The aim of the present study is to investigate the different aspects of intertextuality as adaptation in Pakistani TV advertisements. The target of advertising companies is to persuade their consumers, so they use different approaches for this purpose and intertextuality is one of them. To investigate the problem the following research question has been designed: Which aspects of intertextuality do the Pakistani TV commercials adapt in order to achieve their intended effects? The research design of the study is qualitative and descriptive. The study consists of eight Pakistani TV advertisements that have been collected from Pakistani TV channels through purposive sampling. The theoretical framework of the study is based on the approach of Intertextuality proposed by Kristeva (1966). The findings showed that the advertisers have created their advertisements by adapting the intertextuality elements of citation, reference, allusion and translation to make them attractive and enticing to get their economic purpose.
Advertisement, Intertextuality, Adaptation, Consumer, Persuasion, Citation, Reference, Allusion, Translation
Advertisements have majorly focused on the basic areas of study, such as sociology, psychology, discourse analysis, semiotics, etc. This is prevalent in the social order over and done with different mediums like Television, cinema, billboards, hoardings, newspapers, and publications. Altogether the means whether they are optical, verbal or aural used as instruments to get the viewers' attention.
The stint publicity is a Latin word that means to turn around (Goddard 2002, p. 9). So, this is a tool to turn consumers’ attention towards the advertised item. According to Beasley and Danesi (2002), advertisement is a sort of public message which is planned to focus the public’s attention toward the quality, availability and price of a particular service or commodity. Džanić (2013) identifies advertising as a process of relations of essentials within the fields amalgamates to one another. The nature of the advertisement is sponging. The borrowing of the features is from different fields that lead to danger, having no unique individuality. This even goes beyond their informative status about the commodity and has the power to influence and perhaps alter the attitudes, opinions and emotions of their target audience (Cook, 2001).
As advertisements are used to convince the consumers and make them take actions so their producers use different approaches that attract and influence the viewers and intertextuality is one of them which is a form of adaptation. Intertextuality displays a set of technical devices that functions as a reference to other existing texts which have been integrated into the text being processed (Downing ,2003 ; Hitchon & Jura, 1997; Kuppens, 2009; Van Niekerk, 2008). As a result, it can be said that no text exists in isolation because this fusion of the elements with other pre-existing texts has great impact on both the production and consumption of a text no matter whether it is done consciously or unconsciously.
As far as the adaptation is concerned, it is a process of change to suit alternative functions, environments or purposes. This is the modification and adjustment of one thing to suit another as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary. According to Hutcheon (2006), adaptation incorporates not only radio, television, film, and other electronic media but also virtual reality experiments, historical enactments and theme parks. For the listener, spectator or reader, adaptation as adaptation is inevitably a sort of intertextuality if the receiver is familiar with the adapted text. Adaptation can be an interpretive and creative transposition of a perceptible and identifiable other work or works.
The main goal of this paper is to examine different aspects of intertextuality which have been adapted to make the Pakistani TV advertisements persuasive and interesting. Intertextuality is an invention of Kristeva (1966) according to which, every text is based on the reference of the other one text or the referential text, discourses as well as genres. It is divided into two basic axes. The parallel axis is the relationship between the writer and the reader, on the other hand, the perpendicular axis is the relationship between the two texts (Kristeva, 1980). So these references become the important characteristics and features of the introduced text which consequently enable the readers to make particular orientation to the interior residents of transcript, conventions, experiences and antiquity to familiarity relevant with the discourses that are encountered.
Matheson (2005) emphasized that in an advertisement all meanings are intertextual. He claims that intertextuality is a valuable technique for the producers of the advertisements whether it is a form of borrowing or the allusion to other texts. According to him, we know the meaning of a word only because we have already met with the same word previously in specific contexts.
