Presentation Atlas.ti User Conference 2013, Berlin Fostering Dialogue on Qualitative Methods September 12 – 14
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Presentation Atlas.ti User Conference 2013, Berlin Fostering Dialogue on Qualitative Methods September 12 – 14



Presentation Atlas.ti User Conference 2013, Berlin Fostering Dialogue on Qualitative Methods September 12 – 14

Presentation Atlas.ti User Conference 2013, Berlin Fostering Dialogue on Qualitative Methods September 12 – 14



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Presentation Atlas.ti User Conference 2013, Berlin Fostering Dialogue on Qualitative Methods September 12 – 14 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. A methodological framework for conducting multimodal rhetorical analyses of advertising films with atlas.ti 7 Berlin Technical University 13/9/2013 George Rossolatos MSc, MBA, PhD Candidate in Marketing Semiotics University of Kassel Founder of //disruptiVesemiOtics//
  • 2. What is the importance of rhetoric for ad textual signification? • The persuasive discourse of advertising is highly figurative, replete with rhetorical schemes and tropes. • “Wherever there is persuasion, there is rhetoric; and wherever there is meaning, there is persuasion” (Kenneth Burke) • It is impossible to account for how brand meaning is generated without accounting for modes of ad textual con-figuration.
  • 3. The contribution of the //rhetor.dixit// model to our understanding and management of ad textual configuration //rhetor.dixit//, powered with the content analytic capabilities of atlas.ti: • furnishes a novel methodology for conducting rhetorical analysis of advertising filmic narratives with the aid of content analysis, by dissecting ad films segment-by-segment, according to uniformly applicable criteria. • focuses on verbo-visual interactions within and among rhetorical figures, rather than resting at the level of pointing out which figures are operative in ad filmic narratives. • draws on a filmic grammar rationale, which is most pertinent for gauging multimodal interactions.
  • 4. The contribution of the //rhetor.dixit// model to our understanding and management of ad textual configuration //rhetor.dixit//, powered with the content analytic capabilities of atlas.ti: • extends the descriptive outlook on the occurrence and co- occurrence of verbo-visual rhetorical figures by examining the relationship between rhetorical configuration modes and the variable argumentation strategies that are pursued by advertisers, thus putting rhetorical figures and argumentation strategies into a coherent perspective. • furnishes a string of useful statistics, including “the rhetorical figures co-occurrence index” that emphasizes the strength of co- occurrence of one or more figures in the same filmic syntagm(s).
  • 5. The contribution of the //rhetor.dixit// model to our understanding and management of ad textual configuration //rhetor.dixit//, powered with the content analytic capabilities of atlas.ti: • expands the definitional scope of traditional figures in the light of a largely visio-centric mode of discourse, by highlighting how traditional figures (over and above the four master tropes of metaphor, metonymy, irony, synecdoche) may be applied effectively to other than verbal modes, but also in interactions among modes. • incorporates three novel rhetorical figures (accolorance, reshaption, pareikonopoeia) in an effort to account for the bespoke configuration modes of ad filmic narratives.
  • 6. The methodological framework of //rhetor.dixit// • Leveraging film grammar for the derivation of the segmentation rationale and interpretive guidelines • Drawing on Groupe μ’s first rhetorical treatise (1970) for the derivation of an a priori list of 39 rhetorical figures that make up the code-list – Also informed by various rhetorical treatises, such as Fontanier’s (1977), Aristotle’s, Quintilian’s, Perelman and Olbrecht-Tyteca’s (1971) – Enriching and expanding the definitions of the employed taxonomy in order to account for • the visual mode • interactions among verbal and visual modes • Individual codes were grouped into families, by positing rhetorical operations as hyper-variables
  • 7. //rhetor.dixit//: List of rhetorical operations • Suppression: Two expressive units (verbal/visual) are completely substitutable at the same place of the sequence/syntagm. • Adjunction: Two expressive units (verbal/visual) occupy the same place in a filmic sequence/syntagm, but are either not substitutable or are partially substitutable. • Substitution: An expressive unit completely substitutes another in a filmic sequence/syntagm, either morphologically or syntactically or at a semantic level. • Permutation: Two expressive units are included in a different order than expected in a filmic sequence/syntagm.
  • 8. //rhetor.dixit//: Classification of figures based on modality and textual level Dimensions Individual filmic syntagm Between two filmic syntagms ‘Global semantic’ filmic context Units of analysis Figures/operations occurring only in verbal modality Figures/operations occurring only in visual modality Figures/operations occurring in verbo / visual modality
  • 9. //rhetor.dixit//: Codelist with rhetorical figures (atlas.ti ‘Export Codes’ output)
  • 10. //rhetor.dixit//: Three methodological focal areas • how to demarcate miminal units of analysis in the form of ad filmic segments • how to code minimal units of analysis with rhetorical figures • how to produce descriptive statistics by using Atlas.ti’s embedded functionalities.
