Ryoo, Y., Jeon, YA., & Sung, Y. (2021)
Interpret me! The interplay between visual metaphors and verbal messages in advertising.
International Journal of Advertising, 40(5), 760-782.
The present research investigates how visual metaphors (that differ in terms of complexity) and verbal messages (that vary in terms of explicitness of explaining the visual metaphors) interactively impact on consumers’ pleasure and ad appreciation. Across two studies, findings demonstrate that consumers experience a higher sense of pleasure and appreciation when explicit (vs. implicit) verbal messages are presented with extremely complex visual metaphors (i.e., replacement ads), whereas implicit (vs. explicit) verbal messages are more effective with moderately complex visual metaphors (i.e., fusion ads). However, the two types of verbal messages do not differently affect pleasure and ad appreciation in minimally complex visual metaphors (i.e., juxtaposition ads). The resource-matching hypothesis is employed as a theoretical framework explaining the relationship between visual metaphors and verbal messages. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed and ideas for future research offered.