Optimal innovation in press advertisements
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The discourse of advertising offers an environment conducive to the exploitation of novelty in language. Novelty can be conceptualised as an opposite of salience (Giora, 2003), being also a graded feature. Giora claims that there exists a specific level of novelty, which evokes pleasurable experience in recipients. She proposes Optimal Innovation Hypothesis, which may be implied in the investigation of various types of discourse marked with high originality. The paper reports on two studies. The initial one, described in Wojtaszek (2011), focused on the appreciation of three alternative versions of Polish and British advertising slogans, while the subsequent one is the attempt to find a relationship between the previous findings and the degree of legibility of the investigated texts. In the appreciation task the plain formulations received the lowest scores, followed by the highly innovative slogans, with the optimally innovative formulations ranking highest. In the task where evaluation of clarity was performed, the plain formulations turned out to be the easiest, the optimally innovative slogans were a bit more difficult, and the highly innovative ones the least conspicuous. A number of interesting dependencies were also found, suggesting further developments for the future.
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