In order to make sense of the inter-generic references in advertisements, the viewers should aware of ethnic facts. For transposition or deriving, the morphemes are quoted and cited from other genres, replaced by other words, taken out of context, and used symbolically. To have the desired effect on the consumers, the producers count on consumers’ previous knowledge. The reason is that intertextuality becomes functional only in a situation when the consumers have the socio-cultural inventory of the sources of the inserted references or the experiences.
Through intertextuality, the writings are intertwined with one another in a type of relationship so that is a change and absorption of different messages so messages are associated and rehashed in this game-plan. The intertextual relationship in promoting can incite consumers'interest, consideration, memory, and want, and afterward eventually invigorate their buying activity since it is normal for individuals to acknowledge things they know about. Different researchers and etymologists have demonstrated their enthusiasm for intertextuality in publicizing and they have likewise directed research on the capacities and types of intertextuality in promoting language, for example, Han (2005), Chen (2006), Xin (2000) etc.
The same are the goals that are to examine different elements of intertextuality which are adapted to make Pakistani TV advertisements immersing, fascinating and convincing. For this purpose, the following objectives are designed:
Objectives of the study
· To identify the intertextual element of citation in Pakistani TV advertisements
· To explore the intertextual element of reference in Pakistani TV advertisements
· To examine the intertextual element of translation in Pakistani TV advertisements
· To identify the intertextual element of allusion in Pakistani TV advertisements
The following research question has been designed to get the answer to the problem.
Which aspects of intertextuality do Pakistani TV advertisements adapt in order to achieve their intended effects?
This topic has been selected for this research because it is very much related to the everyday life of every individual so it can easily grab the attention of the readers. In addition to that, no one has explored the intertextuality elements adapted in these particular Pakistani TV advertisements as far as the knowledge of the researcher is concerned so it will be an addition of new and interesting information.
Significance of the Study
The study will educate the readers how they are persuaded to buy a particular item and consequently, sometimes they purchase it whether they need it or not. It will enhance their critical thinking skills to evaluate the things before they buy them. Students of language, linguistics, literature and mass media can get useful information and can further develop their research in this area. It will be an addition of new information in the area of adaptation studies.
Limitation of the Study
This study is limited to the investigation of eight Pakistani TV commercials.
Kuppens (2009) observes that these days the audience has become very much media literate and globalized. As intertextuality is a persuasive element of media discourse so it has the characteristics to engage that globalized audience in the process of meaning construction easily. When the consumers are busy in the course of recognizing and interpreting the function of intertextuality, they encounter a riddle and when it is solved, it becomes a source of ‘ego enhancement’. In addition to that, it cultivates a positive attitude towards the advertised product (Kuppens, 2009). According to Kuppens (2009), all media texts are intertextual so consumers’ analysis, perception and interpretation of any media text is mediated by their exposure and experience to other texts.
In Woods’ (2006) point of view, an advertisement is a form of communication. The exclusive purpose of the advertisements is to entice and prompt the consumers through whatever they are saying, presenting and showing and to get the confidence and acceptance of their buyers about the advertised item. The advertisers are successful in their intentions and plans when the advertisements share the knowledge and values which the consumers have already in their minds. By further explain the Woods’ ideas, Sillars (1991) maintains that every advertisement is a mirror of particular ethos, deploy consumers’ as proved by their everyday experiences. In order to achieve that manipulation, intertextuality is used to get the objectives. So, intertextuality is taken as a process which is very helpful for the advertisers to create a connection between the recent text and the previous text to get the attention of the consumers.
Tanaka (1994) has done her research to explore the intertextuality in advertisements and she has taken the Philosophy of Significance as a hypothetical outline for the study. According to her, communication is developed between the text of the ad and its readers through which the readers are able to decode the intentions of the advertiser and the message and meaning behind the text.
