We have looked at a number of examples of advertisements and how they use various techniques to influence and persuade viewers. Now it is time to analyze and evaluate a specific advertisement and argue its effectiveness or ineffectiveness.
Creating Your Argument
You will need to pick an advertisement from a magazine and analyze the image and message it provides. When picking an ad, be sure that there is enough depth to it that you can write about it at length; some ads are too basic to work with. Choose wisely.
Many ads try to convince viewers that they will be unhappy or will not be enjoying life to its fullest potential without a given product/service. Other ads try to sell a “lifestyle” or “identity” with their product. Logically evaluate the effectiveness of your ad by breaking down the visual rhetoric (the direct or indirect message of the image). Your analysis may include, but is not limited to, an examination of logos, ethos, and pathos, the use of color, the location of items in the frame, characters/models, texts/fonts, audience, tone, and logical fallacies present in the advertisement. Incorporate quotes or paraphrases from two of the articles from the unit (Cross, Kilbourne, and Lutz).
Your argument does not need to be entirely one-sided; you may argue that the ad is mostly effective (or ineffective) but does contain some flaws (or valuable elements). You are writing this paper for a general, academic audience. This means you are writing specifically and formally. Your paper should present a sophisticated and thought-provoking analysis in four to six pages. Revise, read aloud, and make your writing “tighter.”
What I’m Grading On
- Your ability to construct a strong and organized introduction. This will include a well-developed and argumentative thesis statement.
- Your ability to establish clear claims that provide argumentative focus to your essay.
- Your ability to incorporate strong evidence to support your claims.
- Your ability to properly quote or paraphrase from two of the articles using correct in-text citations.
- Your ability to logically analyze evidence and deconstruct material for greater meaning.
- Your ability to use formal academic language.
- Your ability to meet the assignment. Talk to me if you are struggling with understanding the requirements.
- Your ability to demonstrate basic proof-reading.
- Your argument must be at least four full pages (15 point penalty for each page short).
- First draft is due 10/25 at the beginning of class. Bring two copies to class. Submit draft to Dropbox under Ad Analysis Rough Draft
- Final draft is due 11/03. Submit to Dropbox under Ad Analysis Final Draft.