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01 December 2021
Reimagining Advertising Research: 50 Years and Beyond
Next year will mark the 50thanniversary of the launching of the Journal of Advertising. At major anniversaries, one is motivated to look back to the past or forward to the future (or both). For its 25thanniversary, JApublished a systematic review of the 133 articles appearing in its first 25 years (Muncey and Eastman 1998). Each article was categorized based on its relevance to advertising theory and to advertising practice. Over 3/4thof all the articles were considered to be relevant to both theory and practice. They concluded from this that the challenge for JAin the future was not to publish more articles relevant to theory or practice, but rather to bring new theories on new topics to the study of advertising (Muncey and Eastman 1998). While we have not conducted a similar analysis for the most recent 25 years, we believe this still remains a central challenge for JA.
Thus, to commemorate its 50th anniversary, the Journal of Advertisinginvites submission of papers for consideration in a Special Issue aimed at looking to the future and proposing new theories and/or new aspects of advertising practice that may be fruitful in studying and explaining advertising in the years ahead. This seems particularly timely since advances in technology, machine-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), and user-generated and user-shared content have become dominant forces in the advertising industry, creating challenges to traditional definitions and boundaries of the field (Huh and Malthouse 2020; Li 2019). Due to the changing shape and role of advertising in the contemporary world, much of the critical scholarship exploring new forms of advertising may be situated outside of the traditional advertising domain, with some recent exceptions (e.g., see Journal of AdvertisingSpecial Section on Advances in Computational Advertising (2020, Volume 49 Issue 4) and Special Section on Artificial Intelligence and Advertising (2019, Volume 48 Issue 4)). Thus, this Special Issue aims to stimulate advertising scholars to consider new and meaningful connections to disciplines and content areas that can contribute to our understanding of advertising in the coming decades.
Note that by “new” we are referring to theories, concepts, methods and topics that are under-researched in the existing advertising literature. This may be a novel theory or idea produced by the authors, or it might also be a theory, model, or method from another field that has not very often been applied to advertising (ideas from neuroscience, computer science, the arts, economics, law or ethics, anthropology, linguistics, evolutionary psychology, or historical analysis, to name just a few possibilities). Similarly, it may represent an existing advertising practice that is under-studied (e.g., advertising ROI, workplace interactions or cultures, client’s perceived advertising needs and concerns) or a new idea or perspective on a topic likely to be of growing importance in the future (e.g., artificial intelligence, data privacy, social networks, technological innovations).
Papers should be forward-looking and consider what will likely be important for advertising research and theory in our changing society and advertising practices. Work is strongly encouraged that makes new (or renewed) connections to the disciplines that are not well represented or not being applied to their maximum potential in the extant advertising research and theory. Of course, all papers should be relevant to the broad global readership of the Journal of Advertising. Here, advertising is defined broadly, as reflected in the recent Journal of AdvertisingSpecial Issue on The Future of Advertising (Journal of Advertising, Volume 45 Issue 3). The hope is that the papers in this issue will help spur thinking in new directions that can expand our understanding and conceptualization of advertising knowledge. Thus, papers on all research topics related to all types of advertising are welcome.
Both conceptual and empirical work that presents ground-breaking original ideas and new research directions is welcome, although we assume that most of the submissions will primarily be conceptual work. As such, criteria for consideration of acceptance to the special issue will focus on:
- The theoretical novelty of the work and original theoretical contributions.
- The quality of the arguments and evidence to support the belief that the “new” theory or “new area of practice” is important to our understanding of advertising. There should be explicit and well-substantiated discussion of why it is important for the future with an orientation toward where advertising is and/or should be going.
- A thorough review of existing knowledge relevant to the topic. The clarity of this presentation will be particularly important for work in areas for which most of the Journal’s readers may be unfamiliar.
- The discussion of how this new area, knowledge or method can be applied to future advertising research.
- The description of a potential program of research that can be conducted and the contribution it could make to our understanding of advertising in the changing world.
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Submissions should follow the manuscript format guidelines for JA. The word count should be 12,000 words maximum (including references, tables, figures, etc.).
All manuscripts should be submitted through the JA ScholarOne System during November 15-December 1, 2021. Authors should select “SPECIAL ISSUE: Reimagining Advertising Research: 50 Years and Beyond” as “Manuscript Type.” Please also note in the cover letter that the submission is for the Special Issue on Reimagining Advertising Research: 50 Years and Beyond.
- All articles will undergo blind peer review by at least two reviewers.
- Authors will be notified no later than February/March 2022 on the preliminary decision over their manuscript for the next round of review.
- The anticipated date for publication of the Special Issue is October/December 2022.
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