Articulating a new framework for visual metaphors in advertising a structural, conceptual, and pragmatic investigation
This study develops and tests a conceptual framework for categorizing visual metaphors in advertising according to whether the pictorial elements in the ad are synthesized or juxtaposed. In this attempt, it subscribes to the view that creative ideas frequently share similar design structures and patterns in devising visual metaphors. This study demonstrates that compared with ad visuals that simply juxtapose metaphorical objects, ad visuals that synthesize conceptually similar metaphorical objects provoke greater elaboration and elicit more favorable consumer attitudes toward both the ad and the brand. These positive effects are not free of comprehension costs, however. Ads that synthesize very dissimilar objects (as compared with ads that juxtapose objects) fail to produce the same benefits and might, in some cases, even risk reducing the persuasiveness of the argument about key product attributes in the advertising message.