The purpose of this paper is to map advertising agency practitioners' mental models of creativity.
A total of 30 in-depth interviews among top-level advertising agency executives (creative, account and planning directors) were conducted. Design and data analysis followed the grounded theory paradigm of qualitative research.
Complementing earlier studies in advertising creativity, a multi-dimensional system of practitioner mental models was discovered. Substantive models depict agency professionals' core understanding of advertising creativity and its dialectical structure. Developmental models conceptualise the intrapersonal acquisition of creative skill as well as the social context in which advertising creativity is generated. Effectiveness models introduce native explanations for the market effectiveness of creativity. Interrelationships between the identified models are presented in detail.
Understanding the mental models of advertising executives enriches the literature on the production side of marketing culture.
Shared understandings of mental models between advertising agencies and client brand management teams have the promise of reducing agency-client conflict.
The study's contribution is threefold: it provides an integrated view on advertising practitioners' multifaceted mental models about creativity (an area that has received little prior research attention); it models these mental models in their dynamic interaction, going beyond previous accounts that looked at topical areas in creativity in relative isolation; it redresses an imbalance in marketing theory between the production and consumption contexts of marketplace culture formation.
Nyilasy, G., Canniford, R. and J. Kreshel, P. (2013), "Ad agency professionals' mental models of advertising creativity", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47 No. 10, pp. 1691-1710. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-11-2011-0651Download as .RIS
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