Publication details [#580]

Lantolf, James and Larysa Bodrova. 2012. Happiness is drinking beer: a cross-cultural analysis of multimodal metaphors in American and Ukrainian commercials. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 22 (1) : 42–66. 25 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Oxford: Blackwell Publishing


The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast the use of multimodal conceptual metaphors in American and Ukrainian TV commercials publicising beer. It is shown that the prevalent metaphors in the two cultures are HAPPINESS IS DRINKING BEER and BEER IS A PERSON. There is a third metaphor in Ukrainian commercials, namely LOVE FOR THE MOTHERLAND IS DRINKING BEER, which instead presents itself only subtly on American TV. The analysis reveals cross-cultural variation in the mappings and entailments of the metaphors particularly with regard to emotion, friendship, and patriotism. According to the authors, variation results not only from the existence of different advertising strategies, but is mostly due to the different views of happiness, beer drinking, friendship, and patriotism in the two cultures under investigation.