The aim of this master’s thesis was to explore the usage of English language in web advertisements in Croatian context and to describe the general characteristics of online ads. This was done by collecting a corpus of 130 randomly selected advertisements that were shown to the author while browsing some of the largest online news sites aimed at Croatian audiences, namely Index.hr, Večernji.hr and Dnevnik.hr. The said corpus was then analysed in order to discover the most common discursive strategies used in English-language advertisements in Croatian online context. The collected ads were analysed qualitatively, and most representative examples were described in more detail. The criteria for analysis included the presence of linguistic features such as metaphors, bilingual puns, excessive use of pronouns, ellipsis, and trigger words. Furthermore, the analysis included the implied meanings created by interrelation between the ads’ linguistic and pictorial parts. This was done to achieve a better understanding of contemporary ads and to gain insight into the influence of English on Croatian online advertising environment.
The thesis consists of 5 chapters: Introduction and motivation of the study, Literature review, Methodology, Analysis, Discussion and concluding remarks. The first chapter defines advertising as a practice and establishes the main aims of the study. The next chapter, Literature review, provides the theoretical background of the study by explaining the notions of advertising in general, with special attention paid to online advertising. Additionally, this chapter explores some of the most common techniques and the language used in online advertising. The third chapter, Methodology, describes the data collection methods, and the two research questions posed. Furthermore, it provides insight into the corpus in general, as well as its division into six distinct categories of analysis. The following chapter, Analysis, aims to respond to the research questions from the chapter. Firstly, it describes some of the common characteristics of the ads within the corpus. Secondly, it provides the linguistic analysis of each collected item that possesses some features originating from the English language. This is done by focusing on various words and phrases and by interpreting ads’ intended messages using linguistic and pictorial cues. The last chapter, Discussion and concluding remarks, briefly summarises the findings of the study and the answers to the research questions posed. Moreover, it discusses the results of the analysis and provides explanations for the encountered phenomena. Finally, it describes the limitations of the study and provides directions for further research. The end of the work provides the bibliography and the appendix with the list of the tables and figures used in the study.