Advertising Persuasive Analysis Assignment
The writing assignment will draw on several of the elements which involves analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and persuasion. Remember that when you are analyzing something, in this case advertisements, you break that something into its component parts and examine those parts and then evaluate how the parts make up the whole and then how effective that whole is.
You will think about how your ads are put together, what the different elements of the ads are, what visual techniques and words are used, and what the layout and design do. What is significant about what you find in your ads? In this particular assignment, you also then will analyze the advertisements using the concepts you find in Jib Fowles’ classic essay on advertising with the goal of trying to identify which appeals are strongest in the ads.
Finally, you will make a judgment about which ad would be most effective in reaching and influencing the target audience to which it is aimed. The strength of your argument and quality of your evidence should persuade your readers that your judgment is the correct one. So this assignment will lead to a more complex and multi-layered essay.
In this essay you will conduct a persuasive analysis of two contemporary print magazine advertisements for the same product to determine which advertisement is most effective and why. You might choose two ads for beer, or for shoes, or jeans, a particular food product, house paints, perfumes, cars, or whatever is most interesting to you, but not an ad for beer and an ad for dog food or an ad for a car and an ad for perfume. See the end of this assignment for the various steps and stages you will go through in doing this analysis.
Though the urge might be strong to choose ads you can find online, you must start with ads you find in an actual, physical, ink-on-paper, print magazine because of the need to ground the ads in their target audience. Once you locate ads in a print magazine and discover the target audience (see the paragraph after the next one), you may try to locate the exact ads online just for ease of including links to the ads instead of fussing with photographing or scanning your ads.
Draft will begin with a strong introduction. Follow one of the strategies for writing an effective introduction that we have discussed in class. Be sure to include a thesis statement.
Consider next the significance of where and when the ads appeared. In what magazines were the ads printed? Why might they have appeared when and where they did rather than some other time or place? Who might the target audiences be? What suggests this? (You will need to do some research to confirm your ideas about target audiences. Check the magazine’s homepage and look for information about a media kit, info for advertisers, demographics, or readership or Google the magazine’s name and the words “Media Kit” or “demographics”. Play around with the homepage until you find what you need to identify the age, gender, income, education, etc. of the average person who reads this magazine.) You need to be very specific about this and not just guess about who the target audience is. If you have trouble with this, please let me know.
Next analyze the layout or graphic design of the ads. What do the ads look like? What elements are present in them? Why do you suppose that the various elements of the ads are placed as they are? Are there people? Objects or props? Colors? Are the colors sharp or subdued? What is fore-grounded and back-grounded? What do the postures, positions, facial expressions and/or dress of the people or objects suggest? What about camera angle? What about the font or fonts chosen? What part is played by the use of light and shadow? Use the ideas from the Cohen essay (in the Lec. Docs.) and the Visual Analysis and Advertising documents in the Lecture Documents. Actually quote from Cohen in this section. What is significant about the elements of the layout and graphic design of your ads?
Next, examine the copy. See the checklist on p. 573 in Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum by Laurence Behrens & Leonard J. Rosen twelfth edition (ISBN-13: 978-0205885435
What do the ads say? Are there headlines? Body copy? Slogans? How big is the text? What color is it? How is the copy supposed to work to make you want to buy the products? Are the words primarily making a rational or an emotional appeal? Do the words in the ads make any promises, implied or explicit? Use the material from the Bovee essay to help you with this section. If there are few or no words, what might that mean? What is significant about the use of words in your ads? Actually quote from helpful sections of the Bovee essay in this section.
After all of this, discuss what all of your investigations point to as the major emotional appeals (see Fowles pp. 555-564) employed by the ads’ creators “to tug at our psychological shirtsleeves and slow us down long enough for a word or two about what is being sold” (Fowles 552). Offer proof to support your assertion that the appeals you have chosen are the dominant appeals in the ads. You will find this proof in what you discovered by examining the copy and layout. In this section, specifically connect your ads as often as you can to Fowles’ text by quoting from it. Though you may notice elements of more than one appeal at work in your ad, you should decide on one major appeal for each ad.
Finally, in your conclusion, based on all you have found, discuss which advertisement would be most effective for the target audiences you have identified and why. Use as much evidence as possible from our text and your analysis of the ads to back up your conclusion. Be sure to consider any problems with either of the ads that makes one or both less than effective. As you think about the ads’ effectiveness, consider what the ads seem to suggest or assume about gender roles, class or social status, age, ethnicity, social values, or self-identity. Are the suggestions and assumptions realistic? Why or why not? Do the ads create unrealistic expectations for people? Do the ads’ elements work as they should? What are the ads trying to get the viewer to do? Do they do an effective job of communicating to and motivating the viewer as part of a target audience? Which advertisement is best and why?
Paper needs to have an intro with a thesis, target info, a conclusion, and transitions between paragraphs.
Need work cited page with link to site or books.
Have to use Writing and reading Across the curriculum by Laurence Behrens & Leonard J. Rosen twelfth edition, for this paper for reference.
Essay should be 4 or so pages long, double-spaced in 12-point font. You should use (quote from) at least three sources (Cohen, Bovee, and Fowles) in your essay for EACH ad. Use the quotation sandwich method of incorporating sources into your essay and use in-text citations to acknowledge your source use. Be sure to include a works cited list.
