International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, Vol. 6, No. 12, December 2016Multimodal Discourse Analysis of the InterpersonalMeaning of TV AdvertisementsDongyan Li Abstract—This author attempts to explore the interpersonalmeaning of TV advertisements with the hilltop of coca colajingle selected as the studied case using both multimodal theoryand systemic functional linguistics with a view to seeing howvarious semiotics or modes such as speech, color, movement,image and sound work together to create and enhance theinterpersonal meaning. Hopefully, we can make somecontributions to the studies on social semiotics as well astelevision advertisements and become more aware of the factthat language is just the tip of an iceberg among socialsemiotics.interpersonal meaning , viz. meaning as an exchange inthe clause of language as one of the three meta-functions oflanguage, is primarily referred as to categorizing theinterrelations between the participants and the attitude of thespeakers towards communicative acts or utterances whichcontains subsystems like mood, modality and key plays anindispensable part in functional systemic linguistics. Theclause of language as an interactive event involves speaker,or writer, and audience. The speaker in the act of speakingadopts for himself a particular speech role, and in so doingassigns to the listener a complementary role which he wisheshim to adopt in his turn. For example, in asking a question, aspeaker is taking on the role of seeking information andrequiring the listener to take on the role of supplying theinformation demanded.Index Terms—Interpersonal meaning, multimodal discourseanalysis, social semiotics, systemic functional linguistics.I. INTRODUCTIONB. The Interpersonal Meaning in Other Social SemioticsLater on, interpersonal meaning in language is extendedinto interactive meaning in image which establishes a kind of(imaginary) relationship between the producer and theviewer of the image .On the basis of the investigations of interpersonal meaningby Halliday, Kress and Van Leeuwen, subsequentfollowers go into more and more detail to exploitinterpersonal meaning from a multimodal perspectiveranging from image, movement/action to sound, music andspeech and the like -. As for the specific aspects of theinterpersonal meaning in filmic genres such as in TVadvertising discourse, interpersonal meaning is representedand conveyed through the synchronization of multiplemeaning-making resources such as Kinesic, Proxemic,Rhythm, Gaze, Duration of the Image, Perspective of theimage, etc.Further discussion and multimodal analysis ofinterpersonal meaning are included as the temporal unfoldingof the text goes on in TV advertising discourse in particularof the hilltop of coca cola advertisement as the case.Multimodal discourse approach adopts the view thatdiverse semiotic modes (e.g. language, images, music, sound,animation, and so on) are combined together to multiply themeaning in multimodal texts or communicative events. It hasbeen widely used to a lot of fields ranging from classroomteaching environment, working settings to architecture,sculpture and theatres and so on.In fact, advertising discourse is also another goodinstantiation of the application of multimodal discoursetheory to practices as a practical genre endowed with its ownunique characteristics. Although much research has beencarried out as for its linguistic features like its rhetoric andcohesion, coherence, etc. both in the past and at present, thepractical application of multimodal discourse theory to theanalysis of TV advertisement still remains to be furthertapped.Advertising discourse is ultimately oriented towards theinteraction with people, so this thesis attempts to explore theinterpersonal meaning of TV advertisements with the hilltopof coca cola jingle song as the case resorting to multimodaldiscourse theory which derives from systemic functionallinguistics with a view to seeing how various semiotics ormodes such as speech, color, movement, image and soundwork together to create and enhance the interpersonalmeaning.III. METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORKThe research is essentially qualitative and the generalprinciple is drawing on those representative researches onmultimodal discourse analysis in particular of the n/movement with the aim to pursue how interpersonalmeaning is made in dynamic video texts. To be pretty muchclearer, analytical procedures of this thesis are based on thefollowing ones.II. STUDIES ON INTERPERSONAL MEANING FROM LANGUAGETO OTHER SEMIOTICSA. The Interpersonal Meaning in LanguageInitially, from the perspective of the social semiotics,Manuscript received February 13, 2016; revised April 22, 2016.D. Y. Li is with the Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University, Daqing163319 China (e-mail: redsun email@example.com).doi: 10.18178/ijssh.2016.6.12.776A. Research QuestionsIt suffices to say the ultimate goal of advertising is to934
