De reclamemaker centraal | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 37, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236



Advertising utterances make abundant use of rhetorical figures, of creative, deviant ways of communicating an ad message, such as rhyme, wordplay and metaphor. Ample research has been conducted on the effects of rhetorical figures. However, an unanswered question deals with the motives of advertising agency personnel (such as the creative team) for using rhetorical figures. Previous studies only examined the motives of advertisers. In this study, ten half-structured interviews were carried out to reveal their motives, using the advertisers’ own ads. These interviews showed that the advertisers often create rhetorical figures with the assumed effects of these rhetorical figures in mind. Attracting consumers’ attention, challenging them to think and gaining their appreciation were the most mentioned effects. Other motives included product and brand fit, the competition’s utterances, and design pleasure. This study brings to light how the advertisers’ motives fit scholars’ findings on the identity and functioning of rhetorical figures.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): advertising; authorial intentions; interviews; persuasion; rhetorical figures; stylistics
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