Study Books Used in Class:
Description: General Outline
The purpose of this assignment is for you to use the skills you have gained so far in the analysis of advertisements and apply them to an ad you have chosen. You are asked to write an 800-1000 words essay (double spaced, Times New Roman, Font 12) analyzing your chosen ad thoroughly. Make use of the critical concepts we have learned so far.
You are asked to analyze how the ad creates meaning for particular audiences. This requires you to a) briefly describe the ad on a denotative level; b) it requires you to analyze the signs used in the ad and how they are put together to create a certain meaning and c) to reflect upon to whom the ad is addressed and how the ad achieves this. Point c requires you to think about larger issues and contexts of society and culture and show an awareness of how ads operate in these.
Critical Thinking: You will have to communicate some strong critical thinking ideas, so your analysis of the ad will be a significant part of the assessment.
Articulated and developed ideas: You must make your point using clear and understandable sentences AND push your ideas to their fullest conclusion.
Organization: You need to make conscious choices about how to best structure your ideas and how to connect those ideas.
How I will grade your ad analysis:
• Choice of ad: 5 marks – Is the ad suitable with reference to your focus of analysis?
• Ad description: 25 marks – Does your ad description clearly describe the relevant
elements of the ad?
• Ad analysis: 50 marks – Do you critically engage with the relevant elements of the ad
and show how the ad is arranged in order to create particular meanings? Do
you analyze how the ad aims to influence its target audience?
• Assignment format and structure: 10 marks – Is your essay properly formatted? Is your
argument well structured and organized and do your ideas flow well throughout
the essay? Do you provide a strong and concise thesis statement?
• Grammar and spelling: 10 marks – Is your writing free from mistakes and easily
1. Find an advertisement for a product or service that you relate to, use regularly or find interesting, either print or video – I recommend a printed ad. Pay particular attention to the origin of the ad. Is it meant originally for Middle Eastern Markets or Western Markets?
2. Come and see me during my office hours to briefly discuss which ad you have chosen, which aspects you are focusing on in your analysis, and how you plan to analyze the ad.
3. In the introduction briefly describe the ad, the product that is being sold, the target market, when it was made and some further background information if relevant (e.g. who made it, brand information, social and cultural context).
4. In your introduction also provide a concise thesis statement – what is your main argument and what are you focusing on?
5. Begin your main body by briefly and concisely describing the advertisement on a denotative level. Explain what and who is pictured in the advertisement and how the ad is arranged.
6. Then analyze the ad in detail with regards to your focus, using some of the critical concepts we have discussed. Break your analysis down into paragraphs in which you discuss a particular element of your analysis.
7. Address questions of audiences, such as who may be the target audience, what impact may the ad have had and how? How did the ad relate to and seek to influence potential consumers, society and culture?
8. Briefly summarize your main findings at the end.
9. Proofread, edit and improve your essay until it reads fine. If in doubt, find a friend who could give you some feedback about the essay. You can also come and see me again during my office hours.
10. By the deadline upload your essay to Blackboard. Include a copy of the ad at the end of the essay or, in case of a moving image ad, attach a copy when uploading to Blackboard.
Some questions you may find useful when analyzing the ad:
o Which product/service/event is being pitched?
o What persuasive strategy is being used?
o What makes you or others want to purchase this product? How does the ad try to appeal on an emotional and/or intellectual level?
o What is the intended effect of the ad and how does it try to achieve this?
o What is the ad saying about society or culture? Which cultural symbols does it use? How does it affect culture and society?
o What is the ad for? What does the ad look like?
o Who is the audience for the ad? How do you know? How would you describe them? How would you characterize their interests and desires? What assumptions are the writers of the ad making about the people who make up the audience?
o How is the ad designed to appeal to that particular audience? What message(s) do the designers of the ad want to give them? What is the ad “really” saying?
You can also use some of the questions mentioned