Visual metaphors in advertising have been researched extensively because of their ability to persuade. However, few studies have investigated why they are persuasive from the perspective of the consumer. The purpose of this study was to identify why viewers are attracted to visual metaphor ads and provide a better understanding of the types of consumers who view them, revealing their subjective opinions and attitudes. Through the use of Q-method, four factors were identified: "Highbrows," who prefer metaphors that are classy and refined, "Connectors," an emotional group that focuses on interpersonal relationships and the relevance of the metaphor to the advertised product, "Executionists," who focus solely on how well the message or idea is executed by the metaphor, and "Logical Agitators," who can appreciate humorous body distortion because they function primarily cognitively. The results show that visual metaphors attract a diverse audience and that consumers of metaphors are much more complex than previous research implies. Advertisers may create more effective visual metaphors by constructing them to appeal to one of the four types.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Communications
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Madsen, Mckenzie Joell, "A Q-Method Study of Visual Metaphors in Advertising" (2018). All Theses and Dissertations. 6975.
metaphor, visual metaphor, advertising consumers, Q-method