Advertising Persuasive Analysis Peer Review Checklist
_____ The intro is interesting and inviting.
_____ The strategy the writer uses is______________.
_____ There is a clear thesis statement.
_____ The writer tells which magazine each ad appeared in.
_____ The writer describes who the target audiences or readers (including gender, income, education, marital state, age, and other demographic facts) of the magazines might be based on specific evidence (from on-line magazine homepages or other resources) rather than just guessing.
_____The writer specifies where they got the info about the target audiences.
_____The writer thoroughly discusses the important visual aspects of the ads including models, placement of elements, balance, unity, colors, etc.
_____The writer discusses the implications and significance of the elements of the two layouts.
_____The writer quotes from the Cohen essay and lecture notes to help with this.
_____Writer fully notes and analyzes all the important words in the ads.
_____Writer fully discuss the importance and implications of the headlines, body copy, and slogans or absence thereof.
_____Writer quotes from the Bovee essay to help with this.
_____Writer has chosen one dominant emotional appeal for each of his/her ads.
_____Writer supports his/her choices for each dominant appeal by directly referring to Fowles’ essay (pp. 539-556), by quoting from it, and by giving specific examples from the ads that support the choices.
_____Each source use is cited by an MLA in-text citation.
_____There are no dropped quotations in the essay and writer has used the quotation sandwich method to incorporate sources into the text.
_____Writer has included a full and correct MLA works cited list.
_____Writer has quoted from three sources in this essay.
_____Writer chose one of his/her ads as most effective for the target audience.
_____Writer makes a strong and persuasive case to support his/her choice by referring to the target audiences, elements from the ads, and the sources.
_____Writer uses strong evidence to back up his/her conclusions.
_____Writer discusses problems, if any, with the ads that make one or both of the ads less than effective.
_____Writer has carefully proofread essay to eliminate mechanical errors.
_____Essay is 4-5 pages long.
-Visual Analysis: What do you see and what does it mean?
Here are some factors to consider when you are trying to analyze a visual text such as the iconic ad from 1988 for Charlie perfume. You will need to be very observant and willing to experience what you see.
• Camera techniques: How far is the camera from the subject? Is the photo a close-up? Medium shot? Long shot? What difference does this make? How is the camera oriented in relation to the subject? In front? Behind? Looking up or down at the subject? Are the subjects in the photo looking at the camera or away somewhere (gaze motion)? Is the image crisp or blurred? Distorted or pure? Airbrushed?
• Composition of the image: What is actually in the image? Is it indoors? Outdoors? What objects are in the ad and what do they suggest? What people are in the image? What story seems to be being told about them? How are the people clothed? What are they doing? What are their facial expressions? What about their hair?
Here are some other tools to use when looking at an advertisement:
• Focal point – The spot where your eyes go immediately when viewing an image.
• Figure-ground contrast – The difference between what’s in the front (figure) vs. what’s in the back (ground). Is there a contrast here?
• Grouping – How are images in the ad grouped together? How are they related in space (proximity) or what is their relationship in size color, shape, and so on (similarity)?
• Color – The effects and symbolism of color varies from culture to culture. The brighter the color, the more powerful its effects. What do the colors in your ads symbolize in our culture?
• Lines – Lines provide a sense of movement in an image and create edges and outlines. Horizontal lines create a calm sense. Vertical lines suggest movement. Diagonal lines create stress. What lines do you see?
Ask these questions about your advertisements:
• What do you feel or experience when you look at your image?
• Where does your eye go and why?
• What are the key elements of the ad?
• What connections do you see among images that are grouped closely together?
• Are there elements in the image that are similar in color, texture, size, color?
• How do the colors in the ad color your response?
• Is there a story in the image?
.project will be to do some visual analysis of advertisements and to synthesize your findings into a persuasive essay.
It is of vital importance today that we all become more visually literate. Even as people involved in an academic community which is heavily reliant on words and books, so much of what we take in each day comes not from written texts but from visual texts, those pictures and images that we see on iPods, television, movies, YouTube, billboards, sides of buses, and computer screens. We begin to make sense of what we see as young children, but we continue learning to see throughout our lives. Seeing is a physical process, but really looking, attending, and interpreting what you see is a very complex intellectual, social, and political process. In this project we will further that process as we look at advertising as our visual text.
Think about what you like and don’t like in advertising.
When has an ad influenced you to buy a product?
To what extent have images in an ad ever shaped any of your values, longings, or desires?
Definition of Advertising: Advertising is paid (not free), non-personal (not individual to individual or friend to friend) communication (some information is transferred) about an organization and its products, services, and ideas (it is not always a soft drink you are being asked to buy, but sometimes a philosophy) transmitted to a target audience (a specific group of people most likely to be influenced by the ad) usually to persuade (to change the way you think, act, believe, or spend your money) through a mass medium (some method – TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, computers, etc.) designed to reach a large number of people).
There are many different types of advertisements. Some ads promote a particular product or company/corporation. Some promote or denigrate a particular political candidate. Some are public service ads which encourage good behavior in the viewers.
An advertisement will make an emotional appeal and perhaps a rational one as well. The stronger the emotional or sub-conscious appeal, the better chance the ad has of breaking through our rational defenses to appeal directly to our fantasies of happiness, wealth, power, sexual fulfillment, youth, acceptance. It is perhaps the most pervasive and persuasive force in our culture.
need to read:
Elements of effective layout Dorothy Cohen
chp 13. Pages 681-684
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