Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Chair/Advisor

David Blakesley

Committee Member

Clare Mullaney

Committee Member

Erin Ash

Committee Member

Beth Haller


Brands, advertising agencies and other partners collaborate through curated phases to create marketing and advertisements, but within this process, how does the creative brief shape disability inclusion or exclusion? By moving the conversation from interpreting disability representation in an advertisement or finished marketing piece, to analyzing disability at the onset of the creative process, these insights present a critical contribution to scholarship on disability, marketing and consumer culture. Framed within crip theory, the research investigates how disability identity is—or is not—manifest in a creative brief within the creative process.

Much of marketing, advertising and disability studies scholarship centers on finished creative such as ‘the experimental and issues approach that evaluate[s] the impact of advertisements featuring physically-disabled persons on perceptions, feelings, and behavior of non-disabled audiences” (Panol, McBride). However, minimal scholarship has focused on the building blocks leading towards the final creative deliverable. There is a limited understanding of the theories, process and praxis that leads to the portrayal, representation and ontology of disability inclusion in the creative campaigns. Building on the idea of the creative brief as a key document to align and foster creative concepts, this chapter explores the embodiment of disability within the brief and its connections in the creative process.



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