Emotional Branding in Multimodal Personal Loan TV Advertisements: Analysing Voices and Engagement



By analysing multimodal TV advertisements for personal loan services, this chapter aims to show how Bakhtin’s (Rabelais and his world. Translated by Helene Iswolsky. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1968; Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics. Translated by Caryl Emerson. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984) notion of voices is exploited in advertising discourse to enhance emotional branding (Travis , Emotional branding: how successful brands gain the irrational edge. Roseville, CA: Prima Venture, 2000). The chapter illustrates the multimodal construction of character and discursive voices and demonstrates that these intertextual voices contribute to emotional branding through multimodal engagement strategies. Four representative examples of personal loans TV commercials are examined and the first two of them are proved to be more successful in terms of their deployment of visual semiotic resources to emotionally engage with viewers and thus more effective in emotional branding. It is hoped that the study sheds light on the understanding of the engaging nature of emotional branding, the intersection between intertextual voices and corporate identity and the multimodal construction of voices and engagement.


Emotional branding Intertextual voices Personal loans Television advertisements Engagement 


  1. Aaker, David. 1996. Building strong brands. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1968. Rabelais and his world. Translated by Helene Iswolsky. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 1981. The dialogic imagination. Translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 1984. Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics. Translated by Caryl Emerson. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Baldry, Anthony. 2004. Phase and transition, type and instance: Patterns in media texts as seen through a multimodal concordancer. In Multimodal discourse analysis: Systemic-functional perspectives, ed. Kay O’Halloran, 83–108. London and New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  6. Baldry, Anthony, and Paul Thibault. 2006. Multimodal transcription and text analysis: A multimedia toolkit and coursebook with associated on-line course. London: Equinox.Google Scholar
  7. Bateman, John, and Karl-Heinrich Schmidt. 2011. Multimodal film analysis: How films mean. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Bauer, Martin. 2000. Analysing noise and music as social data. In Qualitative researching with text, image and sound: A practical handbook, ed. Martin Bauer and George Gaskell, 263–281. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bernstein, Basil. 1990. The structuring of pedagogic discourse. London and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bezemer, Jeff, and Diane Mavers. 2011. Multimodal transcription as academic practice: A social semiotic perspective. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 14 (3): 191–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1991. Language and symbolic power. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  12. Brookes, Gavin, and Kevin Harvey. 2017. Just plain Wronga? A multimodal critical analysis of online payday loan discourse. Critical Discourse Studies 14 (2): 167–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chan, Kara, and Hong Cheng. 2009. Materialism and consumer socialization: A semiotic analysis of personal loan advertisements. Communicative Business 2009 (1): 60–79.Google Scholar
  14. Chan, Kara, Hong Cheng, Melannie Zhan, and Dickson Yeung. 2017. Personal loan advertisements in Hong Kong: A semiotic study. In Social issues of advertising, ed. Kara Chan, 101–115. Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.Google Scholar
  15. Cook, Guy. 2001. The discourse of advertising. 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dash, Amarendra Kumar, Priyadarshi Patnaik, and Damodar Suar. 2016. A multimodal discourse analysis of glocalisation and cultural identity in three Indian TV commercials. Discourse & Communication 10 (3): 209–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dyer, Gillian. 1982. Advertising as communication. London and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fairclough, Norman. 1992. Discourse and social change. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  19. Feng, Dezheng, and Peter Wignell. 2011. Intertextual voices and engagement in TV advertisements. Visual Communication 10 (4): 565–588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gobé, Marc. 2001. Emotional branding: The new paradigm for connecting brands to people. New York: Allworth Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gregory, James. 2004. The best of branding: Best practices in corporate branding. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  22. Haig, Matt. 2011. Brand success: How the world’s top 100 brands thrive and survive. 2nd ed. London: KoganPage.Google Scholar
  23. Holt, Douglas. 2004. How brands become icons: The principles of cultural branding. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  24. Hong Kong Consumer Council. 2002. Concerns over advertising tactics of loans and credit cards. Choice Magazine, Press release 307. Accessed October 4, 2018.
