Advertisers frequently resort to published works of art in advertisements. Those intertextual references can be explicit, in which case the allusion to the image helps the viewer understand the context of the ad’s text. The context is implicit, on the other hand, when the ad’s allusions intend to stimulate the observer’s pleasure in identifying them. There are, moreover, implicit intertexts where the quotation does not need to be unmasked by the observer and is used to build a contemporary advertising text with artistic intentions. This article uses a textual analysis of ads that turned to the quotation of canonical or less popularly known works of “high art,” especially in painting and sculpture, to try to establish the motives of the iconic quotation process and the types and functions of such images used by advertising creatives to promote brands and products and to please the viewer. After the theoretical introduction, I turn to two methods to verify my research hypothesis: first, I use image and textual analysis to achieve those keys of interpretation and propose a list of functions and a typology of this particular kind of intertextuality. The sample has been gathered systematically since 2003, using previous examples picked from the literature and the Internet. Secondly, to verify the analysis, I surveyed a sample of advertising creatives. The survey confirms the functions and typology proposed.

Additional Information

Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.