Interpersonal Meaning of Texts - Comparing Similarities and Differences of the Berghaus Boots and Ford Territory SR Advertisements

This essay will explore a comparative text analysis of two text types, focusing on the experiential and interpersonal meanings. Firstly this essay will discuss the experiential similarities and differences between Berghaus Boots, an advertisement published in UK The Daily Telegraph (2010) and The Ford Territory SR, another advertisement published in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend magazine (2006). Secondly this essay will look at the interpersonal meaning of both texts and compare the similarities and differences.

The advertisement Berghaus Boots consists of 21 clause complexes and 1 embedded clause. Of these clauses 16 are material processes, 4 relational attributive and 1 relational identify. The Ford Territory SR advertisement consists of 14 clause complexes and 4 embedded classes of which 6 are material processes, 5 relational attributive, 2 relational identifying, 2 mental processes and 1 existential process.

The most common experiential process used by both texts are material with the Actor, Goal and Circumstance type being used the most. The beneficiary and potential Actor was hardly used in either text. The second most used process was the Relational attributive. The existential process appeared once while the mental process and Relational identifying process both appeared twice in The Ford Territory SR text. The Berghaus Boots however only had one additional clause which was Relational identifying.

The material process seems to have been selected by both the authors most often because they wanted to emphasize doing. For example in Berghaus Boots the material process appears as ‘engineered’, ‘Takes’, ‘designed’, ‘selected’, ‘fit’, ‘come’, ‘test’, ‘fine-tune’ and ‘go’. All these material processes represent doing. From reading the advertisement the author also wants the reader to do something which is explicitly go out and buy the shoes. This is also similar for The Ford Territory SR advert, e.g. ‘stand out’, ‘has made’, ‘gives’ and ‘are looking to stand out’. Both of these products are items that you use so the use of material processes is appropriate to bring the reader up into the hype of doing, consuming and using.

The Berghaus Boots advert relies heavily on the material process as 16 out of 21 clauses are material, while The Ford Territory SR advert also uses the mental process to help with the hard sell. A mental connection is trying to be made with the audience so the author is able to create an image in their minds suggesting Ford is more than a car, it’s a life style: ‘reconsider what a car can be’.

In terms of the interpersonal meaning both texts are clearly advertisements however the authors have different approaches to the task. The text for Berghaus Boots very clearly talks about its subject. The boots or something related to purchasing boots such as your feet, having a fitting or where to purchase are referred to in every sentence in the advertisement. At no point in the advertisement is the audience not learning about these boots or how to acquire them. The grammatical choice has been a mixture of Declarative statements, giving facts about the boots followed by Imperative commands where the reader is told to ‘take advantage of our free, expert boot fitting’. More Declarative statements are made to convince you of our need to purchase these high tech shoes, then a WH question is asked, ‘What is the answer?’ for which the author quickly responds with a command ‘Come to Cotswold Outdoor’. More Declarative statements follow giving details about how to acquire your new shoes, then a Imperative command ends the advert telling us to ‘Just go’ and buy these shoes. The mood choice of this piece is typical of a sales pitch, sounding very similar to a television advertisement.
In contrast in the Ford advert the mention of the car is rather nonchalant. In terms of talking about the car’s features, these seemingly important details are confined to the embedded clauses almost like an afterthought to be tacked on to the primary clauses. E.g. ‘[[loaded with extras]]’ and ‘[[seating for seven]]’. The main impression the author wishes to imprint on their audience is the type of lifestyle you will be experiencing from purchasing this car. An emphasis on matching the Australian lifestyle is apparent in this text. The author makes Declarative statements such as ‘It gives you the freedom of a 4x4, with the driving pleasure of a sedan and the practicality of a people mover.’ As Australia consists of cities and rural areas the audience has been told this car is up to the task of being the right car for every Australian, whether they do off road driving or city driving they will still experience the luxury of this car while carting the whole family along. In addition the play on words ‘you’re in the right Territory’ is also very Australian focused at the same time reminding us of the name of the car.

The Ford Territory SR text is made up solely from Declarative statements. Each statement builds on the last and has the audience going ‘Wow! Wow! Wow!’ The car is so good it ‘has made Australia sit up’, ‘^IT HAS MADE AUSTRALIA^ reconsider what a car can be’. These are impressive statements that really grab the reader’s attention and clause 2, ‘you’ll stand out from the flock’ appeals to everyone’s inclination to be envied in a good way. If however these boasting statements were not enough to convince you to buy one already the author declaratively states ‘there’s even cruise control’, ‘a host of features’, ‘the possibilities are amazing’ expressing the added features as incentives.

In terms of the cost of the products the price of the car is clearly stated in the advertisement as well as the value of the ‘amazing extras’. Interestingly the cost of the boots in Berghaus Boots is omitted from the advertisement however in clause 5 the author mentions that if we do not ‘take advantage of our free, expert boot fitting’ then we will ‘pay for it later’ as outlined in clause 6. The author is suggesting that the pain of ill fitting boots is more horrendous than the mention of the actual cost of the shoe. The mention of pain should be such a deterrent that the consumer feels the cost is trivial.

In terms of similarities both texts are mostly written with positive polarity except one clause of each text ‘you won’t need a compass’ expressing the ease of finding their shoe store and ‘not forgetting a host of features’ used to emphasis the added value to the car. The finite in both texts is primarily written in the present tense. On occasion future tense was used in both, more so in the Berghaus Boots advertisement.

In conclusion these texts are comparatively different due largely to the grammatical choices made by the authors. Their purposes were the same however they went about this in two distinct ways. Your traditional car advertisement would place more weight on car features and technical jargon pertaining specifically to the car however the author of The Ford Territory SR has approached the task by making the car seam more than it is. More than just a mode of transport, it is a lifestyle. For the boots advertisement the author really put in the effort to make these boots sound almost futuristic. The use of high tech jargon is striking for an advertisement as it almost seems over the top considering a very small portion of people would actually use them to their full potential. It is also very rare to find this style of writing to advertise pieces of clothing, however in this case it can be seen as appropriate considering the name, Women’s Berghaus Explorer Trek 100. Hopefully considering all the effort put into this advertisement and the development of these shoes they aren’t being used to pound the walkways of our local shopping centres and actually make it onto some grass.