Document Type


Publication Date



Political Science


Terence Check


Many rhetorical scholars choose to study the persuasive effectiveness of an advertisement instead of the reality that the ad creates. While this is a beneficial endeavor, in the case of non-profit advertisements it allows for the meaning the advertisements create to be passed over. The meaning is assumed to be positive because the effect of the successful persuasion of the ad results in a beneficial outcome, helping others. The literature review examines rhetoric as constitutive, or capable of creating the meaning of the audience, and then explores how through this constitutive nature an advertisement can affect the agency of an audience. This theory is then applied through a critical analysis of an ad from ChildFund International, and an ad from (RED). The argument is then made that in these ads the audience is constituted specifically as a consumer, and that this constitution of the audience forms their agency in a self-destructive way.


Readers: Katie Johnson, Aric Putnam