DOI: https://doi.org/10.15581/003.32.3.139-152

Advertising communication and spirituality: a critical approach of academics and professionals

 -Samuel Gil-Soldevilla  -José-Antonio Palao-Errando  -Javier Marzal-Felici


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Abstract

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This article explores advertising as a space where spiritual discourses are reproduced from the critical approach of academics in communication and sociology, along with professionals in the advertising sector. Therefore, a qualitative methodology of semi-structured interviews with a panel of fifteen experts was used. This research aims to develop a discourse derived from the interviewee’s experience of the meaning provided by advertising as a transcendent dimension. The interviews were analysed by applying a spiral model by simple induction. The study identifies a compensatory character between brands and religions based on a functional definition of the latter, where brands have acquired the ability to construct social meaning, offer an existential programme to the individual, and arouse identity and awareness through their own narration. Without disregarding the economic objective of corporations or the different levels of transcendence expressed by brands and religious forms, there is consensus on advertising’s attempt to follow the same scheme of adhesion, claims, symbology, and evocations offered by religions, assuming a post-materialist turn of the advertising discourse towards transcendental values, even superficially or banally. The list of interviewees and the use of this technique, which has not previously been applied to the interactions between advertising discourse and spirituality, provide an original perspective on this emerging study field

Keywords

Advertising; expert panel; brand; spiritual contents; semi-structured interview; transcendent industry


Authors

Samuel Gil-Soldevilla e-mail (Login required)

José-Antonio Palao-Errando e-mail (Login required)

Javier Marzal-Felici e-mail (Login required)

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