Lab Assignment, Tuesday:

Last week in class we examined the cultural and demographic aspects of advertisements. Today in class we examined several advertisements and text that sell products or services aimed at the general public. I would like you to choose two advertisements you find on the Internet and analyze its persuasive elements. The advertisement must have an image and words.

This exercise is aimed at having you delve deeper into advertisement analysis.

  1. To begin, create a new page, name it “11.19: Ad Analysis” and add it to your “Lab Work” menu.
  2. Post a picture of the ads on your new page.
  3. Then, for each ad, examine the text and/or caption and explain how the text & image work together in the advertisement. You should approach your analysis from various perspectives, including personal, historical, technical, ethical, cultural, and critical.

Your writing should contain an introduction (background information about the ad), main points of your analysis, and a conclusion (how it is effective and how it could improve). The questions below should be used to help generate your analysis, but by no means are inclusive.

  • What is the target demographic?
  • What is the general ambience of the advertisement? What mood does it create? How does it do this?
  • What is the design of the advertisement? How are the basic components or elements arranged?
  • What is the relationship between pictorial elements and written material and what does this tell us?
  • What is the use of space in the advertisement?
  • What signs and symbols do we find? What role do they play in the ad’s impact?
  • If there are figures (men, women, children, animals) what are they like? What can be said about their facial expressions, poses, hairstyle, age, sex, hair color, ethnicity, education, occupation, relationships?
  • What does the background tell us? Where is the advertisement taking place and what significance does this background have?
  • What action is taking place in the advertisement and what significance does it have? (This might be described as the ad’s “plot.”)
  • What theme or themes do we find in the advertisement? What is it attempting to persuade?
  • What about the language used? Does it essentially provide information or does it try to generate some kind of emotional response? Or both? What techniques are used by the copywriter: humor, alliteration, definitions” of life, comparisons, sexual innuendo, and so on?
  • What typefaces are used and what impressions do they convey?
  • What is the item being advertised and what role does it play in American culture and society?
  • If the advertisement is a photograph, what kind of a shot is it? What significance do long shots, medium shots, close-up shots have? What about the lighting, use of color, angle of the shot?
  • What sociological, political, economic or cultural attitudes are indirectly reflected in the advertisement?

Lab Assignment, Thursday:

Last class you analyzed two advertisements, examining the relationship between the pictures and words, the number of words, the hierarchy of fonts, the placement of words, the image and its background, and how it all creates an ad that sells.

Today, I would like you to create your own advertisement.

  1. To begin, create a new page, name it “11.21 Advertisement” and add it to your “Lab Work” menu.
  2. Using a picture below or one you find on your own (with proper resolution), create an advertisement for a business. The business you choose is up to you: an insurance company, an auto manufacturer, etc.
  3. Using the materials from last class and previous classes, create an ad that sells using Photoshop.