Digital Engagement with Advertising


Special issue of Journal of Advertising; Deadline 30 Apr 2017

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to share a Journal of Advertising Special Issue Call on “Digital Engagement With Advertising” (see below).

Feel free to pass along the Call to interested colleagues and graduate students.

We look forward to your submissions.


Shelly Rodgers, Ph.D.
University of Missouri

Esther Thorson, Ph.D.
Michigan State University


Journal of Advertising

Special Issue: Digital Engagement with Advertising

Guest Editors

  • Shelly Rodgers, University of Missouri
  • Esther Thorson, Michigan State University

Manuscripts are currently being solicited for an upcoming special issue of the Journal of Advertising (JA) dedicated to Digital Engagement with Advertising.


The topic of digital engagement has received much attention in recent years but digital engagement and advertising has never been treated as a Special Issue topic in leading journals in the field. Digital engagement has become a buzz phrase and there is little consensus on how to define it. In marketing, digital engagement has often been addressed in terms of service-dominant logic or value co-creation, and there are numerous attempts to conceptualize and empirically examine these concepts (Brodie et al. 2011; Vargo and Lusch 2004). However, in light of apparent gaps, it is both challenging and interesting to address "digital engagement" or “digital customer engagement” in an advertising context.

In this Special Issue, digital engagement is broadly defined as Richard Sedley defined it: "repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand” (cited in Chaffey 2007). In this sense, digital engagement extends beyond the concept of advertising involvement and may include cognitive, emotional and/or behavioral aspects in the way that consumers choose to engage with advertising.

Indeed, digital engagement demands that a consumer takes action. However, many of the strategies and tactics of advertising are understood in the limited theoretical lens of Web 1.0 where consumers could read information on static websites but were unable to interact with it. Web 2.0, and even Web 3.0, represents a fundamental shift in how brand-related information is created, co-created and distributed, and how consumers play an active role in shaping the meaning of and circulating advertising, a concept that Jenkins, Ford, and Green (2013) refer to as “spreadability” (p. 3).

The result is that brand messages and digital contexts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, brand sites, YouTube, etc.) that people choose to engage with are much more complex, and theories about how advertising “works” in light of these complexities are greatly needed.


We welcome studies that advance the conceptualization and operationalization of digital engagement or digital customer engagement with advertising in a variety of digital environments, platforms, and applications. This may include new developments, theories, models, methods, frameworks and research. Potential research topics that may be addressed include (but are not limited to):


  • Digital engagement with:
    • User-generated advertising
    • Consumer-manipulated brand messages
    • Behaviorally targeted messages
    • Consumer-shared brand messages
    • Native advertising
    • Advertising located in social media
  • Digital engagement and advertising effectiveness
  • Digital engagement in relationship to clutter/ad blocking/ad avoidance
  • Customer co-creation perspectives on digital engagement and ads
  • Context determinants of digital customer engagement
  • Visual engagement and online advertising execution
  • Digital engagement and the Internet of Things (smart signs, beacons, wearables, IoT data and personalization, proximity marketing, etc.)
  • Measurements of digital engagement related to advertising
  • Online advertising experience as it relates to digital engagement
  • Impact of consumer motivations on digital engagement with advertising
  • Antecedents and consequences of digital engagement with advertising
  • Explorations of ethical norms regarding digital engagement

Approaches from a variety of perspectives are welcomed, including psychological, ethical, sociological, economic, political, or critical.


Brodie, Roderick J., Linda D. Hollebeek, Biljana Juric, and Ana Ilic (2011), “Customer Engagement Conceptual Domain, Fundamental Propositions, and Implications for Research,” Journal of Service Research, 14 (3), 252-271.

Chaffey, Dave (2007), “Customer Engagement Interview with Richard Sedley of cScape,” Smart Insights, available at (accessed May 3, 2016).

Jenkins, Henry, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green (2013), Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture, New York: New York University Press.

Vargo, Stephen L., and Robert F. Lusch (2004), "Evolving to a New Dominant Logic for Marketing," Journal of Marketing, 68 (1), 1-17.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should follow the manuscript format guidelines for JA at

The word count should be no greater than 12000-13000 words (including references, tables/figures, and appendices).

The submission deadline is April 30, 2017.

All manuscripts should be submitted through the JA online submission system, ScholarOne, at,

during April 1-30, 2017. Authors should select “SPECIAL ISSUE: Digital Engagement with Advertising” as “Manuscript Type.” Please also note in the cover letter that the submission is for the Special Issue on Digital Engagement with Advertising.

  • All articles will undergo blind peer review by at least two reviewers.
  • Authors will be notified no later than July 2017 on the preliminary decision over their manuscript for the next round of review.
  • The anticipated date for publication of the Special Issue is Spring 2018.
  • For additional information regarding the special issue, please contact the guest editors at: