A Study of Multimodal Banner Discourse on Chinese E-Commerce Websites From the Perspective of Discourse Information



The banner ads on the e-commerce websites offer the information of new goods, best sellers, and promotions etc., which aim to attract the consumers, arouse their desire for shopping, and then guide them to the pages of advertised products. In linguistic sense, a banner is multimodal ads discourse being composed of text and images. So far, most of the multimodal studies of ad discourse take traditional printed ads other than banners as research object, and analysis is conducted, with metafunctions of language from the systemic functional linguistics as the basis, and visual grammar by Kress & van Leeuwen as the theoretical framework, to describe their representational meaning, interactive meaning or compositional meaning as well as meaning-construction patterns in ad discourse. Supported by the ideas of defining ads as one way to transmit information and consuming behavior as the course of processing information, the banner ads sampled from three most popular Chinese e-commerce websites of amazon.cn, TMALL.COM, and JD.COM are analyzed in this paper to demonstrate the characteristics of information structure of both language and non-language discourse in banner ad discourse, and further the way in which images are interrelated with text through information to fulfil the banner’s shopping guidance performance. The analysis also provides proof that the effectiveness of banners can be improved through perfecting the way in which text and images are


Banner; Text; Images; Multimodal discourse; Information

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/9801


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