Creating New Brand Identities: A Stylo-Rhetorical Study of Car Appellations in Nigeria

  • Ibrahim Esan Olaosun Lecturer Department of English Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Keywords: Car Rebranding (CR), Car name (CN), Epithet, Advertising


This paper analyses twenty-six appellations of some popular cars in Nigeria. The data were gathered through visits to some retail car dealer shops in Nigeria, the participant observation method and a questionnaire. Analysis of the data shows that the appellations are a form of material honorifics which capture the youth’s sentiments for such car qualities as size, speed, durability, efficiency, luxury and affordability. Analysis also shows that car rebranding discourse practice is an evaluative epithet, a socio-historic documentation and a rhetoric of competition, distribution, endorsement, and demeaning humor, which portrays the youth’s passionate sentiment concerning fashion in automotive technology. The paper demonstrates how the discourse practice explicates the grammatical notion of epithet and the concept of branding/rebranding, as an aspect of the rhetoric of advertising. It indicates that car rebranding practice significantly affects the purchase behaviours of car owners in Nigeria. It concludes that Nigerian youths are as effective in linguistic innovativeness as automotive marketers in making car products appeal to emotions.

Author Biography

Ibrahim Esan Olaosun, Lecturer Department of English Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Ibrahim Esan Olaosun (PhD) is a Lecturer in the Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. His major research interests are in the areas of discourse stylistics, cultural semiotics and discourse analysis.


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