An organization’s webcare is aimed at dealing with as many consumer complaints as possible. In this contribution, I will raise the question whether linguistic features of negative word-of-mouth tweets may lead to differences in the perception of these complaints, and consequently to differences in webcare response. Our study shows that a pragmalinguistic approach to complaint tweets is helpful in explaining the occurrence of webcare interaction between organizations and complaining consumers. The results of two corpus analyses (with 6533 and 1479 negative word-of-mouth tweets) suggest that the perception of the illocutionary force of the complaint tweet depends both on the position of @Organization in the tweet (at the very beginning or elsewhere in the tweet), and on the direct or indirect way of addressing an organization when realizing the speech act of complaining in a tweet.
When we examine complaints and (the succes of) webcare interaction, it is also important to pay attention to the communication style in webcare. In recent research, the framework for analysing linguistic realizations of a conversational human voice in webcare has been refined and investigated systematically. I will show how some of these linguistic features seem to influence the amount of webcare interaction.
An organization’s webcare is aimed at dealing with as many consumer complaints as possible. The question is what features of negative word-of-mouth tweets lead to more webcare response. From a pragmalinguistic perspective, we started with a brief overview of the speech act of complaining, and its illocutionary force which is communicated directly or indirectly. In two corpus analyses (with 6533 and 1479 negative word-of-mouth tweets), we examined the relations between the way consumers address an organization (operationalized as the position of @Organization in the negative word-of-mouth tweet) and the amount of webcare interaction between the organization and consumers. The results show that when a consumer places the addressed @Organization at the beginning of the tweet, this leads to a webcare-response more frequently than when @Organization occurs elsewhere in the tweet. In the second corpus analysis, the communicative function of @Organization (direct or indirect address) was included in the analysis. When @Organization was addressed directly, this resulted in more webcare interaction than when the organization was addressed indirectly.
According to Hall’s context theory, people from different cultures may react differently to complex messages. The current study is the first empirical examination of context theory’s role on message comprehension and appreciation. In a comparative survey-based study (N = 289), Belgian and Dutch participants judged 12 complex product advertisements with visual metaphors. As expected by context theory, perceived complexity was lower for Belgian (a higher-context culture) than for Dutch participants (a lower-context culture), and participants’ personal context culture score fully accounted for this difference. Similarly, ad liking was higher for Belgian than for Dutch participants, and again, this difference was explained by context score.
- hebben negatief effect op merkvertrouwen;
- leiden tot verspreiding negatieve WOM;
- deskundigheid van de twitteraar wordt herkend; als een deskundige het zegt heeft dat meer impact: het negatieve effect op merkvertrouwen is dan sterker en de neiging om de negatieve word-of-mouth te verspreiden is dan groter.
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In this paper it is shown that the appreciation and experienced complexity of visual rhetorical figures, such as visual metaphors, can be moderated by adding verbal explanations. Since visual metaphors can differ in complexity – depending on whether the product is explicitly shown or has to be inferred, it is expected that adding verbal explanation of the comparison has a positive influence on experienced complexity and ad liking. Based on an experiment involving 364 participants, results show that experienced complexity indeed decreases when verbal explanation is added to the most complex type of visual metaphor. Contrary to expectation, however, this reduced complexity did not make the advertisements more attractive.
Kövecses (2005) suggested that cultural context may override the universal mapping in metaphors. The Spanish, French and Dutch cultures differ with regard to the manner in which information is processed: the Spanish and French cultures are known to be high context cultures, whereas Dutch culture can be characterized as a low context culture, in that communication involves intensively elaborate expressions and requires clear, explicit verbal articulation (Hall & Hall, 1990). Recently, two typologies of visual metaphors have been proposed by Forceville (1996, 2005) and Phillips and McQuarrie (2004) that show some striking similarities with regard to disposition of the visual elements – that is the source and target domains. The first part of this paper sums up the results of two experiments that tested the validity of these classifications with Spanish, French and Dutch participants and proposes an overall image of the appreciation of the three metaphor types. In the second part we will focus on the interpretations of the metaphors by the Spanish, French and Dutch participants of the second experiment, in order to verify whether culture influences the foregrounding of the common ground in visual metaphor. It appears that Dutch respondents appreciate visual metaphors less than French or Spanish respondents. However, the overall appreciation pattern of the three metaphor types is identical across the three nationalities. With regard to interpretive diversity, we detected subtle cultural differences in focus and extensiveness.
The purpose of the typology of visual metaphors in advertising (Philips & McQuarrie, 2004) is to link specific structures of pictorial elements to particular consumer responses and to predict the impact that such an element will have. In an experiment, we tested one dimension of this typology, namely the complexity of the visual structure of the metaphor. A total of 374 respondents from The Netherlands, France, and Spain evaluated advertisements on complexity and appreciation. The advertisements were varied according to visual structure. Results show that the pattern of perceived complexity of different visual metaphors is not the same as theoretically predicted, and that there are significant differences depending on respondents’ cultural background. Our findings also suggest that more complex advertisements do not necessarily have greater impact in terms of appreciation of the advertisement.