This workshop is associated to the Marie Curie fellowship “Exploring Multimodal Metaphor in Advertising” funded by the European Commission (H2020-MSCA-IF-2014). This project is based at the University of Birmingham and will run from October 2015 to October 2017.
About “Exploring Multimodal Metaphor in Advertising”
Metaphor and metonymy are key tools in communication, particularly when abstract ideas or emotions are discussed. While extant literature addresses metaphor in language and images, little has dealt with the combination of metaphor and metonymy in the multimodal context of advertising, where they play a key role. The EMMA fellowship aims to explore this by testing figurative complexity and emotions, the impact of these on comprehension, accuracy of interpretation and advertising effectiveness. It involves an interdisciplinary study that combines cognitive and physiological psychology with linguistic and marketing interpretations. A mixed-methods approach of lab experiments and qualitative inquiry will assess the speed and depth of comprehension, the perceived appeal, and the physiological effect of static and video advertisements on participants from three linguistic and cultural backgrounds (English, Spanish, and Chinese). If advertisers, charities and NGOs target, and are sensitive to, linguistic and cultural differences in metaphors, local and international communities can benefit from specific, appropriate and ethical advertising. You can find more information here.
Paula Pérez-Sobrino holds a postdoctoral fellowship Marie Curie from the European Commission. She obtained in 2015 her PhD in Cognitive Linguistics (Distinction with Honours) from the University of La Rioja (Spain) with her dissertation “Expanding the figurative continuum to multimodal settings: multimodal metaphor in interaction with metonymy in advertising”. Her research interests cover Cognitive Linguistics, cognitive operations (with special focus on the interaction between metaphor and metonymy), and multimodal environments ranging from advertising to classical music.
She brings to EMMA expertise on conceptual complexes based on the dynamic interplay between metaphor and metonymy, with varying degrees of inferential potentiality. In her doctoral thesis she analysed in detail conceptual operations based on the interaction between metaphor and metonymy (with varying degrees of conceptual complexity) and applied them to the study of printed advertising from three complementary perspectives: qualitative, corpus-based, and experimental.
Jeannette Littlemore is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Head the English Language Department at the University of Birmingham. She specialises in figurative language (particularly metonymy), cognitive linguistics, second language teaching, and the relationship between language and thought. She is a reputed theoretical and applied linguistic expert on metaphor and metonymy and on the challenges that they present to individuals from different linguistic backgrounds. She has produced a comprehensive inventory of the ways in which metaphor is misunderstood by learners of English and has conducted numerous qualitative and quantitative research studies involving figurative language comprehension and production. She teaches on the BA English Language modules ‘Psycholinguistics’ and Language and the Mind’, and the MA module ‘Mind, Metaphor and Language learning’. She contributes to the Distance MA programmes, and supervises a number of PhD students who are working on metaphor.
She brings to EMMA her extensive contribution to the area of Cognitive linguistics with her analyses on figurative language acquisition by learners from different nationalities (English, Japanese, Spanish, French, amongst others). She is fully versed in the research methodologies and will supervise the design of the project, the management of data according to the appropriate scientific and ethical standards, and will contribute to draw inferences from the project’s findings.
David Houghton is Lecturer in Marketing at Birmingham Business School. He has a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Bath, and a degree in Psychology. His research centers on the psychology of communication online, with a specific interest in the management of privacy, self-disclosure, uncertainty reduction and the formation, maintenance and deterioration of relationships.
He brings to EMMA expertise in both experimental and qualitative research methods, as well as in the disclosure and concealment (privacy) of information in online social media, which can aid in testing the impact of different adverts and videos used for online consumer engagement (the goal for modern viral advertising) and advertising more generally.