Targeted Advertising in Social Networks: Searching for Efficient Semiotic Models

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Evgeny A. Kozhemyakin

Doctor of Philosophy, Head of the Chair of Communication Studies, Advertising and Public Relations, Professor, Belgorod National Research University, Belgorod, Russia

Valeriya G. Lovyagina

MA student, Chair of Communication Studies, Advertising and Public Relations, Belgorod National Research University, Belgorod, Russia


Section: Advertising and Public Relations

Efficient targeted advertising comprises various semiotic resources, which can be combined differently in various “semiotic settings”. Many of such “settings” are frequently used in digital marketing and they show their efficiency. This paper presents the results of the research into two resources of meaning-making in targeted ads, i.e. words and iconic items, and two levels of transmitted meanings, i.e. denotative and connotative. The corpora analysis of verbal components in 400 targeted ads of Russian major retailers revealed a range of characteristics of targeted texts, e.g. the usage of clusters of keywords and lemmas and persistent lexical, grammatical and syntax constructions. According to the results of the A/B testing, the authors identified that the most efficient is the model combining verbal and non-verbal components, where the iconic item represents connotative meanings associated with the situation of consumption decision or usage of a product, while the verbal text transmits denotative meanings. Besides, advertisements with identified verbal patterns are more efficient than messages without any patterns distinguished during the corpora analysis. The authors claim that the clich constructions and their efficacy are determined by the market niche of a product and by the marketing goals. It is admitted that other advertising segments can face different language patterns and semiotic resources used in targeted ads than those described in the paper. The balanced combination of verbal and non-verbal means in personalized advertisements can underlie the succinct and efficient marketing message. Therefore, from the marketing point of view, the relevant technical setting of target parameters or the choice of the efficient communicative channel often do not suffice for more significant marketing results. The properly executed ensemble of verbal and non-verbal resources can provide the substantial realization of the semantic potential of advertising texts.

Keywords: targeted advertising, creolized text, multimodal text, semiotics of an advertisement, verbal components of an advertisement, visual components of an advertisement
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.5.2020.328


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