Paralinguistic Cues in Digital Marketing


Communication habits have evolved significantly due to the technological advancements such as cell phones, internet accessibilty, and more. This study explored the way Textual Paralinguistic Cues, or TPC (features such as emojis, using “um”, *hugs* YAY!, etc.) affect consumer perception of digital marketing advertisements.


By overlapping 2 concepts from the research that have 1) shown immediacy to be an effective tactic in relationship communication, 2) identified emotion as a valuable asset in strengthening a message’s meaning, with the literature from brand relationship marketing, I was able to support my hypothesis:

H1: Digital marketing advertisements with textual paralinguistic cues will be percieved more positively than those without.


To prove this, I invited ten individuals to participate in the study. Out of the ten, seven participated.  I presented them with 2 sets of ads, Group A and Group B. Each set had 2 ads, each from a different brand, with similar products. They were simultaneously asked to complete a survey assessing their perception on a Likert scale, to determine how positive or negative they perceived the ad.


Ultimately, the hypothesis was proven incorrect. The ads without TPC were perecieved slightly more positively than those without.

My thoughts

The study can and should be replicated because there are a number of factors that affected these results, from pre-existing attitudes, to demographics, to the ads themselves. Isolating the variables could change the results. It would also be interesting to see if younger people would respond better to the ads with TPC because of their age.


How color can promote calmness and relaxation


Communicating with color

I visited a local wellness center after work one day and noticed that I felt calm and relaxed while waiting in the lobby. The walls were painted an aqua blue and had a sort of beach-y feel. The owner said people always tell her that and even say they are more comfortable sharing about themselves. I don’t think I would’ve noticed if it weren’t such a shift in my mood. Since I came from work, the mood shift was greater and made it more clear that the vibe of lobby was affecting it.

My Thoughts
Knowing that color can influence mood is valuable in many ways. We can use it to understand our motivations in situations we can control and those we can’t, too. It can help us understand why we choose to shop particular stores, the places we frequent, or feel certain ways in patient waiting rooms. Knowing how color affects our and other’s moods can prepare us for those interactions and potentially use color to our advantage.

Article Critique

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Article: Luangrath, A. W., Peck, J., & Barger, V. A. (2017). Textual Paralanguage and Its Implications for Marketing Communications. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 98-107.

In this article, the researchers explored the way corporate brands convey paralanguage through textual communication, which they call Textual Paralanguage (TPL). The research was not something that had been covered previously and was extremely relevant, given that the bulk of our communication takes place through a cell phone or screen. Luangrath and Peck (2017) really dove into the specific ways communication via technology is being used to convey nonverbal behavior, from a marketing standpoint, though it could certainly be applied to social communication via text, email, social media, etc.

The authors developed a framework  based on the existing literature, which they applied to a sample of corporate brand/mascot/spokesperson posts and interactions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This framework identified and categorized the types of TPL used in the post or interaction.

Ultimately, their framework will be useful in future research, though they did leave out the consumer response and/or interpretation of the types of TPL, which would have been extremely useful for marketers to understand if these strategies are effective in connecting with their target audience.

Nonverbal Communication in Interviews



Nonverbal Communication in Job Interviews

While working on a project for work, I conducted an interview for marketing purposes with a woman who’d taken our courses. In response to her nonverbal behavior, I initially developed a negative impression of her. She displayed poor eye contact (looking down or around a lot), her voice trailed off, she was very rigid, and not very receptive (very little head nodding, change in facial expression).

Our conversation during the interview changed that impression as she spoke about her hard work, struggles, and goals. Later, towards the end of our interaction, her nonverbal behavior had changed some, she appeared more relaxed and her facial expressions were more pronounced (more smiling, head nodding, etc.)

My Thoughts
I was already aware that our nonverbal behavior can have a lasting effect during interviews, but this observation really forced me to look at how I perceived our interviewees nonverbal behavior and whether my impression of her was accurate or if I was reinforcing my initial perception.

The Power of Silence in Communcation


The Power of Silence in Communication reading piqued my interest this week, as this is a common function of communication, though it’s, in a way, a lack of communcation. While reading, I instinctively thought of the way President Barack Obama gave speeches during his terms. I decided to go back and watch his farwell address so that I could see how intentional or unintentional his silences actually were.

I noticed that he did use silence very intentionally to complement his message. Particulary, around the 7 minute mark he starts discussing our country’s history in democracy and the road to it. He says, “For every two steps forward, it often seems we take one step back, but the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all and not just some.” Upon concluding this statement, he takes a long pause. This intentional silence gives the crowd time to process his statement and appreciate the message. I thought this to be a very tactical and effective way to use silence in communication.

My Thoughts
Through the silence, President Obama engages the audience, more so than if he’d continued quickly onto his next point without pausing for effect. The silence in the specific example above really adds to his message, increasing the effectiveness of it. Without silence in this instance, the importance of his message might have gone unnoticed.  Particularly with speeches, effective use of silence is imperitave to the speakers effectiveness, but I think this also applies to our every day conversations, where silence can serve as a vital supplement to our messages.

Mini Observation #1 – Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT)

Communication Accomodation Theory

We often spend time with my husand’s older brother, Heath, and his family. Heath is about eight years older than my husband, Andrew, and as such Andrew looks up to, and admires him. This weekend, I noticed Andrew converging upward toward Heath to accommodate to his personality. Specifically, I noticed that when I spoke with Heath and Andrew together, Andrew spoke louder than usual, not yelling, but speaking at a louder volume to make his presence known. His tone also changed, from passive, easygoing tone, to a more demanding, sort of, “I’m the boss” tone. The initial observation began during a debate about a topic between me and my sister-in-law, and Heath and Andrew. We were arguing one point while Heath and Andrew, were arguing the other. Andrew immediately stepped in and argued the same point that Heath was making in a very boisterous and confident tone, in a way that made him come across as though he knew what he was talking about and we did not. The convergence seemed most pronounced when we were all talking in the same room together, and less obvious when it was just the two of them talking, leading me to the conclusion that this was a partial convergence. Another interesting observation I made was that as soon as we left Heath’s house, Andrew’s demeanor changed, from strong and demanding, to laid back and thoughtful.

My Thoughts
I didn’t observe any downward convergence or accommodation on Heath’s part and, because they tend to spend a lot of time together when we are all together, it’s hard to tell if Heath is affected by the convergence or if it affects his and Andrew’s relationship; perhaps they spend so much time together because Andrew is converging and, in that case, it would be improving their relationship.