Iconic Triggers

Elements of an ad that are intended to stimulate memories of well-known or revered attributes (see “Brand Attribute”) such as music, images, or characters.


A systematic analysis of the content of images (such as ads), including the subjects depicted, their composition, motifs and other artistic elements, with particular concern for their meaning or interpretation. In advertising research, the term may also refer to the use of image elements as a way to probe respondents about a theme or set of ideas or a way to represent a brand image (e.g., a researcher may ask people whether they associate a given brand with family imagery vs. nature scenery).

Idea Screening

Research methods used in advertising and marketing for testing many creative concepts in order to winnow them down to a smaller number that should be carried forward for further creative or advertising development purposes. Also referred to as “concept screening”.

Idea-Centric Creativity

Creative development centered on generating core concepts for campaign development, as opposed to specific executions or tactics.


A working session with a group of two or more people, aimed at generating a range of different ideas or solutions to a marketing challenge, advertising issue, or advertising message. This is frequently done through the use of thought-provoking stimuli, to open up participants’ imaginations. Ideation sessions are typically led by a trained moderator who utilizes a variety of methods to elicit a range of responses. Ideation sessions can be conducted with consumers or with employees of companies or creative teams, to help generate new ideas.


Artwork within a static ad, usually drawn or painted rather than a photograph.

Image Advertising

A strategy employing ad creative which is designed to burnish a brand’s or company’s persona, to promote perceptions about its unique or special qualities, power or attractiveness, rather than focusing on the characteristics of the product. For example, ads for athletic apparel may feature the prowess of individual athletes.

Image, Aspirational (creative genre)

A type of advertising genre that features characters and lifestyles that are generally desirable or enviable to consumers. In this type of genre, the desire or envy that people feel for the featured characters and lifestyles is meant to “rub off” onto the associated brand, product or service.


Term used to refer to phenomena that are hidden, or not directly measurable, but often apparent via indirect assessment. For example, certain consumer motivations may not be easily measurable through direct questioning (because people are embarrassed about them or perhaps unaware of them), but these motivations may be revealed via associative or other projective techniques (e.g., see the “IAT/Implicit Association Test”). Often used interchangeably with the terms “Nonconscious,” or “Subconscious.” (See “Nonconcscious”).

Implicit (creative genre)

An advertising genre or executional component where the conscious or nonconscious appeal or benefits are implied (rather than explicitly stated) and are often based on an emotional association [See “Explicit (creative genre)”].

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