from text to sound to imagery to movement. It can also involve the consumer in very different ways than what it used to (think back to when we would have to read advertising).
Advertisers are becoming increasingly aware that their audience are critical of their craft. In recent years, advertising has shifted from selling a product to selling an experience. It is moving toward, or has already reached, integrating advertising a product, service, or experience with a story or activity that involves the consumers themselves. Research has shown that figurative language including metaphor and metonymy is frequently used in print advertising (Forceville, 1996; Perez-Sobrino, 2017; Littlemore and Perez-Sobrino, 2017).
The new ways in which advertising is reaching its audience must also be explored in order for academia to keep pace with the changing world. As such, Jeannette Littlemore, Paual Perez-Sobrino, and myself - Samantha Ford - have come together to write a collaborative monograph on the role of figurative communication in advertising in the modern world. With the book, we hope to draw together key insights into how academics and advertisers alike may work together (as in the EMMA project) to improve the way in which advertising may be used for the better; to raise awareness of important issues and highlight essential services that will improve our lives, and not just to sell products.
For more information, visit the EMMA website.
Watch this video to find out how I worked with Jeannette Littlemore, Paula Perez-Sobrino, and David Houghton, and Big Cat Advertising Agency to effectively implement metaphor into a campaign that talked about sexual health. For more information about the campaign and the EMMA project, click here.
examined whether participant responses varied according to: (a) participant age, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, and (b) the figurative nature of twelve campaign adverts, in order to establish which figurative factors shape the extent to which consumers report that they find the adverts funny, appealing, and say they would engage with the campaign’s call to action (i.e. to order an STI kit) or its presence on social media. The figurative nature of the adverts varied three-way: (1) the level of conceptual work required to decode the adverts’ meaning; (2) the progression of the sexual conquest narrative (i.e. where in the progression of the sexual act from dating to sexual intercourse was referred to via metaphor); (3) the level of creativity (conventional to novel) in the adverts.
To read the full article, click here.
The collaboration between the University of Birmingham, involving academics from the English Language and Linguistics department and Marketing department, and the Big Cat Marketing Communications Agency forms a part of the EMMA project, which has been running since 2015.
A new website:
The University of Birmingham provided funding to the EMMA project to continue its investigation into figurative messaging involving metaphor and metonymy in advertising from 2017. A new website is being developed at the University of Birmingham that includes updates on EMMA's activities from 2017 onwards. Why not check it out here?
Meet the team:
EMMA consists of five core members: Professor Jeannette Littlemore (left), Dr Paula Perez-Sobrino (right), Dr David Houghton (centre-right), and Samantha Ford MA (centre-left).
Find out more about EMMA at the University of Birmingham.