Metaphor, metonymy, and brands: From Interest metaphors to Interest metonymies: Carmen Simon
Metaphor, metonymy, and brands: From INTEREST metaphors to INTEREST metonymies
Carmen Simon (Heidelberg)
Metaphors in advertising have been studied by scholars of both linguistics and advertising. Ungerer (2003) suggests that in advertising INTEREST metaphors interact with the GRABBING metonymy to evoke consumers’ interest to buy. While his theory is very promising from a cognitive point of view, it has not been sufficiently developed, and Ungerer himself provides only few examples to illustrate it. In order to demonstrate how INTEREST metaphors and the GRABBING metonymy work in practice, my paper presents a case study that applies Ungerer’s idea to the analysis of the UK website of Wall’s ice cream. Going beyond Ungerer’s original account, I will extend the concept of INTEREST metaphors from products to brands, suggesting that INTEREST metaphors turn into INTEREST metonymies when their target is a brand instead of a product. Online data has been chosen for this study because in spite of the growing pervasiveness of the Internet and online communications, surprisingly little research has been done so far on metaphors on company or brand websites.1
My paper has the following structure: First, I will provide an overview of previous studies in the field, focusing on the functions of metaphors in advertising and summarizing some of the research done on metaphor interpretation by consumers. Then, Ungerer’s INTEREST metaphor theory will be explained in more detail, together with a short introduction to the Internet as a medium of marketing. I will then...