The Effect of Visual Structure of Pictorial Metaphors on Advertisement Attitudes

  •  Shuo Cao    
  •  Huili Wang    
  •  Xiaoxia Zou    


With the development of the economy, the advertising industry has also flourished, and visual metaphors have been frequently used in advertising. Through the use of visual metaphor, advertisers are eager to give consumers a deep impression, and the ultimate goal is to sell the products in the ads. Previous visual metaphor research has contributes more to understand the needs of consumers better, and offered advertisers some guidance in the advertising design. The current study works on the liking degree of people of different backgrounds toward the ads using visual metaphor of hybrid structure. This study takes 101 Chinese college students as participants to measure the extent to which they appreciate the ads using visual metaphors. 20 sets of ad pictures, covering a wide range of products, categorized conceptually and perceptually, are tested in terms of ad liking, elaboration, and comprehension. The results indicate that the visual pictures that have both similar functions and shapes rank top in all the perspectives examined, followed by those having dissimilar shape and similar function and those having similar shape and dissimilar function. The visual pictures that are dissimilar both in shape and in function are least favored. In addition, demographical analysis was performed, showing a higher appreciation for the ad visual metaphors among participants of bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, females and younger generation. Moreover, the findings, with specific marketing implication for designing and managing visual metaphors in ads, are very valuable for marketers who target at college students.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1918-719X
  • Issn(Onlne): 1918-7203
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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