  • 11. The analytical corpus • A representative commercial from the key brands making up the BrandZ 2012 list was selected, yielding a sample of 87 effective TV commercials. • Each film was segmented into filmic segments, which resulted in 561 segments. • The 561 filmic segments were coded with one or more figures, based on whether the corresponding figure occurred in the syntagm itself as relatively autonomous thematic unit or by reference to the directly preceding/ensuing sequence or retrospectively, by taking into account the global semantic/thematic context of the film. • 545 incidences of rhetorical figures were discerned in the entire corpus.
  • 12. Indicative file with some of the ad films that were included in the corpus and additional coding by argumentation strategy, narration mode and music style
  • 13. //rhetor.dixit//: Demarcation of ad filmic segments (i) • As Metz has shown, there is no such thing in the moving image as a priori clear-cut boundaries for their determination. The filmic 'sequence', which is one of the types of syntagms to play an important role in the cinema […] is not 'present' in any part of any film, and there is no textual place where it can be attested. Films simply offer us particular sequences, individual tokens of the sequence-type: the 'observation' of the text reduced to itself will never tell us which are the distinctive features which make a sequence a sequence. (Metz, 1974, p.165)
  • 14. //rhetor.dixit//: Demarcation of ad filmic segments (iv) • The key principle for segmenting ad films into salient segments (or syntagms, in Metz’s [1974] terms) consists in the possibility of making sense of a segment as a standalone semantic unit. • Ad filmic segments correspond to quotations in Atlas.ti. • The filmic segment/syntagm, then, must be described/transcribed as objectively as possible with regard to its contents, against the background of its relative autonomy, that is irrespective of its actual ‘meaning’ in the context of the film’s ‘global semantic context’ (Van Dijk 1980).
  • 15. Excel file with film segments and transcriptions (© //rhetor.dixit//).
  • 16. //rhetor.dixit//: Examples ad filmic segments’ coding (US Bank ad film) Big blue box with red arrow pointing to quotation bar, while small blue box with red arrow pointing to quotation’s coding with a rhetorical figure.
  • 17. //rhetor.dixit//: Accounting for modes of ad textual con- figuration with atlas.ti //rhetor.dixit//, powered with the content analytic capabilities of atlas.ti, allows us to : • address the relative incidence of rhetorical operations and figures in a selected corpus • gauge the co-occurrence of figures in the corpus • produce network views on individual filmic and corpus-wide levels • determine the Incidence of figures by – argumentation strategy – product/service sector – music style – narration style
  • 18. //rhetor.dixit//: Key findings from the world’s most valuable brands corpus (i) • In total 545 incidences of rhetorical figures were encountered in the 561 segments that make up the selected corpus of 87 advertising films from the most valuable brandst he co-occurrence of figures in the corpus • The majority of figures partake of the operation of adjunction(67%), followed by substitution (17%), permutation (11%) and suppression (6%). count % adjunction 364 67% permutation 60 11% substitution 91 17% suppresison 30 6% ttl 545 100%
  • 19. //rhetor.dixit//: Key findings from the world’s most valuable brands corpus (ii) • The most often recurring figures in the ‘Most valuable brands’ corpus were anaphora, pareikonopoeia, accolorance, metaphor, inversion, antanaclasis, epiphora, rhyme , metonymy, alliteration and reshaption. Rhetorical figure % of each operation % of ttl sample Anaphora 30% 20% Pereikonopoeia 13% 9% Accolorance 11% 7% Antanaclasis 7% 5% Epiphora 7% 5% Alliteration 5% 4% Rhyme 6% 4% Reshaption 5% 4% Antithesis 5% 3% Personification 3% 2% Expletion 2% 1% Hyperbole 2% 1% Parenthesis 1% 1% Assonance 1% 0% Epenthesis 0% 0% Neologism 0% 0% Paronomasia 0% 0% Polysyndeton 0% 0% adjunction total 100% 67% Inversion 50% 6% Antimetabole 25% 3% Anacolouthon 8% 1% Tmesis 13% 1% Anagram 3% 0% permutation total 100% 11% Metaphor 36% 6% Metonymy 23% 4% Irony 11% 2% Oxymoron 12% 2% Pun 12% 2% Synecdoche 4% 1% Onomatopoeia 0% 0% Paradox 1% 0% substitution total 100% 17% Ellipsis 40% 2% Asyndeton 13% 1% Litotes 13% 1% rhetorical question 17% 1% Apheresis 0% 0% Apocope 3% 0% suspension/ silence 7% 0% Zeugma 7% 0% suppression total 100% 6% Note: 0 percentages denote either the non-incidence of the concerned figures in the selected corpus or are attributed to rounding.
  • 20. //rhetor.dixit//: Key findings from the world’s most valuable brands corpus (iii) • Particular figures that may not be occurring as frequently as others, yet when they occur, they tend to co-occur largely with others within the same segments. • Figures which do not occur as frequently in the total sample, such as epenthesis, apocope, rhyme, antithesis, rhetorical question, when they occur they tend to co-occur highly with other figures. % of ttl sample Cooccurrence strength Index epenthesis 0% 265 apocope 0% 265 rhyme 4% 239 metonymy 4% 226 epiphora 5% 198 pun 2% 198 irony 2% 181 antithesis 3% 165 accolorance 7% 137 rhetorical question 1% 132 reshaption 4% 114 Note: 0 percentages are attributed to rounding.