  25. Iedema, Rick. 2001. Analysing film and television: A social semiotic account of hospital: An unhealthy business. In Handbook of visual analysis, ed. Theo van Leeuwen and Carey Jewitt, 183–204. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Jewitt, Carey, Jeff Bezemer, and Kay O’Halloran. 2016. Introducing multimodality. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Kress, Gunther, and Terry Threadgold. 1988. Towards a social theory of genre. Southern Review 21 (3): 215–245.Google Scholar
  28. Kress, Gunther, and Theo van Leeuwen. 2001. Multimodal discourse: The modes and media of contemporary communication. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  29. ———. 2006. Reading images: The grammar of visual design. 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Labov, William, and Joshua Waletzky. 1967. Narrative analysis: Oral versions of personal experience. In Essays on the verbal and visual arts, ed. June Helm, 12–44. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  31. Lash, Scott, and John Urry. 1994. Economies of signs and space. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  32. Levinson, Stephen. 1992. Activity types and language. In Talk at work: Interaction in institutional settings, ed. Paul Drew and John Heritage, 66–100. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  33. Lim, Fei Victor, and Kay O’Halloran. 2012. The ideal teacher: An analysis of a teacher-recruitment advertisement. Semiotica 189 (1/4): 229–253.Google Scholar
  34. Lo, Alex. 2016. Are loan commercials dragging young people into a morass of debt? South China Morning Post, 14 September.Google Scholar
  35. Manning, Paul. 2010. The semiotics of brand. Annual Review of Anthropology 39: 33–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Martin, James, and Peter White. 2005. The language of evaluation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Martin, Jim, and Gunther Plum. 1997. Construing experience: Some story genres. Journal of Narrative and Life History 7 (1–4): 299–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Metz, Christian. 1974. Film language: The semiotics of cinema. Translated by Michael Taylor. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Nattiez, Jean-Jacques. 1990. Music and discourse—Towards a semiology of music. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  40. O’Halloran, Kay. 2004. Visual semiosis in film. In Multimodal discourse analysis: Systemic functional perspectives, ed. Kay O’Halloran, 109–131. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  41. O’Halloran, Kay, and Fei Victor Lim. 2009. Sequential visual discourse frames. In The world told and the world shown: Multisemiotic issues, ed. Eija Ventola and Arsenio Jesús Moya Guijarro, 139–156. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  42. O’Halloran, Kay, Sabine Tan, and Marissa E. Kwan Lin. 2013. ‘Above all’: The myth of ‘dreams’ as advertising tool. In The multimodal analysis of television commercials, ed. Barry Pennock-Speck and Maria Milagros del Saz-Rubio, 113–135. Valencia: University of Valencia Press.Google Scholar
  43. Oswald, Laura. 2012. Marketing semiotics: Signs, strategies, and brand value. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rahm, Henrik. 2006. Getting attention in the media. In Mediating ideology in text and image, ed. Inger Lassen, Jeanne Strunck, and Torben Vestergaard, 193–210. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Reitan, Lorentz. 1991. Does it really mean anything: Some aspects of meaning. In Contemporary musical thought, ed. John Paynter, Tim Howell, Richard Orton, and Peter Seymour, vol. 1, 625–633. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Schneider, Gary. 2007. Electronic commerce. 7th annual ed. Boston, MA: Thomson.Google Scholar
  47. Tan, Sabine. 2009. A systemic functional framework for the analysis of corporate television advertisements. In The world told and the world shown: Multisemiotic issues, ed. Eija Ventola and Arsenio Jesús Moya Guijarro, 157–182. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  48. Temporal, Paul. 2002. Advanced brand management: From vision to valuation. Singapore and New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  49. Thibault, Paul. 2000. The multimodal transcription of a television advertisement: Theory and practice. In Multimodality and multimediality in the distance learning age, ed. Anthony Baldry, 311–385. Campobasso: Palladino Editore.Google Scholar
  50. Travis, Daryl. 2000. Emotional branding: How successful brands gain the irrational edge. Roseville, CA: Prima Venture.Google Scholar
  51. van Leeuwen, Theo. 1999. Speech, music, sound. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. ———. 2006. Towards a semiotics of typography. Information Design Journal 14 (2): 139–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. ———. 2008. Discourse and practice: New tools for critical discourse analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Vestergaard, T., and K. Schroder. 1985. The language of advertising. New York: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  55. West, Douglas, John Ford, and Essam Ibrahim. 2006. Strategic marketing: Creating competitive advantage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EnglishUniversity of Hong KongPok Fu LamHong Kong

Personalised recommendations