International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, Vol. 6, No. 12, December 2016persuade audience to take actions on the advertised productsand/or services where interpersonal meaning of theadvertisement plays a vital role. The author therefore is goingto depart from analyzing the interpersonal meaning, viz. ience/addressee in TV ads through scrutinizing theconflation of various modes concomitant in the dynamicunfolding of the digitalized TV text. To achieve the purposeof the study and make it feasible, the scope of the paper isconfined to answer the following questions:General question:How is the interpersonal meaning represented andcommunicated in the hilltop of coca cola jingle via theco-articulation of speech, music and sound, image, andaction/movement?Specific questions:1) How is the interpersonal meaning of image representedand communicated in TV/video advertising?2) How is the interpersonal meaning of action/movementrepresented and communicated in TV/videoadvertising?3) How is the interpersonal meaning of speech, music andsound represented and communicated in TV/videoadvertising?What the world wants today.It’s the real thing, what the world wants today.C. General Picture of the Hilltop of Coca Cola JingleThe hilltop occurs on a hillside near Rome; in the settingover 30 young people from different nations wearing theirnational costumes sang together, clutching bottles of cocacola. The moving song taking place in the grand scene isreally a great hit. It lasts approximately 54 seconds with 8shots made altogether. Shot 1 including 14 frames and shot 8containing 10 frames are obviously the two longest. Shot 2covers 6 frames with shot 3 and shot 5 comprising 7 frames.Shot 4 and shot 6 are both composed of 4 frames with 3frames constituting shot 7. The dynamic changes arereflected from shot to shot but when the analysis is going on,some frames at times will be clipped from the video in orderto get a clear comprehension of what is talked about for thesake of convenience. Now we are going to analyze howmultiple modes, namely, image, kinesic action and sound,speech and music, are co-deployed to articulate theinterpersonal meaning in this jingle with each shot taken asthe basic unit.B. Coca Cola As the Studied CaseThe thesis is mainly qualitative-oriented with the hilltop ofcoca cola television advertisement chosen as the studied case,the video of which comes from the CD titled Classical TVCAdvertising Appreciation by Xuelin Publishing House. Sucha choice is made out of the ensuing reasons. In the first place,coca cola is the most renowned drinking brand all over theworld; it's said that “coca cola”, “God” and “her” areacclaimed as the most popular lexis during the last century.Above all, the hilltop advertisement among a number of othercoca cola ads has proved to be well-known as one of the mostsuccessful and classical case ever since it was produced in1971 . In the end, despite advanced development ofinformation technology and easy access to real-life data andthe fact that the author may make use of online videomaterials to retrieve some classical and representative softdrinking advertisements, then download them from theinternet, the practical application of multimodal discoursetheories to do a detailed analysis of one classical case in factis sufficient here.The hilltop of coca cola advertisement is features its globalpitch for peace, love and unity. In the setting, more than thirtyveritable young, fresh-faced people from the globe, clad intheir national costumes and clutching bottles of Coke, anddirected in sign language, as the image of coca cola sang thesong together on the hillside near Rome, very moving,impressing people with peace, love and world unity. It lastssome 54 seconds and the line of the song is as follows:IV. MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSISA. Interpersonal Meaning in ImageThe choices in the mobile visual image made across themeaning-making semiotic resources here relate to the Color(CR), the Distance of the Image and the Perspective of theImage. The semiotic resource of color consists of a systemwith five elementary colors (black, white, yellow, red andblue) from which all other colors could be mixed. Seenclearly from the following three frames clipped out of thevideo and the annotation tier on Color, the color dark red ofbottles of coke, of slogan and of brand name maintainsthroughout the largest part of the scene the dominant one inthis hilltop jingle against the background of blue sky andgreen hill. People use color to actually try to energize or calmdown people, or more broadly, to act on others. In otherwords, color can be ‘interpersonal’, and