Linguistic means of expression typical for Russian “feminine” and “masculine” advertisements
This article is an analysis of the grammar, word formation and syntactic linguistic means of expression occurring in Russian advertisements targeted at men and women. Many differences were noted following a comparative analysis. At the grammatical level in “feminine” advertisements the frequent use of comparative form of adjectives was noticed, which may correlate with women’s desire to constantly improve e.g. improve the appearance. Men, as the ones fond of competition, in advertisements are likely to use the superlative form of adjective. In “masculine” ads the use of personal and possessive pronouns in first person is typical, which practically does not occur in the examples of female ads. An example of differences in word-formation is the use of diminutives and prefixes loaned from English which are unusual for Russian, such as: ультра-, -экстра-, - мега- in advertisements aimed at women, which affects the idealization of the advertised message. Significant differences were noticed during the analysis of syntactic means of expression. Lexeme “новый” and its derivatives occur more frequently in the “feminine” advertisements. Interestingly, they do not determine the advertised product directly, but refer to the abstract nouns appearing in the ad. The opposite situation occurs in advertisements directed towards men. Based on the analyzed examples it was found that in the “masculine” advertising colloquial speech is often used, while the “feminine” makes use of a rather literary language. Construction of the advertising message also varies in the examples of both genders. A characteristic of “masculine” ads is the enumeration of elements of the advertised product, whereas in “feminine” ads the product qualities are described. In the examples considered a much more frequent use of imperatives is observed in advertisements aimed at women. Perhaps this is connected with the stereotypical vulnerability of women to public opinion and stereotypical individualism of men who cannot tolerate being told directly what to do. The quantative analysis of certain punctuation marks used also shows the differences between “feminine” and “masculine” language. The analysis showed that the exclamation mark is used more frequently in “feminine” than “masculine” advertising, perhaps because it makes the transmission more emotional and facilitates the realization of a persuasive function. In “masculine” ads an increased use of ellipses and question marks is noted. They enrich a rather stiff message used in advertisements directed at men.