Other-Speak: Classical Allegory and Contemporary Advertising

Stern, Barbara B.
September 1990
Journal of Advertising;1990, Vol. 19 Issue 3, p14
Academic Journal
Literary concepts from genre studies of classical allegory are adapted to analysis of advertising formats. Two classical forms-reification and typology-are discussed, and their importance for advertising summarized. Four basic allegorical elements are described to distinguish the forms, and two advertisements are analyzed to reveal the function of each in relation to product class, message appeal, copy structure, and media selection. Advertising consequences are proposed in terms of brand strategy appropriate to message type (informational or transformational), executional appeal (nostalgia and bizarre), and desired response (attention or empathy). Future research issues are suggested.


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