could ‘excite’,‘inspire sentiments’ and so on . Likewise, dark red in thehilltop which is salient could excite people and visuallyappeal to the audience and be identified in such a way that theviewer can immediately grasp the significance of suchchoices with the aims at last achieved, namely, gettingattention and arousing desire . Also, the backgroundcolors of green and blue stand for peace and serenity withblack and white young people singing together representharmony and unity, which could be naturally connected withthe spirit of the brand Coke going after a peaceful, loveableand unified world by the audience who watch it and willsubconsciously have a good feel for Coke. It is obvious thatsuch delicate choices from the paradigmatic system of colorin this jingle can arouse target audience’s attention and theirinterest in the advertised product, Coke here, and the imageof the coca cola company.In addition to Color, two other crucial elements in Imageare Perspective and Distance. There are two furtherI’d like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love.Grow apple trees and honey bees and snow white turtledoves .I’d like to teach the world to sing with perfect harmony.I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.That’s the real thing.935
International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, Vol. 6, No. 12, December 2016subsystems in light of the former, viz. Horizontal andVertical. According to , the horizontal axis usually reflectsa degree of involvement. Base on the annotation on tierPerspective, during most of the time the viewer looks at thehilltop jingle from a frontal viewpoint which gives him/herthe feeling of being involved in a part of the depicted world.Only one oblique perspective is shot due to the mobileposition of the camera which pans leftward and the stationaryposition of the throng on the hilltop. This oblique angledoesn’t detach the audience from the shot world in fact but iton the other way around invites audience to pay moreattention to the prominence of the bottles of coke from adifferent viewpoint which can be judged from the middleframe among the following 3. The vertical angle, in contrast,usually expresses power, status and solidarity . There are 7median vertical shots and only one high shot, that is, the lastshot in the hilltop jingle as shown in frame 3 below which isshot from high in a helicopter and leads audience to catch aneye view of the whole splendid hilltop scene. As most of thejingle is seen neither from above nor below, there is no powerdifference construed between the viewer and the participants;in other words, they are on the same level.The distance of the image indicates social distancebetween the viewer and the represented participants , thehilltop jingle is composed of three very close shots, e.g.frame 4 and frame 5, and medium close shots like frame 1respectively, one close shot, one medium long shot like frame2 and one very long shot at the end of the scene in accordancewith the annotation on tier Distance. That is, the participantsare portrayed from very close shot which occurs in thebeginning to attract viewer’s attention gradually to close shot,then to medium close shot, medium long shot and to the verylong shot at the end of the jingle scene which is exactly calledaerial shot owing to the fact that it is shot from a high angle ina helicopter. This progression of the mobile frames runningin shots interpersonally orients the viewer towards the imageand furthermore contributes largely to the intimate andsocially closer relations constructed between the participantsin the hilltop world and the viewer who could be brought intothe depicted world easily.B. Interpersonal Meaning in Kinesic Action or MovementKinesic action or movement is a meaning-making semioticresource by means of which participants in interactions relateto one another , which is, in other words, about the meansof constructing and expressing interpersonal relationsthrough action or movement. Three types of action aredistinguished by Martinec and presenting action(communicating meanings regard the immediate context ofthe here-and-now) as one of those three is mainly concernedwith the movement afforded in the hilltop jingle. It mostlyconsists of movements of whole bodies and of facial muscles.The interpersonal resources of presenting action couldfurther be described as engagement, modality and affect.Engagement regards interpersonal meanings communicatedby interacting persons’ body distance and angle. Modality isabout the willingness or unwillingness, and tentativeness orassuredness with which an act is performed. Affect regardsdisplay of emotions, which takes place for the most part in theface.In light of engagement, modality and affect given above,movement may describe or designate some situation andevaluate