EIRP Proceedings, Vol 15, No 1 (2020)

Imagining the Behavioural Scenarios in the Discourse of Publicity Bank Brochures- a Persuasion Mechanism

Elena-Tatiana Huțu Dlcu-Nstase1

Abstract: Our research aims at arguing that the presence of behavioural scenarios in the discourse of publicity bank brochures can be validated in a mechanism of persuasion. We started with the concept of persuasion as presented in the specialists'perspective. We selected the discourse of publicity bank brochures of the BCR and BT bank, a discourse that matches the pattern of persuasive texts. The next stage consisted of a short analysis of the behavioural scenarios identified in the brochures'discourses and their validation as mechanism of persuasion.

Keywords: persuasion; discourse; publicity


According to the ancient conception “the persuasive text goes through many phases of preparation before taking its final form”.The first phase/ stage called “inventio” is dedicated to finding the material. Next “dispositio” refers to structuring the material. And phase no.3 “elocutio” represents the linguistic analysis of the respective structured material. This is the last phase in ending the process of “text formation”.We consider that the discoursive organization of the publicity bank brochure follows the phases corresponding to the ancient conception and validates its potential in the “elocutio” phase because the selected linguistic material must be efficient/ advanced. The receveir of the publicity text, publicity discourse must act because the role of the text in this type of discourse is “to determine in the receveir a well-shaped actional consequence...the dominant illocutionary role is an influential one...the persuasive objective is to recommend something”, and this action is supported through imagining the behavioral scenario presented linguistically or/and using “the imagistic” discourse.

Trying to define “persuasion”, Kevin Hogan said that: “to persuade” means to determine somebody to do something making use of reasons, motives or demands, raising awareness of an action through reasoning and convincing, making someone believe in something, convincing.” (Hogan 2016, p. 16). The discourse of the publicity bank brochure has a major objective, persuading the client to access that product/ credit promoted through these discoursive modalities, while the reasons must be neccesary and adequate. These arguments follow the rhetoric architecture so that the persuasive process be successful, and they are built with the help of linguistic expressions, other language elements but also by imagining the behavioral scenarios.

C. Slvstru considered convincing and persuasion: “...examining a statement as being true on the basis of some objective principles represents confidence/ certainty, while examing/ considering a statement as being true on the basis of some subjective principles represents a persuasion”. (Slvstru 1996, p. 14)

The appeal to subjectivity that is obvious on the emotional/ affective level, defining persuasion can also be identified with Dave Lakhani who said that persuasion refers to the discovery of the other's necessities both physical( the product level) and emotional but also the discovery of the right service/ product. (Lakhani 2009, p. 36-37) According to some opinions, there is a distinction between persuasion and argumentation. Such an opinion is expressed by Rybacki who says: “what differentiates argumentation from persuasion – a more comprehensive category of instrumental communication – is that persuasion works both affectively and rationally.” (Rybacki, 2004, p.19)

As a conclusion of all of the above ideas we can state that persuasion establishes, a ”coordination rapport” between the rational and affective level. The discourse of the publicity bank brochure uses elements, words, structures, behavioral scenarios that function rationally- it validates elements that relate to the reasoning of accesing a credit, but which also function affectivaly - it validates elements belonging to the subjective perception. The elements used to function both rationally and affectively cooperate in such a way as to tip the scale either on the rational or emotional side, the client's need dictating these necessary and compulsory elements.

Among the persuasion mechanisms we believe that imagining the behavioral scenarios could also integrate, and Hogan Kevin defines it as: “a precise set of instructions and images that the client is offered( usually verbally).” (Hogan 2016, p. 41).

The architecture of the publicity brochure is supported by the central pivots: word, colour, shape, image. The variaty of these pivots enlarges endless horizons in constructing the verbal discourse and the imagistic discourse. The imagistic discourse connected to the word is built with the same intention of persuading and in oder to do this, different types of writing, colours and shapes are utilized. The imagistic discourse related to the image focuses on the use of the picture to speak for the sender and the receiver. The suggested image meant to encompass the discourse from the publicity bank brochure may denote the feelings that stand for the reactions validated through the image by the posible receiver, feelings and experiences that were experienced and intended by the author of the discourse.

The concept of “text” is also used for non-linguistic manifestations- Koch 1971” apud. Plett (Plett 1983, p. 36) - that are included in this imagistic discourse; this is the conclusion we reach when observing same of the publicity bank brochures. The imagistic discourse contained in the following brochure makes use ofthis strategy of the type of text meant to tempt, it shows the behavioural scenario suggesting the feelings of the one accessing a credit card from BCR. Moreover to have an even greater impact on the receiver the recommendation is expressed with the structures “reinvent yourself” and “you can win”. The satisfaction, happiness, well-being feeling represent states that an imagistic discourse is built on together with the verbal discourse, the first discourse dictates and submits itself to the subjective principle validated by the persuasive intention. We believe that this imagistic discourse has a persuasive influence that can be demonstrated by the presence of the structure “Reinvent yourself” which can be considered true based on some subjective principles. Can this image-suggested state be validated in other contexts too? We think so, the well-being state and happiness( corresponding to this image) can also be rendered by a song on the headphones, a conversation on the headphones, a pleasant meeting....and the happiness- building scenarios may go on. There is a confirmation of the idea saying that “comics and ads incorporate verbal and visual semiotic forms in images” (Plett 1983, p. 18), while” the text of the ad is an alternative of the intended group/ species whose aim is the recommandetion of something.” (Plett 1983, p. 102) The recommendation for the receveir in our situation is to get that credit card and its persuasive role is evident in the sentence: “you can win a free voucher”- a structure specific to the public-oriented ways of communication. The verbal semiotic form suggested by the yellow image in the brochure includes and requires the visual semiotic form, that yellow sphere including and introducing in its turn the verbal message: “Bonus a 200 Ron Voucher per day”. We notice that the two semiotic forms introduce and enforce each other in this discourse. In the following statement “Reinvent yourself ! Get your BCR credit card and you can win a free voucher !” the persuasive strategy focuses on the word “bonus/ benefit” that is definitely attractive but this opportunity of winning the free voucher applies only if acquiring the credit card, so just in the case of respecting the behavioural scenario represented in the text of the brochure. The persuasive statement is often validated by the representative of the bank – by means of various strategies- who decides and confirms the benefit, the given status offering objectivity.

