“The impact of complexity on the appreciation of visual metaphor in advertising across three European countries.” Journal of Pragmatics 42: 3418-3430. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2010.04.030.
Abstract: With regard to the spatial distribution of pictorial elements in (monomodal) visual metaphor three types of metaphor can be distinguished: Similes (where the target and source are visually presented separately), Hybrids (where target and source are fused together) and Contextual Metaphors (where either source or target is visually absent). In an experiment using authentic advertisements, it is tested whether consumers’ experience of deviation from expectation and complexity vary with regard to these three types of visual metaphor. Participants in Spain, France and the Netherlands took part in an Internet experiment. Results show that Hybrids are the preferred type of visual metaphor, that deviation from expectation and comprehension have a positive impact on appreciation and that perceived complexity correlates negatively with appreciation. The effects for nationality are limited. Keywords: Visual metaphor, appreciation, deviation, complexity, comprehension, cultural differences.
Download article: http://dare.uva.nl/en/record/369097