University of Twente Student Theses


BMW Antropomorfisme: Relating Shapes to Emotions: Laying the First Steps Towards a New Branding Tool

Zaw, T.J. (2013) BMW Antropomorfisme: Relating Shapes to Emotions: Laying the First Steps Towards a New Branding Tool.

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Abstract:This bachelor assignment is part of a pending research to develop computer tools capable of identifying brand-specific shape features. Designers will be able to utilize these tools in order to generate shapes for new products belonging to a specific brand. This current research assignment paves the way for the computer-tool research by focusing on linking human emotions and affective responses to shape features found within BMW car designs. The research question that guided this research of coupling affective responses to shape features found in car designs was: “How can affective responses be linked to car designs?” To get to a conclusive answer to this question, the research first focused on analyzing the characteristics of brand awareness and affective responses through literature. It was found that congruity between the product identity and personality characteristics among the target group of consumers leads to a stronger brand awareness. Analysis of literature concerning affective responses showed that designers can add emotional meaning to products in several different ways, one of which involved adding anthropomorphic aspects to the design. Measuring affective responses can be done in several ways. Osgood developed a universal set of affective responses that can be used to evaluate products. This set consisted of three dimensions, evaluation, potency and activity, to rate the affective responses. An article on facial recognition in car fronts and BMW’s design philosophy, in which the faces of the models play an important role, were decisive in choosing the anthropomorphic analysis method to link affective responses to shape features in car designs. Having chosen this method, a survey was designed to find out how people would rate shape features in car designs. Respondents were asked to rate the different parts of the anthropomorphic rendering for each of the three dimensions proposed by Osgood on a 7-point Likert scale. Every dimension was represented by a bipolar set of words. Malevolent-benign represented the evaluation dimension, weak-strong represented the potency dimension and blatantmodest represented the activity dimension. Results from this survey showed similarities between the ratings of the headlights for benign and modest, and malevolent and strong. A correlation for benign and modest could also be found in the rating results for the grilles. For the air-intakes there was a clear relation between benign and modest, and between malevolent, strong and blatant. Equivalent results could be found in the results for the anthropomorphic renderings of the car models as a whole. The results from this survey were used to create new anthropomorphic renderings that consisted of the parts which were rated highest for each side of the dimension scales. Furthermore, predictions were made on possible assessments of the anthropomorphic views of other luxury vehicles. Finally, a list of guidelines was created from the results of this research, which could help link car designs to affective responses.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
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