EMMA will be the first project to explore the role of emotion in figurative language comprehension in authentic data, and to establish whether figurative complexity affects speed of comprehension and appreciation of the message being conveyed. It will provide valuable information for advertising agencies, NGOs and charities on the advantages, or otherwise, of introducing figurative complexity into their campaigns. Innovation in the proposed project stems from several interdisciplinary factors and state of the art research techniques:
1. This is the first broad-scale empirical study of the effect of multimodal figurative language on the time taken to understand advertisements, the emotions evoked, and the appreciation of advertisements by participants from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
2. The research goes beyond traditional approaches to multimodal metaphor by taking into account the dynamic interplay of metaphor and metonymy and their emotional impact.
3. The project singles out and empirically tests different variables influencing the success of advertising: figurative complexity, the linguistic and cultural background of the reader, and emotional responses may all affect the time and depth of comprehension, as well as the appeal of the product.
4. The project will raise the awareness of advertisers to the workings of conceptual tools, which should lead to a strategic deployment of multimodal figurative language in line with ethical selling plans.
5. The proposed project is interdisciplinary, taking cognitive linguistic, linguistic, psychophysiological, and marketing approaches to investigating the research gap.