“Oh, now I get it ...”: comic dupe irony in print advertising

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Peer-Reviewed Research


English:Advertising texts are typically designed to engage audiences in the process of meaning construction. This article conducts a relevance theoretic analysis of a sample of print advertisements that employ a specific type of irony towards this goal, based on Partington’s (2007) conceptualisation of comic dupe irony. The results suggest that comic dupe irony is manifested in a discrepancy between two narratives. Consumers are encouraged to establish relevance by processing the irony that arises from this discrepancy, thus expending more processing effort for the promise of relevant cognitive effects.