A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of Online Soft Drink Advertisements

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Waluga Suphaborwornrat
Piyaporn Punkasirikul


The objectives of this study are to investigate verbal and visual semiotic resources employed as well as the cultural aspects embedded in the online soft drink advertisements. The data of this study was selected from the U.S. official soft drink brand Coca-Cola Instagram account (@cocacola), and a total of 58 advertisements were analyzed. Three analytical frameworks were employed to analyze the data. First, Nilsen (1979)’s phonetic devices framework was used for verbal resources analysis. Second, Kress & van Leeuwen (2006)’s and Harrison (2008)’s social semiotics frameworks were adapted for analyzing visual resources. Third, Hofstede et al. (2010)’s cultural dimensional model was employed to discuss the cultural aspects in the advertisements. The analysis of the verbal resources in the advertisements reveal two types of phonetic devices: alliteration and assonance. For the visual analysis, the advertisements tend to use the brand’s color, red, instead of a logo to make the brand memorable. The representative participants (RP)’ positions and gazes also give the sense of equality between the viewers and the brand. Most of the advertisements use visual resources that complement the verbal resources in order for the advertisements to be coherent as well as being able to convey the embedded cultural aspects. Two cultural aspects out of six were found: masculinity and indulgence. In addition, the study also found religious aspects embedded in the data.


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Author Biographies

Waluga Suphaborwornrat, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Thailand

M.A. student majoring in English at Khon Kaen University, Thailand. Her research interests include discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis, multimodal discourse analysis and sociolinguistics.

Piyaporn Punkasirikul, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Thailand

Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Khon Kaen University, Thailand. Her research interests include discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and pragmatics.


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