Special Section: Marketing (as) Rhetoric
Journal of Marketing Management, Volume 34, 2018 – Issue 15-16


Marketing (as) Rhetoric: An Introduction
Chris Miles and Tomas Nilsson


Emoji rhetoric: a social media influencer perspective
Jing Ge & Ulrike Gretzel
Social media require a marketing rhetoric that embraces emerging language use and shifting communication norms. Emojis have become quintessential elements of social media communication; yet, their role in supporting persuasion attempts has not been systematically analysed. Drawing on general rhetoric literature, this paper dissects, portrays and labels social media influencers’ persuasive attempts to initiate engagement through emojis. The focus on influencers is justified because of their dual roles as marketers and active social media users …Read More> / Read the Blog>

‘Murketing’ and the rhetoric of the new sincerity
Stephen Dunne
This paper argues that marketing scholars should be paying a lot more attention to the rhetorical form which the economic historian Philip Mirowski – following the novelist David Foster Wallace – calls murketing. Combining philosophical, historical, economic and fictional resources, the paper first produces a synthetic account of what murketing is. Blurring calculated dishonesty with impassioned sincerity, murketing operationalises a double-truth dialectic which treats consumers as both subjects and objects within the process of their own persuasion. In order to indicate how murketing works, the paper then considers recent examples from murketing practice where allusions are made which are both cynical and gnostic, both conceited and intimate, and both earnest and ironic…Read More>

Marketing Jihad: the rhetoric of recruitment
Michael Shaw & Priyantha Bandara
The key question from a marketing perspective is why has Islamic State (IS) been so successful and how did it displace Al Qaeda (AQ) as the most prominent brand of global jihad from 2014 to 2016? The political and military elements have been examined but comparatively little attention has been paid to the ability of IS to commandeer the AQ narrative by appropriating and extending key themes and using them via social media to market itself as a choice for disaffected youth …Read More>

Marketing (as) Rhetoric: paradigms, provocations, and perspectives
Stephen Brown, Chris Hackley, Shelby D. Hunt, Charles Marsh, Nicholas O’Shaughnessy, Barbara J. Phillips, David Tonks, Chris Miles & Tomas Nilsson
In this collection of short, invited essays on the topic of marketing (as) rhetoric we deal with a variety of issues that demonstrate the centrality of rhetoric and rhetorical considerations to the pursuit of marketing scholarship, research and practice. Stephen Brown examines the enduring rhetorical power of the 4Ps; Chris Hackley argues for the critical power of rhetorical orientations in marketing scholarship but cautions us on the need to work harder in conceptually connecting rhetorical theory and modern marketing frameworks; Shelby Hunt explains how rhetorical processes are incorporated in his inductive realist model of theory generation, using one of his most successful publications as an illustration; Charles Marsh demonstrates what Isocrates’ broad rhetorical project has to teach us about the importance of reputation cultivation in modern marketing; Nicholas O’Shaughnessy uses an analysis of Trump’s discourse to argue that political marketing as it is currently conceived is ill-equipped to engage effectively with the rhetorical force of Trump’s ‘unmarketing’; Barbara Phillips uses Vygotsky’s work on imagination to investigate the important of pleasure and play in advertising rhetoric; and finally, David Tonks, who in many ways started it all, reiterates the need for marketers to recognise the strength of the relationship between marketing and persuasion …Read More>

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