this situation by adopting a particular interpersonalorientation towards it, e.g. pleasure, disapproval, and so on.Let’s look at how the specific movement is exercised andinterpersonally conveyed in the coca cola jingle. Apparentlywe can see that Gesture, Gaze and Facial Expression inkinesic movement/action are highlighted in the hilltopdynamic text based on the following 3 annotation tierstogether with frame 4 and frame 5 extracted from the video.Bodily movement of the participants is interpersonallydirected frontally towards the viewer which keeps congruouswith the horizontal perspective of the image and naturallyengages the viewer and creates a concerted feeling during thechorus sung by the young people. What is more important,the same gesture is made up of forearms on hold at a rightangle slightly above the waists of the participants with handsclutching bottles of coke horizontal to the ground (e.g. frame4) and lasts for some 28 seconds during the total seconds.According to Poynton’s notion of amplification of movement, a given movement or part thereof can be articulated withdecreased or increased speed, or by repetition of the samemovement, or by some form of embellishment of the basicmovement so as to invest it with heightened subjectivecommitment or intensity. the consistent and continuousaction of gesture which is transcribed as GE: I on theannotation tier on Gesture below belongs to ‘repetition of thesame movement’ and so this specific action signifies that theintense attitudinal stance adopted by the addresser to theadvertised Coke is assuredness of the advertised product andstrong willingness to express their positive values as well. Atthe same time, smiling (e.g. frame 5) as annotated resultdisplays below constitutes a key one in facial expressionthough the total time of smiling is much shorter comparedwith that of gesture owing to its being a song jingle. In thiscase, it signals participant’s commitment and confidence inwhat they are doing to coca cola as well as his or hersolidarity with the viewers, creating affinity by smilingbetween the depicted participants in the dynamic text worldand us viewers who watch it in reality.Gaze maintains another vital meaning-making semioticmode in kinesic action. In reference to Baldry and Thibault, the annotation on Gaze is transcribed as GE: F; GE: I andGE: C; GE: V. The former indicates that gaze in distance andin orientation is respectively far and indeterminate due tooff-screen; the latter suggests that gaze in distance an inorientation is close and oriented to the viewer. Judging fromthe annotated result below, the participants in the jingle gazeat the viewer at a close distance about 15 seconds establishinga direct eye contact with him/her and bridging thepsychological distance between each other. Although theparticipants gaze far away off-screen more than 20 seconds, itdoesn’t mean the aversion from the viewer here in fact,because the setting is on the hilltop and the mobile camerashoots from high above; on the contrary, it appeals more tothe audience thanks to the associative link with the depictedworld provoked by the far and off-screen gaze.C. Interpersonal Meaning in Speech, Music and SoundSpeech, music and sound are brought together on the936
International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, Vol. 6, No. 12, December 2016(sequential segregated fully stated). As the song progresses,the tempo of the jingle song is basically at a median level, andthe volume at the first half of the song is soft and ascendsgradually from shot 3 to the loudest from shot 6 till the end ofthe song. Altogether, the lines I’d like to buy the world aCoke and keep it company (sung twice); It’s the real thing(three times); A company. (twice); What the world wanttoday (three times) constitute the repetitive sonic interactionsand rhythmic melody in congruity with the tempo and thevolume.The continuous simultaneous speech, music and sound ofmore than two speakers are maximally oriented towardinteractivity, which are geared towards the ‘rapport’ functionof speech and involve equality, cooperation, collaborationand the joint production of meanings. The same range existstrue when speech and music merge in song . The same isalso true of the hilltop of coca cola jingle because more than30 people from various nations are on the hilltop singing inunison, which conveys the equality and collaboration withthe world. Thus the rapport is established between the singersand the audience and a maximum interactivity is accordinglyperformed.assumption that they all have characteristics in commonproviding a basis for talking about them and transcribingthem in a unified way rather than as entirely separatephenomena . That is, speech, music and sound are highlysynchronized as the dynamic text unfolds in time and theannotated