ISSN: 20570341
First published in 2016
2 issues per volume
Volume 2 Issue 1
Cover Date: March 2017
The voice of eloquence in Kenneth Burke’s rhetoric and its implications for advertising performance
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Authors:  Joshua Hill 
DOI: 10.1386/jivs.2.1.7_1

Kenneth Burke,eloquence,performance,aesthetic transcendence,marketing,brand,aesthetic theory

Kenneth Burke’s idea of ‘eloquence’ provides a useful theory for understanding the various possible impacts of voice in advertising and branding. Burkeian ‘eloquence’ is defined as the right choice and arrangement of linguistic details that best meet the formal requirements emerging in a particular culture and society from the underlying forms common to all people through our common physical, psychological, and linguistic nature as humans. Here, this theory is explained and distilled into a spectrum that stretches between textual/vocal products that centre on a rational symbolsystem and textual/vocal products that meet human metabiologic demands for eloquent form leading to moments of aesthetic transcendence. Applied to the practice of advertising and branding, this paradigm of performative impact implies that products at the beginning of their life cycles would be best paired with the rational pole of symbol-centric persuasive messages while established products and brands would be best paired with the opposite pole of transcendent vocal and stylistic performance, eschewing rational messages for the maintenance of brand aura through aesthetic form. Also discussed are the ethics of using for capitalistic purposes our human bent towards the ‘beauty and joy’ of transcendent language.
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