Muse on Madison Avenue: classical mythology in contemporary advertising

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P. Lang, 2002 - Religion - 158 pages
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Classical mythology frequently serves to promote the good life as defined by American advertising. This book shows how the myths of ancient Greece permeate the persuasive work of Madison Avenue, where advertising promotes a desirable world and lifestyle. In antiquity, a community's myths defined and sustained a common social order; in modern times advertising plays this role. The designers of American advertising have turned to classical myth to give shape to their vision of the American dream. Contents: Historical Background. An Overview of Myths in Ads from the 1950s to the 1990s--Dominant Figures of Myths in Advertisements--A Richer Life Through Classical Myth: Ancient Legends Enhance Modern Advertising and Modern Life--The Classical Conceit--The Company Logo.

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The Muse on Madison Avenue is a welcome start to what ought to become an extensive literature on the influence of mythological themes in the world of commerce ("commerce" itself being a word with mythological roots). It's just a start, however, as a quick review of literal references to classical Greek mythology in advertising, without an extensive examination of the deeper themes that underlie both the culture of business and the traditions that are more openly recognized as mythology. 


Historical Background An Overview of Myths in Ads from the 1950s to the 1990s
Dominant Figures of Myth in Advertisements

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