Symbols of Emotional Metaphors in the Language of Food and Beverage Advertisements in India

Authors: Jyoti Kumari, Sanjukta Ghosh (Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi)
Speaker: Jyoti Kumari
Strand: Semiotics and Semiology
Session Type: General Session


The advertisements of Food and Beverage products focusing on the connection of impersonal emotions with the given products are important sources of analyzing visual representation of symbolic expressions in our language. In these types of advertisements we often find the intended persuasion effect on the consumers by using such impersonal emotions through facial expressions to show hope, love, anger, care, craziness, fun, changes in thoughts and so on from different domains. The impersonal emotions used in the advertisement are the key to connect the product with the heart of the consumers. Facial expressions as symbolic expressions of emotions can predict the liking of the advertisements (Daniel McDuff, et al 2014) and help to measure the emotional consumer behaviors towards the product (Peter Weinberg and Franz-Josef Konert, 1984, Barreto, A. M. 2017). This paper will analyze examples taken from different food and beverage advertisements aired in India to find out how this industry expresses universal emotions through verbal and non-verbal metaphorical language for successful marketing of the products. For instance, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk advertisement shows how this product is not just a chocolate but also a packet of emotions like love, care for the beloved one, a way to say sorry, happiness etc. One popular tagline of Cadbury’s in India is kuch miiʈhaa ho jaaye ‘Let’s have something sweet’ where Cadbury is represented as a symbol of love and care through the storyline of the advertisements. The paper will use the Visual Metaphor theory of Forceville (1998, 2017) to map the impersonal emotions associated with the advertisements.

Keywords: Facial expressions, Visual metaphor, Impersonal emotions, Food and beverage advertisements.