Message Creation and Execution

Journal Articles

The first three articles have been provided open access. Some links require journal subscription access which may be available through your university.

Branchik, B.J. (2007), Pansies to parents: gay male images in American print advertising, Journal of Macromarketing, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 38–50.

According to the author, images of gay men in American print advertising are a recent phenomenon. Such depictions date back to the mid-1990s but images of gay males can be found from the early part of the twentieth century. The author adapts a framework for categorisation from work on the depictions of minorities in media to develop a chronological series of 25 print advertisements (1917–2004) that are then analysed in terms of one or more of the ten criteria established for the study. The images were found to evolve over time. The authors place these in the four stages of targeted recognition, ridicule/scorn, cutting edge and respect, showing the link with American society’s changing view of homosexuality. The study also shows the media’s changing role in portraying gay men and the media’s relationship with the history of the gay community in America.


Keller, H. and Thackeray, R. (2011), Social marketing and the creative process: staying true to your social marketing objectives, Health Promotion Practice, Vol. 12, No. 5, pp. 651–653.

The authors discuss health communication and social marketing that involves mass media and health related products such as sun protection. The article is a brief but useful discussion on social marketing communication planning but especially the creative process and health practitioners working with creative professionals to ensure that objectives are met through creative development and execution of promotional messages and materials that stay ‘on strategy’.


Moeran, B. (2009), The organisation of creativity in Japanese advertising production, Human Relations, Vol. 62, No. 7, pp. 963–985

An ethnographic participant observation study is used by the author to look at how creativity is organised in this advertising context. The author suggests that advertising is produced on behalf of clients by a ‘motley crew’ of personnel from within and without the agency. The author uses the concepts of ‘frame analysis’ and ‘art worlds’ to analyse the symbolic space of the studio and the ‘transformations’ that occur in that space but also the concept of ‘field’ that allows for a comparative analysis of the ‘space possibilities’ in advertising where different actors position themselves and clients’ products. The author argues that creativity is used to establish power relations amongst the ‘motley crew’ of personnel but also amongst consumers by the process of positioning or re-positioning of products conducted on behalf of the client by the ‘motley crew’.


Philips, B.J. and McQuarrie, E.F. (2011), Contesting the social impact of marketing: a re-characterisation of women’s fashion advertising, Marketing Theory, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 99–126.

This article is about the prevailing view about fashion advertising being idealised. The gap between what is real and what is ideal is toxic to women’s self-esteem according to the authors, who challenge what they call this ‘ideological’ view by means of empiricism through content analyses, a survey and interviews. The authors conclude that fashion advertising has been confused with different product categories and once fashion advertising is cleared of its ‘ideological debris’ there is an opportunity to extend marketing theory to account for a broader range of consumer responses with goods that are ‘taste’ rather than fashion. The authors conclude, amongst other things, that women do not report negative emotions that might undermine their sense of self but rather they respond positively toward fashion advertising.


Smith, R.E. and Xiaojing, Y. (2004), Towards a general theory of creativity in advertising: examining the role of divergence, Marketing Theory, Vol. 4, No. 1/2, pp. 31–58.

This article is about advertising creativity and advertising effectiveness. The authors define what they mean by creative advertising in terms of an advertisement being divergent (novel or unusual) and relevant and the effects on consumer processing and response. A general theory should contain, in these authors’ view, five primary areas – communication process, management process, social process, group process and personal process. The authors conclude that