Publisher: Linguistic Association of Nigeria

Cultural Representation and Its Significance In Modern Advertising: The Case of Igbo

Roseline Ihuoma Ndimele
KEYWORDS: Cultural Representation and its Significance in Modern Advertising: The Case of Igbo


Language is a social instrument for human interaction and there is a correlation between the form and the content of a language and the values and beliefs embedded in the cultures of its speakers. The culture of a people cannot be separated from the bases of their existence because culture determines how members of a society think and feel. The aim of advertising is not only to attract audiences’ attention, it motivates interest, changes perceptions, stimulates desires and manipulates social and cultural values and attitudes. The creation of understanding in advertisingrequires the use of appropriate language, signs and symbols which are mutually shared between a message source and the receiver. It is the effectiveness of the used mode of expression that determines an appropriate feedback. This paper aims at examining how and why advertisements should be attached to cultures. Our investigations are based on the fact that understanding the concept of culture and cultural differences is of great significance in global marketing generally, and advertising in particular, because every culture has its own style of communication. This study, adopting the content analysis as its research design, investigates the Igbo people, their language and culture, and the sociolinguistic vitality of the Igbo language in the Nigerian polity which qualifies is for special consideration by advertisers. The cultural contents of some advertisements on both print and electronic media are analyzed to determine the pragmatic strategies employed by advertisers based on values and traditions of the Igbo society. The study concludes with the claim that culture plays a vital role in the choice of language of texts and media of advertising adopted by copywriters in marketing products. The study may serve to educate advertisers on the fact that advertisements are not created in a void.

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