For this assignment, I want you choose one advertisement (best ones for this are probably in magazines or on TV) and analyze its strategies. Answer the following questions.
1. Describe what the ad is for and where you saw it (what publication, or during what program).
2. Briefly summarize what the ad says, what it shows and what is happening in the ad. (If it’s a magazine ad, please paste a photo of it into your paper; this won’t count toward the page limit. If it’s a TV ad, chances are it’s on the sponsor’s website or YouTube – please give me the URL.)
3. What is the “sales pitch” of the ad? Is the product posed as the solution to a problem, and if so, how? Does it sell based on logic and reason? What human emotions, needs or wants does the ad appeal to? (Fear? Ambition? Sex? Elitism? Acceptance? Hedonism/pleasure?) What evidence do you see that leads you to this conclusion?
4. How do the visuals reinforce this message? Consider setting, clothing, facial expressions, gender, age, race, body type, class, background objects, lighting, color, camera angles, etc.
5. What values does the ad celebrate? What does it put down or poke fun at? Who are the heroes and villains? Explain.
6. What background knowledge would we need to interpret the ad? (Cultural in-jokes, celebrities, old sayings, common beliefs, symbolism, stories or movies?) Are any stereotypes employed in the ad? Are they reinforced or undermined? How so?
7. Give your best guess as to who the target market for the ad is, in terms of age, interests, income, gender and/or race. What evidence suggests this?
I’ll be looking for quality of insight, strength of argument, and level of evidence.
Shoot for two to three pages on this.
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