In this article, we use rhetorical criticism as a research method to apply Burkean identification to four direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical television commercials, suggesting that the commercials create a state of consubstantiality with the audience. The identification strategies of common ground, the assumed “we” through the use of the word “you,” and dissociation are utilized in these commercials to inspire consumers to initiate a conversation with their doctor about their healthcare needs. Based on the success direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertisements have had with inspiring patients to engage in a dialogue with healthcare providers, Burkean identification could have significant implications when used in other areas of health communication studies, particularly in regards to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications of Burkean identification to health campaigns could increase their effectiveness and cause patient-consumers to be more receptive to the messages being presented.
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Bates, S. N.,
Schrader, V. L.
"Talk to Your Doctor:" A Rhetorical Analysis of Burkean Identification in Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertisements.
Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota Journal, 46(1).