Analysis of Advertisements by Yus’ Verbal-Visual Model

Chenlu ZENG, Fang GUO


Francisco Yus proposed a verbal-visual (VV) model for analyzing media discourse based on Relevance Theory in 1997. This paper gives an introduction to Yus’ VV model and then applies the model to analyze three advertisements with the VV model’s four parameters of communication: exchange, message, intentionality, and efficiency. Yus’ VV model successfully captures all possible interpretive categories of the selected advertisements. The study finds that the first selected ad has one communication layer—spectator-oriented communication—and is intentionally conveyed non-verbally to readers. The second ad has two communication layers—character-oriented and spectator-oriented communication. The author intentionally conveys the message to readers both verbally and non-verbally. The last ad has one communication layer—spectator-oriented communication. The author intentionally uses non-verbal communication with the readers. For all three ads, the reader may have maximal or minimal interpretive efficiency based on individual differences. This study analyzes advertisements at different levels of communication from a cognitive perspective. Currently, few studies do so. And this study provides a reference for the analysis of media discourse under the framework of relevance theory.


Yus’ VV model; Relevance theory; Media discourse; Advertisements

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