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 a print ad you have chosen. You are asked to write a 700-900 words essay, analyzing your chosen ad thoroughly. Make use of some the critical concepts we have learned so far.
You are asked to analyze how the ad creates meaning with reference to your focus (e.g. stereotypes or the representation of identities) and show an awareness of the ad’s functions and (potential) effects within a certain culture.
This requires you to:
a) briefly describe relevant signs of the ad
b) analyze the relevant signs used in the ad and how they are put together to create a certain meaning
c) discuss to whom the ad is addressed and how the ad is arranged to achieves this. This requires you to think about larger cultural issues and contexts and show an awareness of how your chosen ad relates to these.
Core Requirements for this assignment
Critical Thinking: You will have to think hard and communicate some strong critical thinking ideas, so your critical analysis of the ad will be a significant part of the assessment.
Articulated and developed ideas: You must have a clear focus/theme and research question. 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.
- Find a print advertisement for a product or service that you relate to, use regularly, find interesting or problematic. Pay particular attention to the origin of the ad. Is it meant originally for Middle Eastern Markets or Western Markets?
- Prepare a brief outline of your essay and draft a thesis statement. Come and see me during my office hours to discuss which ad you have chosen, which aspects you are focusing on in your analysis, and how you plan to analyze the ad.
- Format your essay in the following way: double-spaced, Times New Roman, Font 12. Have a separate cover page that includes your full name, ID, date of submission and the full course name and number. Also include the title of your essay.
- In the introduction describe your research question/problem and frame your analysis that will follow. Provide a concise thesis statement – what are you focusing on and what is your main argument?
- You may also briefly provide relevant information regarding the ad. This may include a brief description of the ad and the product that is being sold, the target market, when it was made and some further relevant background information if (e.g. who made it, brand information, social and cultural context).
- In the main body briefly and concisely describe relevant signs of the advertisement on a denotative level. Explain what and who is pictured in the advertisement and how the ad is arranged.
- 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.
- Address questions of audiences and culture, 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?
- Briefly summarize your main findings at the end and point out the relevance of these.
- 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. Do not send me your essay via email.
- By the deadline you must upload your essay to Blackboard and also hand in a hardcopy. Hand your hardcopy in at the beginning of class or put it in the assignment folder outside my office. Include a copy of the ad at the end of the essay.
- Make sure to understand the instructions and guidelines properly – if in doubt ask
- Be focused and have a clear research question and thesis statement
- Remember that you cannot do everything – Only discuss relevant information
- Make sure to chose a published print ad – not a promotional image or artwork
- Make sure to properly edit and proofread your essay – I need to be able to clearly understand you
- Remember that your essay will be checked by SafeAssign – any plagiarism will be detected and penalized
- Hand in your essay on time – you will lose ten points for each day your assignment is late, unless you have been granted an extension before the deadline
- There is no chance to rewrite your assignment if you receive a low grade – so make sure to do it properly the first time and if in doubt, seek feedback before you hand it in
Some questions you may find useful when analyzing the ad
- Which product/service/event is being pitched?
- What persuasive strategy is being used?
- What makes you or others want to purchase this product? How does the ad try to appeal on an emotional and/or intellectual level?
- What is the intended effect of the ad and how does it try to achieve this?
- What is the ad saying about society or culture? Which cultural symbols does it use? How does it affect culture and society?
- What is the ad for? What does the ad look like?
- 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?
- 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 in the Media Studies textbook on pages 46-47.
How I will grade your assignment
- Choice of ad: 5 marks – Is the ad suitable with reference to your focus of analysis?
- Ad and context description: 25 marks – Does your ad description clearly describe the
relevant signs of the ad and show how the ad is related to cultural issues and
- Ad analysis: 50 marks – Do you critically engage with the relevant signs 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 have a clear focus and do you provide a strong
and concise thesis statement?
- Grammar and spelling: 10 marks – Is your writing free from mistakes and easily