How Rhetoric Theory Informs the Creative Advertising Development Process: Reconciling Differences between Advertising Scholarship and Practice

Advertising scholars have been hesitant to identify creativity as the heart and soul of advertising, and that has produced a chasm between themselves and practitioners.


  • Best agency practice in the creative advertising-development process follows the canons of rhetoric, with creativity occurring at any of these stages.
  • Creativity often is viewed narrowly as applying ideation techniques, but in keeping with rhetoric theory, it spans the whole advertising-development process.
  • Creative ideation techniques are a version of classical rhetoric’s figures of speech but still need to be used in combination for skillful execution of ideas.
  • Message-strategy development already is practiced in advertising, but rhetoric theory lays out aspects it needs to address.
  • Academics have much to offer...

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