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2015/2016  KAN-CCMVV5152U  The language of advertising: Perception, cognition and communication

English Title
The language of advertising: Perception, cognition and communication

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Autumn, Spring, Fourth Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 25
Max. participants 30
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Per Durst-Andersen - Department of International Business Communication (IBC)
Co-coordinator: Anna Cabak Redei
Kontaktinformation: https:/​/​e-campus.dk/​studium/​kontakt eller Contact information: https:/​/​e-campus.dk/​studium/​kontakt
Main academic disciplines
  • Communication
  • Marketing
  • Cultural studies
Last updated on 21-09-2015
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the different approaches to understanding advertising, including the fields of semiotics, perception, cognition, logic, and rhetoric.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the essential elements of Product-Consumer Communication.
  • Analyse various ads from different countries by using different methods from semiotics, linguistics, logic, communication and rhetoric and by applying the notional apparatus attached to these methods.
  • Provide illustrative examples of ads from various fields.
Course prerequisites
The language of advertising:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral Exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Duration 20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time With the listed preparation time: 20 Minutes
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Summer
Aids allowed to bring to the exam All written and electronic aids
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The student picks a specific theme among the various topics dicussed during the course. After the preparation time, the student makes a 5 min presentation. Hereafter the examinator takes over and puts additional questions to the student

Course content and structure
  1. Lesson: Introduction
  • Case 1: Racism takes many shapes
  • Pictorial semiotics


2. Lesson: Perception

  • Recent results from eye-tracking
  • Can we see from linguistic data how people look at a picture: Naming vs. framing


3. Lesson: Cognition and culture

  • Advertising in various countries
  • Cases: IKEA, Bianco Footwear, Dolce-Gabbana, Bennetton


4. Lesson: Argumentation - Logic and rhetoric

  • Deduction, abduction and induction
  • The rhetoric of advertising (verbal communication)
  • Toulmin's argumentation model


5. Lesson: Product and consumer communication

  • How different products convince people to buy them
  • Satisfaction, obedience and compliance conditions


6. Lesson: When advertising tells a story

  • Introduction to Peircean semiotics
  • Cases from Eilersen Furniture, Smirnoff and Mulberry


7. Lesson: Advertising campaign - The Burberry case

  • Romantic love in various media
  • Interpretation and discussion by students


8. Lesson: Advertising campaign - Other cases

  • Rhetoric in advertising (non-verbal communication)
  • Aestetics, design and culture 


9. Lesson: Fashion photography and psychology

  • Evolutionary aspects
  • Discussion of various examples


10. Lesson: Summing up

Teaching methods
Lecturing combined with discussion and small student presentations
Expected literature

Chandler, D. (2007). Semiotics: the basics. London and New York: Routledge.


Sonesson, G. (2013). Two strands of rhetoric in advertising discourse. International Journal of Marketing Semiotics 1: 6-24.


Ottobring,  T., Shams, P., Wästlund, E.,  and Gustafsson, A. (2013). Left isn’t always right: placement of pictorial and textual package elements. British Food Journal, 115.8: 1211-1225.


Reichert, T. & Lambiase, J. (eds.) (2003). Sex in advertising: Perspectives on the erotic appeal (2003). London: Lawrence Erlbaum associates, publishers.


Reichert, T. & Lambiase, J. (eds.) (2006). Sex in consumer culture: the erotic content of media and marketing (2006). London and Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.


Goffman, E. (1997). Frame analysis of gender. In The Goffman Reader. Edited by Charles

Lemert and Ann Branaman. Oxford, UK, and Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers Inc.


Vladimir Propp (1968). Morphology of the folktale. Transl. by Laurence Scott. Austin, Tex.: University of Texas Press. 

Last updated on 21-09-2015