An Experimental Investigation of the Processes Underlying the Interpretation of Nonverbal Signs and Metaphors in Advertising

Eric DeRosia, University of Michigan
ABSTRACT - This paper investigates nonverbal symbolic signs and metaphors in advertisements and the processes which consumers use to interpret such advertisement elements. As a result of interpretation, consumers infer complex meanings such as brand personality beliefs. Further, motivation to devote cognitive resources to the interpretation process plays a role. Under low motivation, consumers exert insufficient cognitive effort to interpret such advertising elements. Under moderate motivation, such elements lead to brand personality beliefs. Under high motivation, consumers interpret such elements but reject the implied brand personality beliefs as nonsensical. Advertising stimuli with such elements are proposed and tested, and the results of a experiment which tests the hypotheses are reported.
[ to cite ]:
Eric DeRosia (2001) ,"An Experimental Investigation of the Processes Underlying the Interpretation of Nonverbal Signs and Metaphors in Advertising", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, eds. Mary C. Gilly and Joan Meyers-Levy, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 275.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, 2001     Page 275

AN EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF THE PROCESSES UNDERLYING THE INTERPRETATION OF NONVERBAL SIGNS AND METAPHORS IN ADVERTISING

Eric DeRosia, University of Michigan

ABSTRACT -

This paper investigates nonverbal symbolic signs and metaphors in advertisements and the processes which consumers use to interpret such advertisement elements. As a result of interpretation, consumers infer complex meanings such as brand personality beliefs. Further, motivation to devote cognitive resources to the interpretation process plays a role. Under low motivation, consumers exert insufficient cognitive effort to interpret such advertising elements. Under moderate motivation, such elements lead to brand personality beliefs. Under high motivation, consumers interpret such elements but reject the implied brand personality beliefs as nonsensical. Advertising stimuli with such elements are proposed and tested, and the results of a experiment which tests the hypotheses are reported.

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