Institutional and Goodwill Advertising

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See also Public Relations

Bernays, Edward L.  Crystallizing Public Opinion. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1923.

Bird, William L.  Better Living: Advertising, Media, and the New Vocabulary of Business Leadership, 1935-1955.  Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1999.

Flanagan, George A.  Modern Institutional Advertising.  New York: McGraw Hill, 1967.

Griese, Noel L.  “AT&T: Origins of the Nation’s Oldest Continuous Institutional Advertising Campaign.” Journal of Advertising 6 (1977): 18-22.

Long, Norton E.  “Public Relations Policies of the Bell System.”  Public Opinion Quarterly 1 (October 1937): 

Marchand, Roland.  Creating the Corporate Soul: : The Rise of Public Relations and Corporate Imagery in American Big Business.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

Nye, David E.  Image Worlds: Corporate Identities at General Electric, 1890-1930. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985.

Pearlin, Leonard I., and Morris Rosenberg.  “Propaganda Techniques in Institutional Advertising.”  Public Opinion Quarterly 16 (Spring 1952): 5-26.

     A short analysis of goodwill advertising by two communications scholars of the 1950s.  This article examines a series of institutional radio advertisements produced by major American corporations and attempts to explain their tactics.  One of the major traits of these ads is an attempt to humanize the company to make it seem like part of the community.  This is done through a friendly, personable tone and highlighting all of the real or alleged benefits that the corporation provides for the community.  Another popular tactic is association of the corporation with positive images or ideas, typically involving traditional American values or other non-controversial beliefs.  Most troubling is the tactic of omission, whereby the ad fails to discuss any negative or potentially damaging information.  This, of course, is probably the impetus for running the ads in the first place.  Also avoided are mentions of profits or other benefits for the corporation rather than the community. 

Ribuffo, Leo P.  “Jesus Christ as Business Statesman: Bruce Barton and the Selling of Corporate Capitalism.” American Quarterly 33:2 (Summer 1981): 206-231.

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