Funny or distasteful? Cover Image

Funny or distasteful?
Funny or distasteful?

A cross-cultural perspective on surprise and humour in multimodal advertising

Author(s): Anna Stwora
Subject(s): Anthropology, Social Sciences, Language and Literature Studies, Media studies, Theoretical Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Communication studies, Semantics, Pragmatics, Comparative Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Descriptive linguistics, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Theory of Communication
Published by: Krakowskie Towarzystwo Popularyzowania Wiedzy o Komunikacji Językowej Tertium
Keywords: multimodal advertising discourse; ad appreciation; cross-cultural humour;comparative studies;

Summary/Abstract: Today’s infotainment clutter puts pressure on advertisers to come up with more surprising and more memorable ads. This need for novelty, creativity, and astonishment does set the expectation bar high, steering ads towards various means of eliciting surprise, including humour, shock, and taboo. In this paper, the author will try to investigate a set of multimodal advertising messages which use (debatable) humour and surprise, with a view to finding trans-cultural similarities and differences in terms of ad appreciation. The primary objective of this paper is to explore attitudinal responses of Taiwanese informants to controversial humorous advertisements in English; to this end, an online survey was conducted to ask them about their interpretations of and feelings towards a selection of ads. Its results will be compared with those obtained from Polish respondents, described in the author’s previous study (Stwora 2020).

  • Issue Year: 8/2020
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 113-128
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English