  • 21. //rhetor.dixit//: Key findings from the world’s most valuable brands corpus (iv)- US Bank rhetorical structure network view • A most useful functionality of Atlas.ti 7 is the production of network views (maps) that incorporate either all or some of the key aspects of a coded ad film (that is codes, memos, even comments)- with the added functionality in the program’s new version of also portraying each filmic segment on a map in visual mode. • The US Bank network view tells you in a snapshot that antanaclasis (of the adjunction operation) is the dominant rhetorical figure in this ad film, as it links to the majority of ad filmic segments.
  • 22. //rhetor.dixit//: Indicative examples- intra-segment level of analysis • Alliterations abound within individual syntagms, as in – the repetition of the morpheme ‘ma-‘ in the payoff line of the HP ad filmic text (‘make it matter’) – of the consonant ‘p’ in the Pampers payoff line (‘Peaceful nights, playful days’), which also alliterates with the visual of the brand’s logo) • the same pattern is repeated in the Toyota Prius commercial (‘More Prius, more possibilities’) – Alliterations also occurred in the corpus through the repetition of consonants ‘b’ and ‘d’ in the Starbucks double espresso payoff line (‘Starbucks double espresso premium drink- Bring on the day’) – of the consonant ‘h’ in the Disneyland commercial (‘happiest homecoming’) – of the consonant ‘b’ in a mid-filmic syntagm of the State Farm text (‘bungling, bustling, bundle benders’) …and the alliteration list can continue
  • 23. //rhetor.dixit//: Indicative examples- intra-segment level of analysis • Hyperbolically accentuated verbal statements are noted in incidences such as the Orange ad film, where the key semic component of /proximity/ in the modal proposition ‘you can stay close to those that matter to you’ is hyperbolically enhanced with the employment of visuals portraying significant others literally emerging from within oneself.
  • 24. //rhetor.dixit//: Indicative examples- interaction between succeeding segments level of analysis • Antanaclases are no longer merely the province of verbal statements. • The verbo-visual repetition of the same visuals/words with different meaning affords to invest brand discourses with ever ramifying semantic twists and turns. • For example, the SAP text repeats the word ‘run’ in two predominant senses both within and between filmic segments, in the sense of speeding up, as well as in the sense of executing or operating a program.
  • 25. //rhetor.dixit//: Indicative examples- interaction between succeeding segments level of analysis • A remarkable example of how an entire ad filmic text is configured around antanaclases that are operative both within individual and across segments, but also in constant interaction between verbal and visual modes, is the ad film of U.S. bank. • The text oscillates constantly between the logo, the brand name and the very meaning of the personal pronoun ‘us’, thus creating a verbo-visual osmosis that attests to how a first mover figurative rhetorical advantage may be yielded not only by the employment of less frequently recurring figures, but, moreover, by different combinations of highly recurring figures in dynamic verbo-visual interactions.
  • 26. //rhetor.dixit//: Indicative examples- global filmic thematic context • Verbo-visual anaphoras, which constitute the most often recurring rhetorical figure (of the adjunction operation) function as markers in the multimodal rhetoric pursued by the majority of the most valued brands. • Indicative examples consist of • (i) recurrent product shots, embedded in slice-of-life, experiential moments that feature the advertised brand (e.g., Budweiser bottle and/or logo)
  • 27. Benefits of using atlas.ti for multimodal rhetorical analyses of ad filmic texts • Atlas.ti 7 is particularly suited to multimodal discourse analyses • By combining traditional rhetorical analysis of multimodal ad texts with a quantified view in the context of a selected corpus, we are capable of determining not only individual films’ rhetorical structures, but, even more importantly, dominant modes of rhetorical configuration. • In this manner, we are capable of discerning directions whereby ‘differential figurative advantages’ may be furnished to brand discourses, by comparing and contrasting the relative incidence of individual figures and operations among brands. • Atlas.ti 7 is an indispensable facilitator for strategic, but also tactical brand communications planning, as well as for keeping detailed track of brands’ figurative discourse, on a micro-level, that is segment-by- segment, rather than on an entire filmic one.
  • 28. Industry benefits from integrating multimodal rhetorical analyses of ad filmic texts in strategic and tactical planning • An account planning team may keep track in a minutely detailed manner of how competitive brand communication strategies were fleshed out throughout time by producing aggregate reports about the relative incidence of distinctive profilmic elements and/or rhetorical figures/operations. • Making informed decisions about which elements to avoid repeating, as well as about which profilmic elements may be used for truly standout/disruptive communications. • A brand management team may monitor through statistical analyses the relative impact of the employment of different creative elements and rhetorical strategies on market share and soft metrics, such as brand image, brand familiarity and brand involvement.
  • 29. Thank you George Rossolatos A methodological framework for conducting multimodal rhetorical analyses of advertising films with Atlas.ti available @