locally produced advertisements can reflect the preferred way in which local advertisers work. The juxtaposition of comparable and parallel advertisements can reveal the extent to which translators/copywriters are influenced by these preferences when adapting the copies. Looking at advertising practices through a 'small culture' approach, the aim of the study is to unveil tendencies with regard to advertising style that could be motivated by 'cultural' differences, taking into consideration the effect of the product category and origin, and other possible factors having an influence on advertising practices.The analysis of the two corpora shows significant variations in advertising style in the UK and Greece that reflect a potentially different way in which advertising works. Particularly, it appears that UK advertisements are more oriented towards enhancing memorability and brand recall and attempting to create a strong brand image, while Greek advertisements focus on increasing the trustworthiness of the brand through the abundance of factual information, and creating an emotional attachment with the product/brand advertised. The findings could have relevance for the design, implementation and transcreation of advertisements.
Date of Award1 Aug 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorMaeve Olohan (Supervisor) & Luis Perez-Gonzalez (Supervisor)


  • advertising
  • transcreation
  • cross-cultural advertising
  • translation
  • Greece
  • UK

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