I could not have completed this thesis without the guidance and support of numerous people, chiefly among them my committee chair Glen Cameron, whose enthusiasm for the project very nearly eclipsed my own some days, and whose pep talks, though the opportunity for them was sparse, successfully nourished my delusions that I could actually complete the work and turn in a finished product, on time.

I'm also very fortunate to have for this project's committee a veritable Dream Team of MU faculty: Cyndy Frisbee, one of the most energetic and effusively positive, not to mention busy, faculty members of the Journalism School; Stephen Kopcha, whose real-world agency experience was a must, and to whom I'm especially grateful due to his never having taken on the task of being on a thesis committee before, and agreeing to make mine his first exception; and Michael Porter, whose ever-approachable demeanor and encouragement was always on tap when I needed it.

The art directors, Raul Vilaboa, Marcus Moore, Matt Spett, Ed Zimkus, Tristen George and Matthew Nwoke, some of the finest and most impressive professionals in the business, were extremely generous with their time and ideas. I'm indescribably grateful to each of them for their contributions.

Forty-five volunteers gave their time and energy to participate in my online focus groups, and I'm very thankful to all them as well for making the sessions enjoyable, interesting and enlightening. I had a great time in those sessions, and I hadn't expected them to be nearly as fun as they ended up being. Thanks for being such a great bunch, and especially for being extra generous with your time on some occasions.

Tanya Heath and Heather Deja of the American Advertising Federation were instrumental in connecting me with people willing to participate in both the focus groups and the interviews. I quite honestly could not have completed this thesis without their instrumental assistance.

My employers Charles Reineke, Mary Licklider and Jim Coleman, who have graciously and patiently put up with my wildly unpredictable hours and sudden--in some cases, spontaneous--rushes from the office to get to a class or get on the highway to meet with an interviewee in Chicago. I'm exceedingly fortunate to get to work for such supportive people.

Holly Bollinger and Marla Ogaz went well out of their way to help me with this--Holly with editing, Marla with transcribing--and asked for nothing at all in return. My sanity and my physical health are deeply indebted to you both.

Finally, this project wouldn't be nearly as meaningful to me without the support and love of my mother, father, sisters and brother. Much love to all you guys. There's no way I'd be here now if it wasn't for you.