DRAWING EMOTION FROM RHETORICAL APPEALS TO NATURE: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF CORPORATE GREEN ADVERTISEMENTS

Open Access
Author:
Toutain, Christopher
Graduate Program:
Communication Arts and Sciences
Degree:
Master of Arts
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 02, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Stephen Howard Browne, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • depictions of nature
  • green advertising
  • environmental rhetoric
Abstract:
As concern over environmental change has increased over the past several decades, so too has the presence of advertising messages that feature appeals constructed on the theme of environmentalism. Whether these messages are extolled for raising public consciousness of environmental issues, or criticized as merely corporate posturing, or “greenwashing,” there is no question the messages have become part of contemporary public culture. As such, these messages should be considered for the potential implications they have for the way people conceive of and interact with the environment. This project engages those possibilities, considering the application of nature themes in “green corporate advertisements” to invite emotional responses from the audience. The ways these emotions are invited bear implications for the ways audiences understand nature, and the present state of environmental communication.