Increasingly, ecosystems, which are intrinsically non-linear adaptive systems, partly determined by environmental conditions, and partly the result of self-organization, have become a locus intersection of different and often contrasting interests in our contemporary semiosphere. In particular, a major issue is the divergence between genuine worries about the environment and climate change on the one hand, and productivity standards and the need to generate profit on the other. From a lingua-cultural perspective, we can notice how companies progressively rely on green-economy oriented campaigns to socially promote their corporate image and attract the rising number of consumers who are sensitive to environmental issues. ‘Ecosystem’ and ‘sustainability’ have thus become catchwords for companies that follow this recent tendency –Tesco being a relevant case in point. Starting from a stall in the East End of London in 1919, Tesco can rely today on a team of over 470,000 people in 11 markets worldwide. A fresh food business, and a media savvy company, Tesco advertises its aims to reduce the impact on the ecosystem. Declaredly, their success depends on the health of the natural environment. Accordingly, they maintain they are addressing the environmental impacts in their operations and supply chain. They have identified five key environments. Firstly, climate, whose ongoing change presents a big challenge. Then, they focus on forests, marine, farmland, and freshwater, as domains to be variously safeguarded, also by developing the overarching policies of Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. The aim of this study is to identify and scrutinize aspects of Tesco’s videos advertising such issues. Multimodal texts, synaestetically exploiting many different codes, require a Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis (MCDA) approach (Kress 2010, van Leeuwen 2013), to be integrated with ecolinguistc notions, given the issues at stake. According to Stibbe 2015, ‘Ecolinguistics is about critiquing forms of language that contribute to ecological destruction, and aiding in the search for new forms of language that inspire people to protect the natural world’ (Stibbe 2016). Furthermore, since advertisers utilise a range of themes proven to appeal to the audience, i.e. wonderful natural settings, fashionable lifestyles, success stories, etc., the lines of appeal (Fowles 1976, 1996; Dyer 1988) of Tesco’s videos will be a focus of our investigation, as well as the modalities of the visual composition of the images (Stinson 2012; Ascher and Pincus 2013; Bateman 2014; Chandler 2016). The results and implications of such analysis will be critically discussed in the presentation.
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