Meaning matters: Polysemy in Advertising
The paper reviews the conceptual foundations of advertising polysemy-the occurrence of different interpretations for the same advertising message. We provide a cross-disciplinary perspective on advertising polysemy, with examples from research and practice, to explain the conditions that lead to the emergence of multiple interpretations for the same message. We review what we call purposeful polysemy as strategic ambiguity and present a framework of advertising polysemy. Propositions for research are provided, and implications for studying and understanding polysemy's prevalence in advertising are discussed. The concept of purposeful polysemy-advertising polysemy emerging as a consequence of a firm's strategic efforts-is increasingly relevant to both academics and practitioners.