Synesthetic, or cross-sensory, associations equate sense A to sense B and are prevalent in persuasive language in mass communication. Consider, for example, "Bright Crunch" (for Sun Crunchers cereal) and "the Loudest Taste on Earth" (for Doritos), which are examples of synesthetic advertising claims. Based on theory of synesthesia and of metaphor, this research tests whether the literal use of both senses A and B by the product inhibits our appreciation of synesthetic language and thus reduces its persuasive impact. Findings are discussed with respect to the underlying processes by which synesthetic metaphors persuade and the implications for sensory-rich media.
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