Han (2005) recognizes that there are two fundamental sorts of ideas of intertextuality in promotions. First is the source content while the second is the intertextual marks. Through source message, the message and thoughts are inferred. The notices depend on both the content and the pictures used to make them. These writings and pictures can additionally be classified into music, content, painting, figures and the social qualities and standards. The key component in advertisements is the source message so it is beyond the realm of imagination to expect to comprehend the content without it. Then again, the pictures in promotions are utilized to move the consideration and sentiments of the perusers all the more rapidly and effectively when contrasted with the content. As per Han (2005), the second thought of intertextuality is the intertextual marks and their significant reason for existing is to manage the perusers to know the wellspring of a commercial. Intertextual imprints can be as articulations, pictures, expressions or words. For example, quotes are utilized to illuminate an essential source. On the off chance that the content of an advertisement has the immediate imprints, it is called express intertext while the content without those imprints is viewed as a verifiable intertext.
During the examination of intertextuality in Czech notices, Čmejrkova (2006) finds that a wide range of classes and messages are utilized in advertisements as per the need regardless of whether they are exceptionally esteemed and merit incredible regard. Čmejrkova (2006) claims that occasionally pre-writings which are sacrosanct and profoundly noteworthy are embraced to use in the ordinary settings and occasions of showcasing items, administrations, and supplies so as to upgrade the correspondence capability of the commercial
As per Genette (1997), through intertextuality, the significance of a book are molded by another content and instances of intertextuality figures incorporate citation, implication, interpretation, calque, literary theft, satire and pastiche. Fairclough (1992) recognizes two kinds of intertextuality, for example, show and continuous references. The primary sort is unequivocal and is set apart as citations or references while the subsequent kind requires a few endeavors with respect to the perusers to make sense of the sources. Choosing anybody of them relies upon different social factors inside various sorts of talks.
Piegay-Gros (1996) has ordered intertextual connections into two kinds. The first kind of relationship depends on the co-nearness between at least two writings while the second sort of relationship is the inference of at least one content from the essential content. In the main gathering, the writer puts: reference in which the content is unequivocally embedded into another content; copyright infringement where the essential content is utilized without any credits; implication the essential content is held through certain signs so that the perusers can make sense of it; and reference which is like a statement however there is no exacting translation of the source content. In the subsequent gathering, there is pastiche which is the impersonation of a style utilizing a similar type of content imitated. In the spoof, the subject and structure of the source content are replicated in another circumstance to make the impacts of energy.
The present study is qualitative and descriptive in its nature.
The sample of the present study is based on eight Pakistani TV commercials (2017-2018) which are taken from different sources, such as TV channels and internet (Youtube) through purposive sampling. They are telecast on almost all Pakistani TV channels. The selection of the sample is based on two main criteria in order to make the study credible and convincing. The first yardstick is that they are abundant in intertextuality and are popular advertisements. They have strong attention and memory value. Second is that no one has explored these particular TV advertisements with regard to intertextuality as far as the knowledge of the researcher is concerned so it will be interesting information for the readers.
Intertextuality as a type of adjustment has been taken as a hypothetical system for this examination. The idea of intertextuality which was started by Julia Kristeva (1966) in "Word, Dialog, and Novel" gave the content a unique status. Rather than concentrating on items and static structures, her focal point of investigation was the social procedures and practices. As indicated by her, an abstract word is a convergence of painted surfaces as opposed to steady or static importance so it is an exchange among different compositions (Kristeva,1980). By building up Bakhtin's (1935) spatialization of scholarly language she guarantees that "each word (content) is a crossing point of different words (writings) where at any rate one other word (content) can be perused" (1980, p. 66).
Writings are shaped by the change and reiteration of other literary structures since they are constantly different words in a word, different messages in a book. The idea of intertextuality dismisses the thought of printed self-rule and it expects us to comprehend that writings are not independent frameworks. They are recorded and differential and follows and tracings of otherness. The hypothesis of intertextuality endures that content can't make due in an independent whole, therefore, it doesn't work as a shut framework.
