KnE Social Sciences | The 1st Annual International Conference on Language and Literature (AICLL) | pages: 207–217


1. Introduction

In using the language, it is almost ignored non-verbal elements including visual images which follow the verbal one. It must be realized that the language user will succeed to get the entire meaning or message delivered by using the verbal language by conjoining the non-verbal elements which is functional in social contexts [13]. Understanding language (text) based on a single viewpoint is so called mono-modal, while understanding text based on more than one view point is so called multimodal. Multimodal discourse analysis (MDA for short), as the confluence of discourse and technology, is becoming paradigm in discourse studies which extends the study of language per se to the study of language in combination with other resources, such as images, scientific symbolism, gesture, action, music and sound [10]. One of the texts which use several modes to create a single artifact is advertisement.

Advertising is a means of communication with the users of a product or service. In more detail, advertisement is message paid for by those who send them and is intended to inform or influence people who receive them. Advertising is always present, though people may not be aware of it. In today's world, advertising uses every possible media to get its message through. It does this via television, print (newspapers, magazines, journals and many more), radio, press, internet, direct selling, hoardings, mailers, contests, sponsorships, posters, clothes, events, colors, sounds, visuals and even people (endorsements). This study observes TV advertisement featuring Dettol (protecting children version) which manifests verbal and visual elements. Under the guidance of Linguistic Functional Grammar and visual grammar, this study attempts to look at any multimodal elements which comprise the advertisement and how these elements express meanings that strengthen the message intended by the producer.

Most studies on MDA mainly focus on the visual images guided by visual grammar, without sufficient attention to verbal text and sound in multimodal discourse. To comprehensively understand multimodal analysis, especial TV advertisement, it is worthwhile to conduct an integrated analysis of various modalities by combining the existing analysis methods. Therefore, the focus would be equally put on verbal, visual and audial analysis of TV advertisement, as much as possible, hoping to present a comprehensive understanding of the Ad.

In detail, the study of this paper is arranged to analyze linguistic feature under the umbrella theory of Halliday's functional grammar (1994). The analysis is based on the meta function system which comprises three components; ideational, interpersonal, and textual. However, this study is limited or focused on ideational function in transitive clause. The role model applied in this paper follows Gerot and Wignel (2001) and Sinar (2012). The analysis is focused on verbal and visual elements which include three categories; circumstance, process, and participant. Furthermore, the MDA is developed by conjoining the multimodal theories proposed by Anstey and Bull (2010) and Kress and Van Leeuwen (1996, 2006). The goal of this paper is to seek the multimodal elements and meaning containing in Dettol TV advertisement (protecting child version) by following Cheong's generic structures of advertisement.

2. Literature Review

Under the guidance of Halliday's (2004) Systemic Functional Grammar, The Grammar of Visual Design by Kress and Leeuwen (1996) with its contain of reading images which have made MDA become a new research subject for linguists. Since MDA embodies various resources or modes (including language, image, music, gesture and architecture) which are on the strength of sensory modalities (such as visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic) [10], the key focus is on the equal stress of both linguistic (verbal) and non-linguistic (visual, audial and other) semiotic resources. Unlike usual text or discourse, TV advertisement, as a typical of multimodal discourse, is concerned with a variety of different semiotic resources, including language, technology, visual image, sound, music, color and even the interaction of three dimensions.

Any single use of theories to analyze the various modalities contained in a multimodal discourse would be inadequate and less comprehensive. For the linguistic analysis of Ad, Halliday's (2004) Systemic Functional Grammar is adopted. According to Halliday, language is a systemic resource for expressing meanings in context and linguistics is the study of how people exchange meanings through the use of language. Systemic-functional grammar has been proved to be quite useful in a variety of fields like discourse analysis, foreign language learning and so on so forth. Halliday mentioned some applications of systemic-functional grammar such as to understand the quality of texts, why a text means what it does and to understand how language makes sense according to its users and its functions. In the paper, this theory is applied to analyze the linguistic text of some transcript chosen from the ad. Considering the verbal utterances of the ad, they comprise two kinds; written and oral utterances. The transitive clauses from the chosen utterances will be analyzed through their ideational function following Gerrot and Wignell (2001) and Sinar (2012).

