Scripting the Communication Strategy for Mineral Water Advertising in the USA

A Multimodal Textual Analysis


  • Walter Giordano University of Naples Federico II
  • Emanuela Ammendola



script theory, fold and swap theory, multimodal analysis, advertising discourse, advertising strategies


The discourse of advertising, along with its functions and structure, has been studied for many years from several points of view. Modern communication relies both on explicit messages and, more frequently, implicit messages, which can be more effective in delivering an intimate promotional essence. The germinal idea behind this paper stems from the prototype theory—formulated by Rosch (1978) and developed by a number of other scholars (e.g., Geeraerts 2006; 2016; Ross and Makin 1999; Aitchison 1994)—and, more specifically, from the prototypical paths it generates (scripts). We explore the possibility of applying scripts to advertising. Of particular interest are the effects that changes to the script produce in terms of the promotional message and consumer perception of the advertised product. The advertising sphere chosen for this study is the US mineral water market; a corpus of Instagram advertisements, retrieved from the pages of the main US producers of bottled mineral water (2,223 tokens), was selected and both their verbal and non-verbal aspects were analyzed. The results confirm our hypothesis of the presence of script change in advertising: such results offer a basis for further research to establish a predictive model for advertising communication that can be applied to various advertising channels (commercials, digital advertisements, etc.) and different products.


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