Why do advertisers use puns? A linguistic perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the role and interpretation processes of puns in print advertising. The function of punning (wordplay) in advertising varies from double meanings to humorous effects. Textual analysis based on a pragmatic approach (branch of linguistics) demonstrates how advertisements with the use of punning can be interpreted within the context. A combination of qualitative content analysis and pragmatics reveals that the ambiguous meanings of puns can be interpreted by the audience according to their background and inferential knowledge. This article contributes to the theoretical knowledge of advertising and its creativity by applying the linguistic approach to this research area. This study attempts to show how texts can reveal some interesting and important issues within advertising communication, which in its turn can generate some further discussions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-275
JournalJournal of Advertising Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


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