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Auteur: Victoria GUILLÉN-NIETO

The use and abuse of anthropomorphism in marketing: The case of The British Toymakers Guild

Abstract/Résumé: This paper explores the use and abuse of anthropomorphism in marketing (DiSalvo & Gemperle 2003: 67-72) and hypothesizes that perceiving human likeness in toys is a powerful marketing tool that promotes selling by means of creating an emotional connection (DiSalvo, Hanington, & Forlizzi 2002: 251-255) between the consumer and the product on sale. Three main research questions are raised: (a) Do British toymakers use anthropomorphism strategically in the marketing of their products? (b) If so, what sort of communication strategies do they use to create the perception of human likeness in the product on sale? (c) What sort of communication strategies do they use to create an emotional connection with the product on sale? For purposes of analysis, the study focuses on the use of anthropomorphism by the British association of toymakers named The British Toymakers Guild ( Findings from this paper provide empirical evidence to support the thesis that anthropomorphism can be a valuable tool for the marketer when associating powerful human emotions with a product. Key words: anthropomorphism, marketing, The British Toymakers Guild, human emotions, human likeliness