What makes an advert go viral? The role of figurative operations in the success of Internet videos

Paula Pérez-Sobrino, Jeannette Littlemore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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This chapter investigates the potential role played by the creative use of figurative operations, such as metaphor, metonymy, irony, hyperbole, and understatement, in the success of Internet videos. Irony and figurative language based on creative contrasts between contrasting scenarios were found to be strong predictors of popularity. This effect increased if the message was conveyed through a combination of words and images, rather than through the use of either mode in isolation. No effect was found for the positioning of figurative operations in the advertisement’s timeline. Our findings contribute to the wider marketing field by establishing figurative operations, in particular irony, as a potential determinant of a video’s success.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerforming Metaphorical Creativity across Modes and Contexts
EditorsLaura Hidalgo-Downing , Blanca Kraljevic Mujic
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9789027261212
ISBN (Print)9789027205520
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020

Publication series

NameFigurative Thought and Language
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
ISSN (Print)2405-6944


  • metaphor
  • metonymy
  • advertising
  • creativity
  • hyperbole
  • understatement
  • irony


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