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Lecture 9

PSY274 Lecture 9 (Nov 5).docx

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Craig Chambers

PSY274 Lecture 9 - Human communication & Advertising - Marketing communications o 1) communicating things about BRANDS  Building associations o 2) communicating things about specific PRODUCTS  “claims” about products  What advertisers say  How they say it - Background o What kinds of things are advertised and why? Where is it advertised? o Some products are not advertised or subjected to advertisements. - Examples of advertisements o Law o Cosmetics o Pharmaceutical products o TV shows o Cleaning products o Cars o Domains where there a lot of choice and the virtues are not inherent - What things are not usually advertised? o When differences are obvious - Historically, Macintosh did not have much advertisements because they were dominating a certain sector and businesses buy them for certain computers and functions - Top TV advertisers in US o Chart - Some things that were not advertised before o Water bottles o Razor blades  Different blades - Branding o Goal: build an ASSOCIATION between a brand and particular qualities/”feelings” o Examples  Apple  Technology, innovative  Goodyear  Pepsi  Popular, refreshing  Mercedes  Cool  Fido  Fun and young o Cultivate the association with the brand over time o In this class, we’re interested in linguistic things - Ways to link associations to brands… - Brand naming: o 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 - Examples o TIMEX for watches o Lettuce  Greenex lettuce  Farmex  Healthex  The examples above don’t seem like a good fit - Iconicity in speech sounds o Acoustic iconicity (onomatopoeic words)  Swoosh, crash, etc; o Articulatory iconicity  Rigid/soft things  Small/big things - Which one is the KIKI and which one is the BOORA? o “K” sound, interruption of air stream and then a release - What is the basis of the impression? o e.g. KIKI vs. BOORA o consonant sounds o Those that fully stop the flow of air: choppy airflow – jagged edges? o Those that do not fully impede airflow: smooth edges? - Another example: o Vowel sounds  bleef vs blawf - vowel sounds produced with comparatively narrowed oral cavity (e.g. “ee” sound)  little things - vowel sounds produced with comparatively open oral cavity (e.g. “aw” sound  big things - not the sound made, but the way the sound were made (what the mouth is doing) - associative iconicity (phonaesthemes) o e.g. sn- gl- fl-  sn- are usually refer to words that are related to the nose (sneer, sniff, snot)  gl- are usually refer to words that are related to optical property of light (glow, glimmer, glitter) o language specific, not in general o Overall implications: if people are sensitive to these patterns, brand naming should take them into account!  Ex. Don’t name a bridal company, Snoof o Another incidental source of “meaning” in brand names: The company a word keeps - Lexical neighbourhood (similar sounding words) o E.g. DARK  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?)… o Conclusion: brand names (even made-up names!) can indirectly “inherit” meanings due to abstract SOUND-MEANING associations OR the meanings of SIMILAR-SOUNDING WORDS (can be both a good and bad thing for an advertiser - So far… o Many products/services not easily differentiable in terms of meaningful/objective features o Consequence for advertisers: must CREATE differences in mind of consumer o How? Create associations between product/brand and specific concepts relating to lifestyle/happiness/status/satisfaction, etc;  Language can be one means to do this o Next stop: PERSUASION - Background o Humans are COOPERATIVE language users o (E.g. turn-taking, common ground and perspective-taking, the balance between speaker economy and auditor economy, etc;) o This is also reflected in how we interpret the content of sentences: we routinely “fill in” information that is not explicitly communicated  Fred returned the book to the library  He must’ve took the book out before  Zelda is getting a divorce  She must be currently married  Valerie’s cell phone rang loudly in the middle of the lecture  She probably made an attempt to make it silent - This “filling in” process = inference (adding information beyond what is explicitly provided) o How robust is this process? o Examples from classic excerpts in cognitive psychology - Example in class - Loftus and Palmer (1974) o Showed film of two cars in an accident o Viewers estimates of speed where higher when less neutral terms such as “smashed” were used in question - Loftus, Miller and Burns (1978): o Did you see any blood? o When you saw the broken glass, did you see any blood?  There were no broken glass, but people usually accepts this and causes them to remember things in the scene that weren’t actually true - Loftus and Zanni (1975): o Did you see THE broken headlight  Most likely to say yes o Did you see A broken headlight  Most likely to say no, and that’s correct - Cooperative behaviour that humans have In which advertisers can draw on that to make advertisements more persuasive - Inferences in language – two major types o Presuppositions  The filled in/added information is something we “have to” assume in order for the sentence to actually make sense o Implications  The filled in/added information is optional and is added according to our assessment of what is plausible or relevant  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 - PRESUPPOSITION o “Fred returned the book to the library”   someone must’ve taken a book out previously o “Zelda is getting a divorce”  She must be currently married o A “test” for presupposition  Follow up with a second sentence denying the information inferred in the first one. The result will sound contradictory  Fred returned the book to the library. But, the book was never taken out in the first place o Sounds strange, so you know presupposition exist in the first sentence and there was inference - IMPLICATURE o “Valerie’s cellphone rang loudly in the middle of lecture.”   she probably made some attempt to silence it o A “test” for implicature  Follow up with a second sentence denying the information inferred in the first one. The result may be surprising or sound odd, but will NOT be contradictory  E.g. Valerie’s cellphone rang loudly in the middle of the lecture. She didn’t even make an attempt to silence it. - Human communication = characterized by automatic process of “filling in” , in part with inferences - Advertisers capitalize on this by choosing language that is laden with inferences. A consequence is that the “persuasive” part of their message may be implicit rather than explicit o Good for bypassing the need to be able to support your claims - Presupposition in advertising language o Examples from reading  We’re cutting prices AGAIN  Infer that it’s not the first time that prices were cut  Don’t forget to come check
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