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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Human Communication and Advertising

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Craig Chambers

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PSY274: Intro to Human Communication Lecture 7: November 5, 2013 Human Communication and Advertising Marketing Communications - Communicating things about BRANDS o Building associations – and certain kinds of feelings and ideas - Communicating things about specific PRODUCTS o “Claims” about products  What advertiser say  How they say it Background: - What kinds of things are advertised and why? o Food – I.e. Different fast food restaurants o Services – I.e. Real State, Law o Cosmetics – I.e. Different companies o T.V. shows o Cleaning products – I.e. Toilet paper - When we see advertising it is in its domain of choice, where virtues of a particular product is not necessarily apparent Branding - Goal: build an ASSOCIATION between a Brand and particular qualities/ “feelings” o Branding sets up the identity of a product o Different brands have different strategies - Example: o Fido – fun and young - Ways to link associations to brands… o Language o Naming Brand naming: - Revisiting ARBITRARINESS - Sound pattern for a given concept is generally arbitrary - BUT: some sounds or sound combinations seem to “fit” better than others for certain concepts - Example: o Timex watch – goes better with something technological o Greenex lettuce? Farmex? Healthex? o Snapple juice drink  why not “Grug” Iconicity in Speech Sounds - (i) Acoustic Iconicity (onomatopoeic words) o Sound of word bears relationship to sounds in the world o Swoosh, crash, etc. - (ii) Articulatory Iconicity o Certain kind of words go better with: o Rigid/soft things o Small/big things PSY274: Intro to Human Communication Lecture 7: November 5, 2013 Which one of the KIKI and which one is the BOORA? - KIKI has this /k/ sound that is an interruption of the air stream followed by a burst of air o Cant hold /k/ - BOORA has a /b/ sound that has more of a rounded feeling - The way the word is articulated seems tot be the base What is the basis of the impression? - Example: KIKI vs. BOORA - Consonant sounds - Those that fully stop the flow of air: choppy airflow –jagged edges? - Those that do not fully impede airflow: smooth edges? Another Example: - Vowel sounds o Bleef vs blawf - Vowel sounds produced with comparatively narrowed oral cavity (example: “ee” sound)  little things - Vowel sounds produced with comparatively open oral cavity (example: “aw” sound)  big things Iconicity in Speech Sounds (con’t) - (iii) Associative Iconicity (phonaesthemes) o Example: sn- (shows up in a lot of words that have to do with the nose; sneeze, snot, snorkel, sniff) o gl- (shows up in a lot of words that have to do with light; glow, glitter, glare, glistens) o fl- o Language-specific, not general o Associated, from knowing English, we know they have these particular characteristics - Overall implications: If people are sensitive to these patterns, brand naming should take them into account! - Another incidental source of “meaning” in brand names: The company of word keeps. Lexical Neighborhood (similar-sounding words) - Example: “DARK” o Dart, hark, darth, dork, darn, bark, dirk, lark, mark… - Hearing/reading a word may subconsciously “activate” meanings of similar-sounding words! - The Ford Edsel (late 1950s) o “Lexical neighbours”? pretzel, dead cell, hard sell… - Compare with: “Apple” o Applaud, application, appeal, ripple, (Snapple?)… - Conclusion: Brand names (Even made up names!) can indirectly “inherit” meanings due to abstract SOUND-MEANING associations OR the meanings of SIMILAR- SOUNDING WORDS o When you pick a brand name, you have to make sure the words in the neighborhood, are things you want in the neighborhood o You would want words that have good things people think about o Can be both a good and bad thing for an advertiser! PSY274: Intro to Human Communication Lecture 7: November 5, 2013 So far: - Many products/services not easily differentiable in terms of meaningful/objective features - Consequence for advertisers: must CREATE differences in mind of consumer - How? Create associations between product/brand and specific concepts relating to lifestyle/happiness/status/satisfaction, etc. - Language can be one means to do this Loftus and palmer (1974) - Showed film of two cars in an accident - Viewers’ estimate of speed were higher when less neutral terms such as smashed were used in question Loftus, Miller and Burns (1978): - Did you see any blood? - When you saw the broken glass, did you see any blood? Loftus and Zanni (1975:) - Did you see the/a broken headlight? o A  they answered no o The  they answered yes, because it inferred that the broken head lights existed Next Stop: Persuasion Background: - Humans are COOPERATIVE language users - Example: turn-taking, common ground and perspective-taking, the balance between speaker economy and auditor economy, etc.) - This is also reflected in how we interpret the content of sentences: we routinely “fill in” information that is not explicitly communicated o Fred returned the book to the library  Someone must have previously taken a book out o Zelda is getting a divorce  She must currently be married o Valerie’s cellphone rang loudly in the middle of the lecture  She is probably made some attempt to silence it - This “Filling-in” Process = INFERENCE (adding information beyond what is explicityly provided) - How robust is this process? Inferences in Language – Two Major Types - Presuppositions o The filled-in/added information is something we “have to” assume in order to the sentence to actually make sense - Implicatures o The fill-in/added information is optional and is added according to our assessment of what is plausible or relevant o There are typically many implicatures that could in principle be generated from a sentence, and the one(s) we choose tend to depend on context PSY274: Intro to Human Communication Lecture 7: November 5, 2013 Presupposition: - “Fred returned the book to the library” o Someone must have taken a book out previously - “Zelda is getting a divorce” o
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