The non-linguistic analysis of the ad deals with visual, audial, space and gestural aspects. Firstly, Kress and van Leeuwen's (1996) Visual Grammar would be applied in this thesis. Though Visual Grammar is developed on the basis of systemic functional grammar, it applies a different mechanism in analyzing visual images. Generally speaking, Visual Grammar allows the realization of meaning making through the analysis of visual images, making it possible to understand the images without linguistic assistance. However, for a more comprehensive understanding of the ad, the study is analyzed by the interplay of both linguistic and non-linguistic aspects. In practice, this theory is applied to analyzing the generic structures of some selected images generated from the screen-shots to illustrate the development process of the ad. Secondly, the analysis is added with the analysis of the audial, gestural and spatial elements which highlight the ad.

3. Research Method

This study basically followed qualitative method with the general principles to draw the multimodal element existed in the ad including utterance, image, sound, color, gesture and space with the purpose to catch the entire meaning and message delivered by the producer. The whole multimodal semiotic systems were analyzed by following Anstey & Bull (2010) and Kress & Leeuwen (2006) and conjoined with the generic structure of the ad based on Cheong (2004).

The data used in this study were derived from Dettol TV advertisement video accessed from The protecting children version was chosen with the duration 00.16 seconds. This study followed the steps or procedures of analyzing multimodality proposed by Hermawan (2013) as 1). To select the scenes which contained the elements being analysed, 2). To represent the selected scenes and describe every verbal, visual and audial element existed, 3). To analyze how the verbal, visual and audial data together make meaning, and 4). To interpret the findings.

4. Discussion

From the first time, this ad was dominated by two major characters, a mother and son who showed up together in most part of this ad. Every scene represented the role of mother toward her son. She holds, hugs and carries her son in order to protect him from any (in this case) germ. This ad was intended to delivere the message that the product can be used to replace the role of mother to protect her son from germ. Then these scenes were analyzed in terms of verbal, visual and audial modalities.

Linguistic analysis

Linguistic analysis in Dettol TV advertisement represents clauses which are based on meta-function system under Halliday's (1994) Functional Grammar as umbrella theory. This study is focused on the ideational function of transitive clauses. The ideational function enables us to express patterns of experience and also to conceptualize the situation, process or states of affairs. The analysis is limited to the verbal of the ad which include the three semantic categories; circumstance, process, and participant. One of the clauses analyzed in this paper is anda harus selangkah lebih maju untuk melindungi anak dari kuman. Syntactically, the clause below is in active voice. There is one participant in this clause, which is “anda” as the carrier. This clause uses relational process as represented by “harus selangkah lebih maju”. This process was intensified by attributive value medium. By this process the relevant participant is carrier. “Untuk melindungi anak dari kuman” stands for causative meaning of the circumstantial elements with goal orientation.

Anda Harus Selangkah lebih maju untuk melindungi Anak dari kuman
Participant: carrier Process: relational-intensive-attributive Attribute: value circumstance: cause-goal

This clause indicates that producer intended to change the mindset that the way the mother usually does to protect her child is already regarded conventional. Now there is a new way to protect and the participant should have an understanding and awareness to it.

Another linguistic analysis is represented by a non-verbal clause which is visualized in the following scene.

Figure 1

Visual analysis

Linguistic feature which can be interpreted from the scene above is that 1). “A mother holds her son on the way to school in the morning” as in the background, and 2). “A man sweeps the path/sidewalk” as the foreground.

The clause “a mother holds her son on the way to school in the morning” has an experiential material process in which in this case it has two participants “a mother” as the actor and “her son” as the goal or recipient. The circumstance existed in the clause is time and space in “on the way to school in the morning”. For the circumstance showing time, it can be interpreted the time on the way to school or the time in the morning (the shine light). The multiple interpretations can be occurred due to non-verbal clause. The clause is tabled below.

