This paper discusses the use of literary theory for the social criticism of advertising. In particular, it examines what types of claims can be made simply by analyzing an ad itself and what types of social criticism require extrinsic data about how other readers understand the ad or the historical context of its creation. The author advocates a “doubly integrated” approach to social criticism that combines literary analysis with use of extrinsic empirical data and also integrates the system by which ads are produced with the way they are comprehended. This approach provides a holistic view of the advertising process and a strong basis for critique. Discussion of a demonstration study shows how qualitative data collected from readers can be used to complement traditional literary interpretations of advertisements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management