Textual and Visual Catalyzers/Distractors in Advertising


  • Walter Giordano University of Naples Federico II




catalyzers, distractors, multimodal analysis, advertising discourse, usability and design


The contribution of this study is expressed in the following research question: is it possible to identify some implicit-explicit textual or visual elements that catalyze or distract audience attention on or from the advertised product? An analysis of a corpus of advertisements taken from the Instagram pages of the major companies operating in the US food and beverage market reveals that attracting or distracting attention on or from a product’s use or function is a frequent strategy. These elements may contribute to changing scripts in advertising and mental patterns in consumer perceptions. The items that signal the distraction or the catalyzation of consumer attention in the advertising message have been identified via the ARCO model (St.Amant forth., St.Amant 2022), based upon the concept of usability of products, which helps decode the process of recognition of a product in the consumer’s brain. Results are promising, as this theory may help advertisers make more effective moves in the dual, cooperative relationship with consumers and review promotional strategies to engage the audience in advertising communication.


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