Going Green with... Communication
A Comparative Analysis of Opposing Campaigns
Keywords:Greenpeace campaigns, Gazprom, greenspeak, promotionalisation, multimodal critical discourse analysis, ecolinguistics
In tune with rapidly increasing environmental awareness, terms like sustainability and eco-friendly frequently occur and are exploited in discourse domains from supermarket advertising to corporate communication. In contrast to these discursive simulations of concern, Greenpeace (GP) activists have consistently used peaceful protests as a means to protect our planet. GP’s campaigns are designed to raise questions, to make people rethink the way they live and (ab)use the Earth’s environment, and, ultimately, to engage volunteers and raise funds. In a different vein, Gazprom (GZM) also attempts to advertise its corporate image and its mission to distribute gas through powerful technology, connecting entire continents through a grid of pipelines and ships, ‘energising’ anything from industrial plants to gas stoves in apartments and small cottages. The aim of this study is to analyse aspects of both GZM’s and GP’s modes of advertising their goals, particularly the multi-layered composition of their online videos, using a multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis approach from an ecolinguistic perspective. Both GZM and GP exemplify a tendency to“promotionalisation,” sharing the same codes and rhetoric strategies in a variety of advertising campaigns. Unpredictably enough, both utilise ‘green speaking’ multimodally. The implications of these striking similarities are discussed.
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