Stance-taking as an identity construction in advertising targeted at mothers. A comparative analysis
Keywords:stance-taking, identity, mother, motherhood, audiovisual advertising, multimodality
The paper presents a comparative analysis of two audiovisual commercials targeted at mothers. While the Huggies commercial employs the mother identity established in the 20th-century media discourse, the Frida Mom commercial challenges this normative by constructing a more complex identity. The major argument is that stance-taking as a discursive practice enables the persuader to build the intended identity and thus to influence the persuadee’s decision. The paper studies both verbal and non-verbal stance-taking markers employed by the secondary participants, voice-over and superimposed texts. It concludes that the modalities are complementary in the sense that the verbal certainty provided in a faceless style is completed by the visual positive affect and vice versa in case of the Huggies commercial, but in the Frida Mom commercial both verbal and visual modalities communicate either doubt and negative affect simultaneously, or the positive affect. Concerning the stance object, while the Huggies commercial focuses on evaluating the product being advertised and the positive aspect the product brings to the mothering practice, the Frida Mom commercial evaluates the mothering practice in a much broader sense, ranging from the negative affect towards the mental health issues related to breastfeeding up to the positive affect towards maternal love.
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