The aim of this project is to systematically stylistically analyse Credit Card advertisements from three major banking establishments: Abbey National, Lloyds TSB and Alliance & Leicester.

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1.  Aim

The aim of this project is to systematically stylistically analyse Credit Card advertisements from three major banking establishments: Abbey National, Lloyds TSB and Alliance & Leicester. Focusing on salient points within the Abbey National advertisement, I will compare and evaluate its disparity and similarity in relation to lexical and grammatical elements within the other two texts. I shall also solicit opinion from a range of participants, regarding specific words or features within each advertisement that appeal to them. The abbreviations for the advertisements are as follows:

Abbey National = AN

Lloyds TSB = TSB

Alliance and Leicester = A&L

2. Lexical Categories

i. General

        The ‘AN’ advertisement employs vocabulary that diverges from complex lexis, so as to appeal to the wider general public. The simplicity of the advertisement is evident through the absence of sophisticated, specialist terminology, yet the text remains subject specific. The financial jargon is presented in the concluding section of the advertisement in small font, as a means of not distracting the consumer from the main body of text and to ultimately circumvent confusion due to unfamiliar terminology.  The general vocabulary content of both the ‘TSB’ and ‘A&L’ advertisements are fairly simple, yet unlike the ‘AN’ advertisement, the financial jargon is presented within the main body of both texts.

        The ‘AN’ advertisement is written in an informal register; the second person personal pronoun ‘you’ is used fifty-one times within the main body of the text. This repetition suggests the advertisers endeavour to construct a rapport and connection with the consumer which would subsequently prompt the customer to apply for Credit. Specifically, the use of the pronoun ‘you’ forms the concept of personalisation, which furthermore has connotations of the exclusive consideration of the individual. Both the ‘TSB’ and ‘A&L’ advertisements have a differing degree of formality in relation to Abbey National’s attempt at promoting their Credit Card. ‘TSB’ appears to employ a fairy informal register, (the pronoun ‘you’ is used twice, and the pronoun ‘your’ is used three times) yet taking into account the actual content of the text, which is majorly based upon financial aspects; there is a degree of formality. ‘A&L’ present a similar mixed-register; the majority of the lexis is financial based jargon, which indicates formality. However, the pronouns ‘you’ (7) ‘we’ (2) ‘our’ (1) and ‘your’ (1) are present which specify the aspect of an informal register.

        The graphology of the ‘AN’ advertisement also proposes an aspect of informality. The images printed to accompany the text show a shopping basket filled with commodities, suitcases, and lastly, a gift box. The images are harmonious and parallel to the theoretical necessity of applying for Credit, wherein the images visualise the consumer’s desires and to some degree, act as a psychological medium regarding the emotional concept of requirement. Regarding the graphological aspects of the ‘TSB’ advertisement, the information is presented within defined sections, which allows the text to be read in easily manageable units. ‘A&L’ use bullet points to deliver their advertisement in an effective, concise method.

        With regards to morphology, the ‘AN’ advertisement contains many free morphemes that are commonly monomorphemic, such as ‘credit’ and ‘money.’ This suggests simplification of the text for the benefit of the customer, as monomorphemic lexis is undemanding of expertise regarding the semantic field of ‘finance.’ However, there is the sporadic use of derivational morphemes such as the adverb ‘refreshingly’ and the comparative adjective ‘easier,’ wherein the use of the morphemic suffixes ‘ly’ and ‘er’ respectively, are added to the initial morpheme. This in turn, derives a further lexical formulation with enhanced semantic loading which, in addition, elevates the status of the product. ‘TSB’ and ‘A&L’ also use monomorphemic lexis, which are not divisible into smaller parts and are therefore uncomplicated in comprehension.

        The vocabulary of the ‘AN’ advertisement has a specific aim: to successfully persuade the consumer to apply for a Credit Card. This is achieved by both describing and evaluating the benefits of the product using a particular stylistic feature that is frequent within financial advertisements; this is referred to as ‘middle style.’ This style aims at clarity and simplicity, wherein use of jargon is nominal and remains comprehensible. Both ‘TSB’ and ‘A&L’ marginally differ from ‘AN’ in this instance, as there is evidence of mixed register in both advertisements, furthermore attributable to the use of financial jargon within the body of text.

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        Concerning the associations of words in the ‘AN’ advertisement, the use of the abstract noun ‘idea’ is denotative, as it is conceptual and therefore holds cognitive meaning. The central or core meaning of this lexical item is a plan formed by mental effort, indicating both purpose and intention.  In the context of the sentence, ‘to give you an idea just how much this new card can save you, read on,’ the connotative aspect infers that the bank has already formed and shaped the ‘idea’ therefore requiring no mental effort on the consumers part. The transitive verb ‘to give’ used with ...

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