Social Responsibility in Romanian Advertising during State of Emergency
Keywords:Advertising, advertisements, social responsibility, cause-related marketing, speech acts, visual communication
In what way were the messages conveyed in Romanian advertisements influenced by the state of emergency declared due to COVID-19 pandemic? What kind of visual and textual messages did advertisements deliver to the target audience in this unique social context? Were there any specifics regarding their narrative or visuals? Based on the aforementioned questions, our hypothesis is that some Romanian advertisements that were distributed during the state of emergency had a social responsibility message, which is rather uncommon in commercials. The first part of our study will underline the theoretical framework of this problem: defining and explaining social responsibility and its implications. The second part of the study will present our research. Its aim is to conduct a qualitative analysis of the advertising discourse from pragmatic, rhetoric and semiotic perspectives. The corpus of our research consists of several advertisements and campaigns that were most visible in the public sphere during the state of emergency, both online. We will start by identifying the visual elements, narrative techniques and argumentative strategies, explaining the way they function as an instrument to increase social responsibility. We will approach the message of the advertisements from a speech acts theory point of view, then undergo a process of identifying the argumentative tactics that are being used and, finally, we will conduct a semiotic analysis. In the end, we will underline a series of conclusions regarding the narrative and the visual specifics of the analysed contents and we will highlight some ethical aspects of the advertisements.
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