Flying swans: Is the ease with which visual metaphors in advertising are understood indicative of their success?

L. Lagerwerf, M. van Mulken, Jefta B. Lagerwerf

Research output: Contribution to ConferenceAbstractAcademic

Abstract

Visual metaphor is often used in advertising, because it allows advertisers to communicate in images a message that is very rich in content and very heavy in implicit meaning without using words. The consumer is invited to interpret a target domain in terms of a source domain, and this often produces extra meaning and extra pleasure. To predict the success of a visual metaphor is however still a scientific and practical challenge. The role of semantic distance between the target and the source has not been studied thoroughly in visual perception. On the basis of Pragmatic Theory, one expects to find that viewers prefer visual metaphors to other object pairs, because of the generation of extra meaning. On the basis of Fluency Theory, however, one expect to find a preference for what is easiest to process. Do understanding and appreciation differ between visual metaphors and semantically close objects (hyponyms), or between visual metaphors and semantically distant objects? We expect that semantic distance causes viewers to understand visual metaphors less fast than hyponyms but faster than apparently unrelated pairs of objects. In a first experiment with self-paced reading, viewers identified 27 object pairs (visual metaphors, hyponyms and unrelated sets) and our expectations were largely confirmed. In a second experiment, again with self-paced reading, viewers were instructed to assess their evaluation of the same object pairs. Response latencies were shorter overall. Contrary to expectation, hyponyms were appreciated more than visual metaphors. Might this preference for hyponyms be caused by shorter viewing times? We conducted a third experiment, in which we manipulated viewing time. We expect to find that shorter viewing times (0.5 sec per object pair) induce viewers to prefer the easy to process object pairs, whereas longer viewing times (5 sec per object pair) lead viewers to prefer visual metaphor. Should advertisers take both processing opportunity and processing ease into account whilst creating new metaphors?
Original languageEnglish
Pages61
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2019
Event10th Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise Conference - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 3 Jun 20195 Jun 2019

Conference

Conference10th Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise Conference
CountryBelgium
CityLeuven
Period3/06/195/06/19

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Marketing
Semantics
Experiments
Processing

Cite this

Lagerwerf, L., van Mulken, M., & Lagerwerf, J. B. (2019). Flying swans: Is the ease with which visual metaphors in advertising are understood indicative of their success?. 61. Abstract from 10th Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise Conference, Leuven, Belgium.
Lagerwerf, L. ; van Mulken, M. ; Lagerwerf, Jefta B. / Flying swans : Is the ease with which visual metaphors in advertising are understood indicative of their success?. Abstract from 10th Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise Conference, Leuven, Belgium.1 p.
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title = "Flying swans: Is the ease with which visual metaphors in advertising are understood indicative of their success?",
abstract = "Visual metaphor is often used in advertising, because it allows advertisers to communicate in images a message that is very rich in content and very heavy in implicit meaning without using words. The consumer is invited to interpret a target domain in terms of a source domain, and this often produces extra meaning and extra pleasure. To predict the success of a visual metaphor is however still a scientific and practical challenge. The role of semantic distance between the target and the source has not been studied thoroughly in visual perception. On the basis of Pragmatic Theory, one expects to find that viewers prefer visual metaphors to other object pairs, because of the generation of extra meaning. On the basis of Fluency Theory, however, one expect to find a preference for what is easiest to process. Do understanding and appreciation differ between visual metaphors and semantically close objects (hyponyms), or between visual metaphors and semantically distant objects? We expect that semantic distance causes viewers to understand visual metaphors less fast than hyponyms but faster than apparently unrelated pairs of objects. In a first experiment with self-paced reading, viewers identified 27 object pairs (visual metaphors, hyponyms and unrelated sets) and our expectations were largely confirmed. In a second experiment, again with self-paced reading, viewers were instructed to assess their evaluation of the same object pairs. Response latencies were shorter overall. Contrary to expectation, hyponyms were appreciated more than visual metaphors. Might this preference for hyponyms be caused by shorter viewing times? We conducted a third experiment, in which we manipulated viewing time. We expect to find that shorter viewing times (0.5 sec per object pair) induce viewers to prefer the easy to process object pairs, whereas longer viewing times (5 sec per object pair) lead viewers to prefer visual metaphor. Should advertisers take both processing opportunity and processing ease into account whilst creating new metaphors?",
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Lagerwerf, L, van Mulken, M & Lagerwerf, JB 2019, 'Flying swans: Is the ease with which visual metaphors in advertising are understood indicative of their success?' 10th Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise Conference, Leuven, Belgium, 3/06/19 - 5/06/19, pp. 61.

Flying swans : Is the ease with which visual metaphors in advertising are understood indicative of their success? / Lagerwerf, L.; van Mulken, M.; Lagerwerf, Jefta B.

2019. 61 Abstract from 10th Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise Conference, Leuven, Belgium.

Research output: Contribution to ConferenceAbstractAcademic

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T2 - Is the ease with which visual metaphors in advertising are understood indicative of their success?

AU - Lagerwerf, L.

AU - van Mulken, M.

AU - Lagerwerf, Jefta B.

PY - 2019/6/4

Y1 - 2019/6/4

N2 - Visual metaphor is often used in advertising, because it allows advertisers to communicate in images a message that is very rich in content and very heavy in implicit meaning without using words. The consumer is invited to interpret a target domain in terms of a source domain, and this often produces extra meaning and extra pleasure. To predict the success of a visual metaphor is however still a scientific and practical challenge. The role of semantic distance between the target and the source has not been studied thoroughly in visual perception. On the basis of Pragmatic Theory, one expects to find that viewers prefer visual metaphors to other object pairs, because of the generation of extra meaning. On the basis of Fluency Theory, however, one expect to find a preference for what is easiest to process. Do understanding and appreciation differ between visual metaphors and semantically close objects (hyponyms), or between visual metaphors and semantically distant objects? We expect that semantic distance causes viewers to understand visual metaphors less fast than hyponyms but faster than apparently unrelated pairs of objects. In a first experiment with self-paced reading, viewers identified 27 object pairs (visual metaphors, hyponyms and unrelated sets) and our expectations were largely confirmed. In a second experiment, again with self-paced reading, viewers were instructed to assess their evaluation of the same object pairs. Response latencies were shorter overall. Contrary to expectation, hyponyms were appreciated more than visual metaphors. Might this preference for hyponyms be caused by shorter viewing times? We conducted a third experiment, in which we manipulated viewing time. We expect to find that shorter viewing times (0.5 sec per object pair) induce viewers to prefer the easy to process object pairs, whereas longer viewing times (5 sec per object pair) lead viewers to prefer visual metaphor. Should advertisers take both processing opportunity and processing ease into account whilst creating new metaphors?

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M3 - Abstract

SP - 61

ER -

Lagerwerf L, van Mulken M, Lagerwerf JB. Flying swans: Is the ease with which visual metaphors in advertising are understood indicative of their success?. 2019. Abstract from 10th Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise Conference, Leuven, Belgium.