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25 Years

Role of Animal Metaphors in Indian Advertisements

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 3:30pm to 5:30pm
Event Location: 
537 Heller Hall

Dr. Meraj Ahmed, who received his PhD from Aligarh Muslim University, teaches Hindi-Urdu language and literature in the Dept. of Asian Languages and Literatures at UMN.


Metaphors are concerned with making a connection between the two things. The literal meaning of the
expression carries an abstract identification or a quality which gets connected to concrete entity which
has a physical existence in the world. One such connection is done between the nature and us with the
help of animal metaphors.
Animals always have a huge impact in the South Asian literary culture as well as the communicative
pattern of South Asia. From the stories of Panchatantra to daily communicate discourse, we see the how
animals are metaphorically used to communicate information. One domain that has been untouched
from a linguistic study is the use of animal metaphors in the Indian Advertisements. When we talk about
animal metaphor, questions comes in the mind; Why animal metaphor for advertisements? At a
cognitive level what are the cultural impacts behind the use of animals to relay information and at the
same time appeal to consumer. The work will talk about how in the Indian advertisements we have
different segment for different animals which conceptualizes their cultural identity. As the CMT argues
about literal and metaphorical concepts being culturally motivated, taglines in Indian advertisements
like “No Ullu Banaying” (Don’t make a fool of us) map the idea of being fool or stupid from the cultural
and literary ideas of Owl being a stupid bird. This paper will attempt to study the role of animal
metaphors with relation to the Indian advertisement with the help of the concepts of Conceptual
Metaphorical Theory (CMT).