The identified strategy in forming the publicity bank discourse combines text and picture, both suggesting or naming the behavioural scenarios that the receiver must complete, in order to acces the offer in this discourse.

The imagistic discourse from the hereby brochure shows happiness, the joy of those two teenagers looking at the screen of aphone. The theme of this image could be the teenagers’ happiness white the sentence in the center of the image “your money always on you” completes the idea of the teenagers’ happiness at the possibility of benefiting from that money anytime, anywhere. The set of instructions to follow so that this happiness could be possible is situated under the bank’s motto: ”Take your salary from BCR. Enjoy the availability of the pack of current accounts; while the reliability in this service is denoted by the structure “faithful people”.

The behavioural strategy is obvious through the use of imperative sentence with the verbs in the imperative “come”/ “enjoy”. The success of the persuasion is characterized by the cooperation of the behavioural scenarios, the imperative sentences and all the other elements comprising the discourse from the brochure.

The BT brochure under analysis contains all the elements that may arise interest in a possible antrepreneur. The structure from the brochure is reduced to only 2 words UNLIMITED BT, and just a little bit below the bank' s offer appears: ”unlimitedly services in BT network for any IMM”. The scenario proposed in the image depends on the idea of a game- the visual behavioural scenario- denoted by the presence of the “ he-fairy” with his magic wand ready to fulfill “unlimitedly” the antrepreneur's wishes related to bank services such as payments, cashing, management of current accounts, deposits. The “ he-fairy” as the BT stuff call him is a character who presents a unique and original way of transmiting information on the bank's behalf. The other character is represented by the antreprenore exactly the receveir, who need the services offered by the BT bank. Starting from the question “ What could an antrepreneur want from a bank?” the strategy adopted by the BT bank is achieved in accordance with the specific pattern of constructing the behavioural scenario expected from a bank- to be able to make payments at any time to any institution eligibil for the services he needs through this offer. Thus, there is a list of payment behaviourg such as payment order through BT 24 h; cheque pay; foreign currency payment trough BT 24; cashing with payment order. There is a diversity of behaviours destined to complete rapidly and efficiently different activities expected by the antrepeneur from his business partener.

Join the largest network of IMM. What could am antrepreneur want from a bank? To make as many bank transactions as he wishes on a fixed price.Well, this is exactly what we have. For only 21 RON a month, your business will prosper unlimitedly in the BT network using: payments with payment orders carried out through BT 24; cheque pay and premissory notes; foreign currency payments through BT 24 h, cashing with payment order, cheque and promissory notes; foreign currency cashing; debit card Visa- unlimited card issue; BT 24 Internet and Mobile Banking, monthly membership; management of current account; cash deposits in thesociety's account performed by the delegated and authorized perssons; a product of the type threat account- BT alert 40, monthly membership including 40 SMS. Moreover, BT unlimited pack offers a 50% discount for the BT Ultra, Card Visa Business Gold, BT alert and POS products. And if you need to make transactions in other networks, there are some extra options available for you. It's just the way like it, to think of everything. We are waithing for you with endless posibilities of optimising your costs in the largest IMM network from Romania. The key structure ”Well, this is exactly what he will find with us “ induces the client to think that /this product-service, is definitely created to bring the feeling of safety/comfort in making the proper acquisition that will fully satisfy the need of any successful antreprenear. The theory Seems to be respected: “ it is a pragmatic theory( especially from the interpreter's view) which aims at and succeeds in explaining the complexity of the communication phenomenon, one element that defines it and distinguishing it from other theories and studies being the perception/vision about context.” (Crușu 2008, p. 386)

Source: Bank Brochures of Publicity BT, BCR.


The selected strategy in approaching the discurse from publicity bank brochures combines the text and the image, both suggesting/examinig the behavioural scenarios that the receiver client must follow in order to access the offer promoted in this discourse. As we established in our discourse analysis of the presented publicity bank brochures, the success of the persuasion is characterized by through the cooperation of the behavioural sceanarios, imperative sentences and all the other element, comprising the discourse from the brochure.


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Slvstru, C. (1996). Raționalitate și discurs. Perspective logico-semiotice asupra retoricii / Rationality and discourse. Logical-semiotic perspectives on rhetorics. Bucharest: Ed. Didactic si Pedagogic RA.

1 PhD in progress, Doctoral School of Philology Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania, Adress:11-Carol 1, Blvd.700506, Iasi, Romnia, Corresponding addresss: elenatatiana2005@yahoo.com.


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