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The use of synaesthetic metaphors or imagery in product advertisements and packaging has increased in popularity in recent years. However, it is often unclear whether the crossmodal associations used (e.g., between instruments and flavours) really correspond to those held by the target consumers. In the present study, we investigated the case of the packaging used for the Walkers' Sensations range of crisps. The packaging includes specific colours, patterns, and, in some cases, pictures of musical instruments associated with the various flavours in the range. The results demonstrated that although the different flavours of crisp were matched with musical notes of different pitches, there were no significant differences in the class of instruments chosen to match any of the flavours. Analysis of the visual matches made by participants revealed that different flavours of crisp were matched with different colours, although interestingly the choice often did not match the colour that had been chosen for the packaging. There were no significant differences in the choice of visual pattern that participants matched to the various flavours. These results underline the need to carefully consider the crossmodal correspondence of features in different sensory modalities, in order to avoid incongruent matching in multisensory communications. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Food Quality and Preference

Publication Date





45 - 51