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Title: Exploring creative metaphors in video ads: manifestation, uses, and effectiveness
Authors: Pan, Xie
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2020
Abstract: Creative metaphors as impressive and noticeable conceptual phenomena are prominent advertising strategies to influence the perceivers' decision-making. Video ads as a type of temporal dynamic discourse provide creative metaphors with fertile resources to manifest themselves and to enhance perceivers' experience through rich interactions of multi-sensory elements. To date, the systematic investigation of creative metaphors in video ads is still underexplored. The lack of a reliable procedure to identify creative metaphors in video ads limits such investigation to qualitative analyses of a few cases, which can hardly generate replicable findings. This in turn impedes valid examination of the extent to which creative metaphors assist in effective advertising. This thesis aims to examine creative metaphors in video ads and address the aforementioned issues via three components: i) theorising the characteristics of creative metaphors in video ads and conducting reliability examinations of a proposed identification procedure, ii) analysing the structural uses of creative metaphors, and iii) measuring how different uses influence perceptions. It starts with corpus-driven research, where 100 Chinese video ads were collected through a stratified sampling method. Insights from research on multimodal metaphors (Forceville, 1996, 2002, 2007, 2017b) help clarify the nature of creative metaphor in video ads as goal-oriented and dynamic, leading to the proposal of a 'Creative Metaphor Identification Procedure in Video Ads' (C-MIPVA). The reliability of C-MIPVA was established with inter-rater reliability tests among six annotators. Subsequent content analyses of 197 creative metaphors which were identified in the corpus by C-MIPVA drew insights from the synergy of Relevance Theory (Forceville, 2014; Sperber & Wilson, 1986) and research on multimodal metaphors (Forceville, 1996, 2008). The purpose of these analyses is to systematically investigate how creative metaphors are used for advertising products. The analyses specified existing categories of using creative metaphors by extracting how the content of metaphors, i.e. the target and the source, were linked to its roles in the ad.
Findings from content analysis lay the foundation for an experimental survey study, which aims to examine the effectiveness of creative metaphors in video ads. In the first place, patterns of how creative metaphors manifest under different uses guided the design of experimental stimuli. Secondly, relationships between metaphor uses and product types underpin the formulation of hypotheses. To prevent associations with existing real-world brands and ads, experimental stimuli were designed and constructed. A within-subjects experiment was designed to examine how different uses of creative metaphors (features-highlighting metaphors vs. needs-highlighting metaphors) for different types of products (tangible products vs. intangible products) exert influences on perceptions of complexity, cognitive elaboration, affective elaboration, attitude towards the ad, and purchase intentions (Kim, Baek, & Choi, 2012; Sobrino, Littlemore, & Houghton, 2018; Van Mulken, Le Pair, & Forceville, 2010). 323 Chinese participants participated in the research. 32 of them took further part in an exploratory Electrodermal activity (Dawson, Schell, & Filion, 2007) study while watching the ads and finish the follow-up interviews. Other participants only completed online surveys. Results showed that while creative metaphors positively influenced the effectiveness of video advertising, the frequently occurring patterns in real-world ads from content analysis might not necessarily be the most impactful in viewers' perceptions. This thesis systematically explores creative metaphors in video ads, regarding manifestation, uses, and effectiveness. It contributes to research on multimodal metaphors (Forceville, 1996, 2007, 2008) by providing a replicable procedure of identification, specifying uses of metaphor's in video ads, and examining the effect of major uses for different types of products with empirical evidence. It also suggests directions for future studies through critically reflecting on limitations of each component.
Subjects: Advertising
Symbolism in advertising
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: xvii, 321 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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