A mother Holds Her son On the way to school in the morning
Participant: actor Process: material Participant: goal/recipient circumstance: range: time/space

The second clause as the foreground is not analyzed in this opportunity for it is not played by the main characters.

Visual analysis

As mentioned above, the visual analysis of Dettol TV advertisement (protecting child version) is conducted by adopting multimodal theory and combining with the generic structures of the ad as proposed by Cheong (2004). Following Anstey and Bull (2010) and Kress and Leeuwen, visual elements are included color, vector, view point and moving image. Considering image 1, the dominant color seen in the action played by the participants in material process, presents the maximum level of the color (brightness) in foreground, comparing to the background. In the background, the color level (brightness value) is quite low (minimum), even it still uses the same color in the two grounds. Color used in the bright environment with adequate lighting covers the whole ground which visualize time that the process occurs in the morning.

Furthermore, in vector analysis, preposition of the location is visualized by the formal character in which there is a conspicuous difference or contrast between the foreground and the background.

View point analyzed from the image 1 is that any points which can be seen obviously from the viewer perspective which become the real fact based on the verbal process. The above image represents the actor as participant holding the goal or recipient as the second participant in the circumstance range.

The analysis of moving image based on non-verbal process can be realized from the actor as participant to the goal as the second participant. The action is the active one. There is a relation between the first and the second action. In this case, the moving image becomes very dynamic.

The generic structure of the advertisement

The Cheong's (2004) generic structures of the ad can be obviously seen in the following image (2) in which in the foreground the image product is presented the clear emblem. The other elements which are visualized in contrast are the announcement “original anti bakteri” and enhancer “perlindungan terpercaya”. It is also shown the incongruent display in which the type of the product is realized by using symbol.

Figure 2

Furthermore, the following image visualizes that demand makes a direct interaction between participants and the viewers or audiences via eye contact, as seen below.

Figure 3

This ad also presents the salience that is a message delivered by the participant to the viewers. The message in this case is to clarify the significant value of this product (comparing to other), the viewers will get (if using it). In this case, the body will be protected from germ, visualized by the circle frame with the distinctive color.

Figure 4

The coloring of the following image looks different from the other feature. This distinctive color is potential to keep the meaning to the users (lead). This lead is visualized with different quality of color comparing to other visual.

Figure 5

The following image visualizes the prominent color in the logo or emblem which functions to deliver identity or status to the product. The logo is positioned in the center of the ground. It is completed with the call and visit information via facebook, twitter and website.

Figure 6

Audial analysis

This advertisement uses instrument music as the sound effect as the sound announcement from the participant is uttered. The sound effect is not dominant as it functions just as to accompanying the verbal announcement. The instrument has a slow rhythm, suited to the pitch and tone of the informer.

Gestural analysis

Speed movement of the body and the facial expression will be the gesture of the participant. Gesture is this ad is realized from the activity of the participants in the way how they carry out their daily life. It is referred to as seen in image 1 and 5, that participant (mother) protects the other participant (son) as the ad motto. However, in image 5 the role of mother as the protector is replaced by the product. Another gestural analysis which can be presented is as seen in image 4. This image visualizes the activity of taking a shower by using the product.

Spatial analysis

As a whole, the position of the product in the ground manifests the interrelated meaning of the ad. Each image has its own meaning. However, each image supports each other to give entire meaning and message delivered to the viewers as intended by the producer. Furthermore, the activity of the participants, the special quality of the product, and the easy of getting the product is visualized by the image space of active participants.

5. Conclusion

Dettol TV Advertisement (protecting child version) observed has various semiotic elements as included in multimodal discourse analysis. The study covers the analysis of transitive clause in which the material process occurs dominantly comparing to other process. The visual element including the generic structures of the ad present to delivered the entire and complete meaning to the viewers. Audial, spatial and gestural analysis adds the completeness understanding of the message and meaning as the producer intends to do.



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