Advertising Theory (Paperback) book cover

Advertising Theory

Edited by Shelly Rodgers, Esther Thorson

© 2012 – Routledge

618 pages

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Paperback: 9780415886628
pub: 2012-02-23
Hardback: 9780415886611
pub: 2012-02-23
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pub: 2012-04-23
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Advertising Theory provides detailed and current explorations of key theories in the advertising discipline. The volume gives a working knowledge of the primary theoretical approaches of advertising, offering a comprehensive synthesis of the vast literature in the area. Editors Shelly Rodgers and Esther Thorson have developed this volume as a forum in which to compare, contrast, and evaluate advertising theories in a comprehensive and structured presentation. Chapters provide concrete examples, case studies, and readings written by leading advertising scholars and educators.

Utilizing McGuire’s persuasion matrix as the structural model for each chapter, the text offers a wider lens through which to view the phenomenon of advertising as it operates within various environments. Within each area of advertising theory – and across advertising contexts – both traditional and non-traditional approaches are addressed, including electronic word-of-mouth advertising, user-generated advertising, and social media advertising contexts.

As a benchmark for the current state of advertising theory, this text will facilitate a deeper understanding for advertising students, and will be required reading for advertising theory coursework.


"Although seemingly impossible for a single text, Advertising Theory offers an excellent introduction to many current scholarly advertising domains… Highly recommended." - M.R. Hyman, CHOICE Magazine

'All in all, Rodgers and Thorson have done a great service to the field of advertising by compiling a comprehensive theoretical foundation that underpins messages, media, and other practical aspects in advertising. As a graduate student in a strategic media communication program, I find this book helpful in offering a wider lens through which I can recognize and reflect on the phenomena of advertising and strategic communications…Summing up, Advertising Theory is a highly recommended literature for upperdivision undergraduates through faculty and professional level. For advertising students, this is a handbook of the benchmark for the current state of advertising theory. For educators, the articles in this collection will help to accelerate students’ understanding of key theories. For practitioners, this book can help to facilitate conversations revolving around the relationship among scholars, researchers, and advertising professionals. And for those who are seeking to learn the concepts but without substantial background in advertising, Advertising Theory serves as the perfect entry point to understanding the fundamentals of the growing discipline.' Jason Tham, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

Table of Contents

Part I: Perspectives on Advertising and Advertising Theory

Part II: Psychological Processes in Response to Advertisements

Part III: Specific Audiences

Part IV: Different Types of Advertising Messages

Part V: Media and Media Devices

Part VI: Organizations

Part VII: Contexts of Advertising

Part VIII: The Future of Advertising Theories

About the Editors

SHELLY RODGERS is Associate Professor of Strategic Communication at the Missouri School of Journalism. Her research focuses on advertising, health communication, and new technology. She is Past President of the American Academy of Advertising.

ESTHER THORSON is Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research and Director of Research for the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. She has more than 100 publications on advertising, media economics, and health communication. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Advertising.

About the Series

Routledge Communication Series

The Routledge Communication Series covers the breadth of the communication discipline, from interpersonal communication to public relations, offering textbooks, handbooks, and scholarly reference materials.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Advertising & Promotion

Student Resources

Free resources are available for the following chapters of the textbook:

Chapter 2: Coloring Outside the Lines


Chapter 13: Creativity and Ad Theory


Chapter 14: Creativity and Risk Theories of Advertising

Specsaver video

Chapter 22: Managing Non-Traditional Advertising

Exhibit image

Chapter 30: Ethics and Advertising Theory

Aspen Ad Ethics and Scenarios

Aspen Ad Teaching Notes