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Communicative problems in Boeing’s advertisement campaign for the combat aircraft Super Hornet

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This article focuses on an advertisement campaign run in Danish national newspapers promoting Boeing’s combat aircraft F 18 Super Hornet. The campaign received extensive media attention due to its scale and unconventional methods. On the basis of pragmatic text analysis we describe three features in the advertisements: Genre problems, a controversial depiction of sender and recipient, and problems relating to argumentation. We conclude that (1) the analyzed text is predominantly commercial in intent, although framed as information by a sender position that is partly ambiguous in terms of identity, and (2) the campaign’s main arguments are flawed, since decisive justification is not accessible. Based on the findings, the conclusion suggests that the campaign is best understood as a hybrid between public relations and public affairs.

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Keywords: advertisement campaign; argumentation; genre; public affairs; public relations; reframing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 31, 2020

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