Kristeva's (1986) hypothesis of intertextuality sees any content as a mosaic of citations, ingestion, and change of another so in her perspectives reworking is all unavoidable. The essayists read con-writings and messages so they change them in their own demonstration of creation. Along these lines, the creators function as go-betweens through whom the textuality goes into an exchange with different components. Thus, all writings go about as replies in a progressing discourse which bypasses basic before-after chains of command, subverting any thought of diachrony.
"Diachrony is changed into synchrony, and considering this change, straight history shows up as reflection. The main way an author can participate in history is by violating this deliberation through a procedure of understanding composition; that is, through the act of a meaning structure in connection or opposition to another structure." (Kristeva, 1986, p. 36)
It is through placing themselves in history and including in a unique exchange with different writings, the writers go past the idea of straight time by arching different structures and thusly allowing them to bend their own. Thusly, intertextuality portrays the procedure of social reusing and dependent on this thought it is asserted that adjustment is a prime cause of social reusing. It is a procedure which subverts any direct and diachronic comprehension of social history. Rather than that, it exhibits a synergetic and synchronic perspective on shared expression among adjustment and source. Any procedure of adjustment paradigmatically implies the Kristeva's (1986) change of diachrony into synchrony. In particular, adjustment makes the setting and condition of intertextual exchanges that supplant the parallel diachrony/synchrony with cooperative energy that flows both ways. As such, adjustment undermines the customary idea of the first content and content as a shut framework assuming nothing past itself (Bakthin, 1981).
Intertextuality proposes a scope of associations between a book and different writings which show up in fluctuated structures, for example, reference, reference, inference, interpretation and a wide range of sources it is possible that they are deliberately misused or unwittingly reflected. By doing so intertext changes or replicates the writings going before it through adjustment. Most source writings of these components of intertextuality originate from precepts, colloquialisms, chronicled occasions, scholarly works, celebrated figures, melodies, and so forth. Their ubiquity delivers a feeling of closeness in the crowd and stands out for them easily and effectively.
The data has been analyzed under the framework of intertextuality. First of all, the data has been gathered by watching advertisements on TV channels and Youtube. During that process, the transcription of the verbal communication was done carefully and many times until it was made sure that nothing was missed regarding the information (Appendix). After that, the advertisements were investigated on the basis of the elements of intertextuality, such as citation, reference, allusion, translation, etc.
Data Analysis & Discussion
The advertisement for “Master Emulsion Paint” has adapted the elements of citation, reference and allusion of intertextuality. The jingle of this advertisement is based on the lyrics of Punjabi folk song “Pani da bulbula” (water bubble) which was sung by Pakistani folk singer Yaqoob Atif in 1979 and it is used as a hook in the advertisement. This song was further adapted by Pakistani famous singer Ibrar-ul-Haq in a music program Coke Studio season 7, episode 7 who is very popular among people.
The lyrics “Pani da bulbula” give the meaning of something very fragile and unpredictable which you cannot rely on because it is very short, flimsy and deceptive. The advertisement is using it to refer to other competitor paint companies that are putting token money in the bottom of the paint boxes which is a deceptive marking strategy and is an unlawful activity in Pakistan. So, through the song lyrics “token hai pani da bulbula” (the token is a water bubble), the advertiser is trying to achieve their marking purposes by rejecting other paint companies. These lyrics are cited from an old folk song. According to Tanka (1994), the use of intertextuality enables the audience to decode the communicative intention of the ad through the relevant information in the ongoing events of their lives with little disturbance and effort.
Another example of textual adaptation is the use of quotation in this advertisement which is a famous Urdu proverb “unchi Dukan pheka pakwan” which gives the meaning of “great cry little wool”. The main character in the ad is performed by Bushra Ansari, a famous Pakistani actress, who is performing a double role of sisters. These characters are adapted from Urdu novel Mirat-ul-Uroos (The bride's mirror) written by Muslim author Nazir Ahmad Dehlvi and published in 1869. The novel presents themes promoting the cause of female education in Muslim and Indian society and is credited for giving birth to an entire genre of fictional works promoting female literacy.
