Verbal anchoring in visual metaphors

Artikel ter publicatie aangeboden: Effects of verbal anchoring in visual metaphors on perceived complexity and appreciation of advertisements

Deze week hebben Margot van Mulken en ik een artikel afgemaakt en ter publicatie aangeboden aan een Russische editor.

De samenvatting luidt:


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.

Een deel van de conclusie luidt:

We found that only in the most complex metaphorical structure, the contextual metaphor, verbal anchoring had a strong effect, reducing the perceived complexity of this visual metaphor. But contrary to what might be expected, this reduced complexity did not make the advertisement more attractive: the inverted U-curve remains. Apparently, consumers still opt out when they are confronted with a visual structure that is too difficult to process, regardless of whether this complex image is verbally explained, partially or completely.

In the case of juxtapositions (Similes), a less complex type of metaphor, we have demonstrated that consumers are sensible to ‘a little help’, but that at the same time too much help, for the same advertisements, is significantly less appreciated. The conclusion – previously found in Le Pair and Van Mulken (2008) – that fusions in advertisements (Hybrid metaphors) are appreciated most – remains, though juxtapositions (Similes) can be equally appealing, when a little help is afforded.

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