Transfer of Oral Culture to Advertising Narrative: An Investigation on the Functions of Idioms

Yılmaz R.

MILLI FOLKLOR, vol.2023, no.140, pp.95-106, 2023 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2023 Issue: 140
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.58242/millifolklor.1223729
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.95-106
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


Oral culture is defined as an unwritten culture in its simplest form. The ways of making sense of humanity differ with the development of inventions such as the printing press, television, and the mobile phone. From the perspective of technological determinism, it is possible to classify thinking styles in the periods characterized as the first oral culture, written culture, and second oral culture eras. However, the orality never loses its dominance. It always leads all communication forms. Proverbs and idioms are stereotyped expressions and are among the essential carriers of oral culture. Idioms that fulfill various functions in daily life are among the essential components of the narrative structure of advertisements. This article discusses the idiom advertising relationship from the intersection of folklore and communication science. The study, which starts with the definition of the idiom, goes beyond the idiom in the orality and then focuses on the relationship between advertising and it. To extend perspective, what of the advertisement is examined, and for this purpose, the commercial nature of it is discussed first. Underlining that advertising, a unit of marketing communication is a commercial field of activity, the components of aestheticization are taken in the advertisement. Considering that the product's structure, production conditions, advertising channels, and the level of aesthetic appreciation of the target audiences are the essential elements that shape aesthetics in advertising, it will be understood that advertising is a craft, not an art. The relationship between advertising and narrative is another subject studied. Genres that contain stories are generally evaluated within the scope of the narrative concept, and advertisements of this nature are included within the same qualifications. In this respect, advertising is surrounded by a field with mimetic and diegetic characteristics. Advertising as a narrative genre gives us a powerful perspective on how the world is shaped in this reproduction space. The article proceeds to the review section after presenting the theoretical framework. Idioms have functions such as executing in daily life, establishing analogies, explaining, grinding, creating a model, using artistic or literary expressions, and presenting a concise presentation. The main question focused on here within the framework of applied folklore, which is based on the social usefulness and efficiency of folkloric elements, is "What kind of functions do idioms have within the narrative structure of the advertisement?". In this context, the idiom is investigated inside narrative advertisements. Categorized the functions of idioms via the product type and the creative strategy used in the advertisement, the equivalent of the idiom used in social life, the plot and narrative structure of the ad, and the analysis of the meaning reproduced in the advertisement narrative. According to this; (i) "natural reinforcement," which characterizes reinforcing the image and meaning at the mimetic level, (ii) "analogy-based savings," which characterizes contribution to the text economy through similitude, (iii) "pre resistance," which explains retention via a priority of idioms, (iv) the "cognitive prism function," which describes integrating the natural meaning in the advertising expression or separating it in a universal meaning context, (v) the "irony function," which creating funny situations through making reductions, embodying the figurative meaning, concentrating on the real meaning, and metalepsis via inter-layer relations, were determined as the essential functions.