The younger one “Asghari” has been shown very wise so she is using Master Emulsion paint in her house and everyone present in the home is very happy with her choice and appreciates her. On the other hand, the elder sister “Akbari” who has been shown poorly in judgment and behavior has decided to use token paint so she is in trouble and everyone around her is unsatisfied and worried about her selection. By adapting and alluding to these characters in the electronic medium of advertisements, the producer has achieved their goals to get the attention of the audience by relating past events with the existing knowledge of the audience through literary and cultural intertextuality. Chandler (1994) claims that genres have blurred and fluid boundaries as far as their functions are concerned, so the reflection of intertextuality can be seen in them.
The advertisement for “Osaka Battery” has used the intertextuality element of reference. This advertisement has adapted the famous political slogan of a Pakistani political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf which is “Tbdeli a gae hai”, (The change has come) in a form of reference. The main performers in the ad are famous Pakistani comedian Sohail Ahmed and Javed Kodu is shown as vehicle mechanics. Both of them are talking about the change which was claimed by the political party during the general elections 2013such as “Ustaad ji itna shoor mcha hai tbdili to ae nhi, Tbdili bahar says nhi andr say ati hai, nhi smja?” (Master, there was a lot of hype regarding change but there is no change actually? The change comes from inside and not from outside, you don’t understand so I’ll make you understand).
There are many examples of socio-cultural intertextuality towards the prevailing issues in society such as people are idle and unproductive and they lack initiative in their lives. They take bribery and try to exploit each other. Everyone is like that whether they are bosses or subordinates. When the advertisement says “babu ho ya Allahrkha” (whether it is babu or Allahrkha), it refers to the concept and word of “babu” which was very famous and used to denote a respectable title or form of address for a man especially a native clerk who could write English in British India. On the other hand, the name “Allahrkha” is a cultural reference to the name of an illiterate person because this is a common name among the poor and uneducated class of Punjab particularly.
In this way, the producer of the advertisement is creating linkages between different eras in the minds of the audience through intertextuality and the purpose is to give them amusement to focus their attention on the product. At the end of the ad, the performers say “Gari start ho nhi rhi, gari start ho gae hai” (The vehicle is not in process to make a start, it has started actually). It means that it is only Osaka battery that has the power to do such a tough task of bringing change.
The “Coca Cola” advertisement is another example of intertextuality which has adapted a famous old Punjabi song which was sung by a very famous Pakistani singer late Madam Noor Jehan for a Punjabi film “Chan Te Soorma” released in 1984. The lyrics of the song “zalima coca cola pila de” (darling ! get me coca-cola) have been translated into Urdu “Zalima coca cola pila day” first in the famous TV musical program Coke Studio season 9 and then it has been given the format of an advertisement. The ad has been adapted in a new context of Coke Studio which is very much famous among the new generation of Pakistani audiences. According to Chandler (1997), the success of an ad depends on presenting its product in a context relevant to a literary association familiar to the target audience.
The use of translation and citation of the song provides fun and entertainment to the audience. Even the old generations can relate it with their past when they used to listen to that song crazily. Cook (2001) illustrates intertextuality as a technique or process through which the advertisers present the inter-relationship between the present text and the previously encountered experiences or texts to stir the memory and attention of the readers.
This is the example of the advertisement “Nestle Lactogrow”. This ad has been made especially for the growing children and their mothers. The jingle of this ad "If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands" has been adapted as a citation from a famous children's song originally released in 1988 in the USA. This is a part of the home video series Barney & the Backyard Gang produced from 1988 to 1991. The series focused on a purple tyrannosaurus rex named Barney, and a group of kids known as The Backyard Gang, and the adventures they take, through their imaginations. Through this adaptation, today’s mothers can have nostalgic feelings about their own childhood and can use this product to make their children happy and healthy. According to Chandler (1997), TV ads use intertextuality as a form of self-consciousness in which the audience can make their sense of the references directly through previous experiences and focus on the reality of the narrator.
