There were three main highlights for me.
1. Paula Perez-Sobrino talked about the symbolic power and meaning consumers can elicit from brand logos.
I discovered that even the types of font (including the size, shape, and colour) can have quite an impact on how we react, feel, and behave towards these advertising logos, their brands, and advertising resources in general. There is a close link between the types of font and it being symbolic of certain attributes of a product. For example, the comic sans font that I am sure many of us have used before is round and plump in its appearance on the page, can associate with comfort and friendliness. Furthermore, the shape of the logo itself, being in a box or circle, can symbolise containment and, in advertising when the intended message to consumers is most likely to be a positive one, security and protection. This comes in particularly useful for car manufacturers - how many of them have circular logos?! I had no idea.
2. David Houghton, working in collaboration with Paula Perez-Sobrino and Jeannette Littlemore, demonstrated with psychophysiological technology how figurative operations can elicit instantaneous and physical responses from consumers when presented with audio-visual advertising that has gone viral. In the session, members of the audience were 'plugged in' to the skin (sweat) detector and shown viral video advertisements containing metaphor, metonymy, irony, and hyperbole. It was fascinating watch the physical reaction spike on the graph while Taylor Swift sang along to the tunes her new Apple iPhone was playing during her workout on a treadmill, for one example.
3. Finally, perhaps the most useful part of the workshop was having the ability to network with the business people in addition to the academics, and discussing the importance of applied linguistics through a marketing lense.
And not to mention that the event was free! More people need to look out for these workshops - in particular, members of the the marketing and advertising industry. We need to bridge the gap between business industries and academic research to put to full use the information that is crucially being discovered everyday in our communication!
Copyright © Samantha Ford 2017-2018