tiers on the Lines of the jingle song, SonicInteraction together with Rhythm Group shown below revealthis. Sound can be used to represent our environment and torepresent the actions and interactions of people . Thesesound acts themselves are realized by a configuration ofchoices from all the sound resources available in the givencontext, for instance, by certain rhythmic choices (e.g. amedium tempo, accented syllables); by a choice of ‘socialdistance’ (soft, hence close) and so on.Now comes the interactive meaning configured in thespeech, music and sound of this fifty-four-second coca colajingle song demarcated through the concordant survey of thethree semiotic modes together. Where speech is concerned,based on the annotation on tier Line of the song with accentedand lengthened syllables, we know that some accented andlengthened rhythmic choices marked as in round brackets (*),(**) and (!!) such as (**Coke), (**real), (**company),thing(!!), wor(!!)ld, today(!!), cola(!!) sung with remarkableemphasis and procrastination respectively in a recurrent wayduring the whole sequence communicate intensely to theaddressee or the target consumers the emphasized import ofthe advertised coca cola–it’s the real thing that the worldwants today and a perfect company. The lines obviously offergoods & services rather than demand them. The moodchoices in the flow-in-flux text are restricted to declarativesand do not make use of imperatives. No mood adjuncts suchas probably expressing uncertainty are used and in this waythe speech shoulders its responsibility for the truth value ofthe message. A strong identification with and affirmation ofthe brand could be made by the target audience and such anempathy as love, peace and harmony may be transferred fromthe singing participants in the depicted world to the audiencein reality and render the vicarious feeling among them. Thatis the salient or prominent interpersonal meaning of thisjingle song intending to convey.As the jingle song is a leader-group chorus in deed and theinteractivity can also be represented and communicatedthrough the choices from sonic interactions and rhythmgroup. In shot 1, for example, the soundtrack starts with amedian tempo and a soft voice sung with no accompanimentby a female soloist who is the initiator delivering I’d like tobuy the world a home and furnish it with love, which arecorrespondingly annotated on Sonic Interaction displayedbelow as SE: I (initiator in sequential sequence); RGT: M(median tempo in rhythm group); RGV: P (soft volume inrhythm group). In collaboration with the very close up of thevisual track, it functions to attract the attentions of theaudience. Gradually to the accompaniment of the electronicguitar the female leader singer and the choral group producethe same piece of sound grow apple trees and honey bees andsnow white turtle doves together as a unison still at a mediantempo and in a soft voice but the dominant sound is that of theleader in contrast to that of the group, which occurs both in asimultaneous and sequential way and is represented by SI:UU (simultaneous unision unblended) and SE: SRF1SD. The Integrated Multimodal AnalysisFor the sake of convenience, interpersonal meaningconstructed through the multiple modes viz. image, kinesicaction/movement, speech, music and sound is analyzed asabove separately. The integration of those modes isnevertheless supposed to be simultaneously taken intoaccount as the dynamic text unfolds in time.Take shot 6 and shot 7 as examples to interpret thesimultaneous systemic choices across the meaning-makingcoordinating modes. The two shots (as frame 4 and frame 5display) constitute a sequence in time as the line I’d like tobuy the world a Coke and keep it company. It’s the real thingis sung with a median tempo together in which the lexis ‘buy’,‘Coke’ and ‘real’ are prominently accentuated alongside‘and’ ‘company’, ‘thing’ are lengthened in very loud voice.Both of the shots are very close in distance, frontal inhorizontal angle, median in vertical perspective with shot 6featuring the red bottle of Coke held in hands and shot 7featuring a smiling face of the leading singer singing ‘It’s thereal thing.’ All of those choices together leave the audience astrong visual and aural impact which can easily grasp theattention of the audience at once, arouse the identificationwith the advertised Coke and finally take actions on thepurchase.The interpersonal meaning of the hilltop of coca cola jinglerepresented and communicated by the systemic choices fromthe multiple modes like image, kinesic action/movement,speech, music and sound has been discussed and analyzed asabove. In fact, all the salient modes working hand in handrenders this jingle song so impressive and memorable that thebrand, slogan and image of Coke could be more identifiableand more influential throughout the world via the publicity ofits global pitch for love, peach and unity. Definitely, it is thechoices made across semiotic resources in their interactionwith but not in isolation from other resources that makes theinterpersonal meaning between the participants and the targetaudience. That’s the key point worthy of note here.937