The cellular company “Zong” has made an advertisement for the publicity of their 4G services based on a famous old Urdu song “Boom Boom”. It has adapted the song of late Nazia Hassan who used to be a very popular singer and social activist among the youth of Pakistan and Hindustan during the 1980’s. By citation of the song, it has adapted and re-contextualized it according to this new era of information technology. This has been done through the use of intertextuality. Fairclough (1992) claims that intertextuality is related to the process of production and during that process new text is created from transforming prior text and existing conventions are restructured. The new text shares the similarity of the form and content with the original source.
In the advertisement of “Candyland Novella” chocolate, the advertiser has adapted the famous song "Dare (La La La)" which was sung by Shakira to sponsor the World Food Program for poor children in 2014. She is a famous songwriter and singer who belonged to Columbia. A reworked version of the song was released as the second theme song for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The jingle of the ad says “la la la la la la la; la la la la la la novella” which is a form of citation and reference to that football World Cup event 2014. The advertiser tries to convince the audience that this chocolate has been introduced first time in Pakistan which is an international brand. The cultural and historical intertextuality makes the ad convincing.
The “Surf Excel” advertisement is based on the conversation between a cricket coach and a trainee little boy who is trying to convince the coach not to leave his coaching who wants to leave his job due to continuous defeats in matches and is disappointed. The advertiser has adapted the words from the genre of cricket such as match, coaching, no-balls, ground, practice, etc. As cricket is the most popular sport in Pakistan so the intertextuality aspect of reference is used to focus the attention of the audience towards the product. Cook (2001) says that the indirect practice of intertextuality occurs in referring to another genre or discourse type.
The “Shan Food” advertisement shows a newly shifted Chinese couple in Pakistan who is struggling to make friendships due to numerous hurdles such as food and language. However, an innovative idea strikes to the wife’s mind suddenly who decides to make biryani (Pakistani dish made with rice) and tries to establish her relationships with the Pakistani neighbors. Her biryani prepared with Shan Food spices and recipe wins the taste and heart of the Pakistani women who cannot stop making friends with her. The Chinese couple talks to each other in Chinese and its translation has been given in the form of subtitles on the screen. The brand Shan Foods celebrates Pak-China friendship after the formal inauguration of China Pakistan Economic Corridor in 2017 which is a framework of regional connectivity, industrial cooperation and diverse economic opportunities for the people of China and Pakistan particularly.
Through the intertextuality of the Chinese language, its translation and reference to CPEC and the friendship between Pakistan and China, the ad has got significant popularity among the audience. So, it has the element of cultural and historical intertextuality. Kristeva (1986) argues that every text is created through the capturing and snatching of the earlier texts which are used to make up a new text so consequently a mosaic of other texts.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the elements of intertextuality as an adaptation in Pakistani TV advertisements to know about the persuasive strategies used by the advertisers to achieve their goals which are to make their products popular. In order to achieve the purpose, eight TV ads were analyzed by employing the theoretical framework of intertextuality presented by Kristeva (1966).
The findings of the study showed that the producers of the advertisements have adapted the elements of citation, reference, allusion, and translation to make their ads amusing and persuasive. In this process, they borrowed ideas from previous works to give a layer of meaning to their own works. They have created a new text with the literary, cultural, political and historical reflections of the previous texts (section, 4). When the audience comes across a new text with a reflection on another previous text, all related assumptions, believes, and ideas of the other text provide them a different meaning and change the technique of interpretation of the original piece.
According to Chandler (1994), the concept of intertextuality informs us that every text exists in relation to others. Actually, texts owe more to other texts than to their own makers. Hence, the findings of this study showed that through intertextuality, the advertisers have used new perspectives and possibilities to construct their own stories. They have explored particular ideas in their narratives through adaptation and by discussing recent rhetoric in the original text. In this way, they have made their advertisements persuasive and attractive to achieve their financial targets.
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