Aesthetic Advertisements and Scientific Evaluations: Divergent Philosophies in Advertising Production

This paper explores the historical division between art and science in advertising, and draws from interpretive data collected in an Irish advertising agency. A discourse analysis of ethnographic interviews conducted with advertising planners, copywriters and art directors reveals that implicit models of advertising evaluation based in the traditional scientific paradigm of prediction, measurement and control are employed by large corporate clients to evaluate and rationalise advertisements through research, and this is identified as a source of creative conflict and philosophical division. Some suggestions for a cultural and aesthetic approach to research knowledge are offered as a viable alternative to the scientific paradigm in advertising production.


Aidan Kelly, Katrina Lawlor, and Stephanie O'Donohoe (2007) ,"Aesthetic Advertisements and Scientific Evaluations: Divergent Philosophies in Advertising Production", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 81-82.


Aidan Kelly, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland.
Katrina Lawlor, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland.
Stephanie O'Donohoe, University of Edinburgh, UK.


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

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