International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, Vol. 6, No. 12, December 2016V. CONCLUSIONThe thesis has made an attempt to probe into the way theinterpersonal meaning is represented and communicatedthrough the multiple modes such as image (color, perspective,distance), movement (gaze, gesture, facial expression) aswell as speech, music and sound (accented syllables, sonicinteraction, rhythm group) with the hilltop of coca cola jingleas the studied case in television adverting discourse throughthe utilization of related multimodal discourse theories interms of image, movement, speech, music and sound. Inconclusion, the concomitant multiple semiotic modes in thedynamic unfolding of the digitalized text are co-working togenerate and communicate the interpersonal meaning that isenacted between the depicted participants and the viewer oraudience. By doing this research, the author really hopes itmay make some contributions to the further studies ondynamic television advertising discourse as well as to theapplication of multimodal discourse theory to practices athome.Due to the limited time and the academic ability of theauthor, there are some limitations to this research. The first isthat the author knows not very much with respect toknowledge involving music that the multimodal analysis onthis part seems sort of weak. The second is that the author ismore or less restricted to the use of visual art, which mayaffect the perfect construal of the visual impact of TVadvertisements on the audiences. Here the weaknesses arepointed out hoping that similar difficulties could beovercome in the future.REFERENCESM. A. K. Halliday, An Introduction to Functional Grammar, London:Edward Arnold, 1994.938G. Kress and T. Van Leeuwen, Reading Images: The Grammar ofVisual Design, London & New York: Routledge, 1996. A. Baldry and P. Thibault, Multimodal Transcription and Text Analysis:A Multimedia Toolkit and Coursebook, London Oakville: Equinox,2006. R. Martinec, “Interpersonal resources in action,” Semiotica, vol. 135,pp. 117-145, 2001. K. O’ Halloran, “Visual semiosis in film,” in Multimodal DiscourseAnalysis: Systemic Functional Perspectives, K. O’ Halloran, Ed.London and New York: Continuum, 2004, pp. 109-130. M. O’ Toole, The Language of Displayed Art, London: LeicesterUniversity Press, 2004. T. Van Leeuwen, Speech, Music, Sound, London: Macmillan, 1999. B. Kanner, The 100 Best TV Commercials, New York: Times Business,1999. G. Kress and T. Van Leeuwen, Multimodal Discourse: The Modes andMedia of Contemporary Communication, London: Arnold, 2001. G. Kress, “Color as a semiotic mode: notes for a grammar of color,”Visual Communication, vol. 1, pp. 343-368. G.-w. Huang, Discourse Analysis of the Theory and Practice ofAdvertising, Shanghai: Shanghai foreign language education press,2001.Dongyan Li was born in Binxian county, China in1978. Her educational background is listed as follows:a M.A. in applied linguistics from Beijing Universityof Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beijing, China, in2009. The degrees should be listed with type of degreein what field, which institution, city, state or country,and year degree was earned. The author’s major fieldof study should be lower-cased.She has worked as a Chinese university Englishteacher for 13 years. She is also a member of Daqing Foreign LanguageTeachingand of Heilongjiang Business English Society.Author’sAssociationformalEducationphoto Faculty, 2002-2016 pedagogic instructor and lecturer. TheCollege of Social Sciences and Humanities, Hei Longjiang Bayi AgriculturalUniversity, Daqing, China. She is interested in English education especiallythe pedagogical issues, discourse analysis and teacher development. Shepublished many articles in these issues, in Chinese and English.
B. The Interpersonal Meaning in Other Social Semiotics . Later on, interpersonal meaning in language is extended into interactive meaning in image which establishes a kind of (imaginary) relationship between the producer and the viewer of the image . On the basis of the investigations of interpersonal meaning
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Le genou de Lucy. Odile Jacob. 1999. Coppens Y. Pré-textes. L’homme préhistorique en morceaux. Eds Odile Jacob. 2011. Costentin J., Delaveau P. Café, thé, chocolat, les bons effets sur le cerveau et pour le corps. Editions Odile Jacob. 2010. Crawford M., Marsh D. The driving force : food in human evolution and the future.