Advertisements in magazines, on billboards and television, can be analyzed according to how they appeal to certain subconscious, psychological “drives” and “needs” resident in all human beings, the same “needs” Jib Fowles defines and describes in his essay, “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals.”
Crafty advertisers carefully weave the artwork and the written material together for one purpose only: to cause potential consumers to purchase the advertised product!
Choose a magazine, newspaper, television commercial, any kind of advertisement (you can choose more than one) that you find especially appealing, annoying, or intriguing for analysis (choose one worthy of analysis, one that you can examine critically and in some detail.). To assist you with the analysis and critical reading of your chosen advertisement, refer to pages 31-34 in Signs of Life and visit genderads.com.
Once you have given your chosen ad some thought, and once you have done some prewriting on your topic, write a 4-5 page essay in which you describe, analyze, and evaluate the ad’s rhetorical strategies and subliminal messages. Remember, however, that your assignment involves digging below the surface meaning of the ad and developing a thesis (a claim) that is both significant and challenging, a thesis that evaluates what your chosen advertisement says about our cultural values, beliefs, fears, submerged desires and/or needs.
I highly recommend that you visit genderads.comto learn more about ad analysis and to view various types of ads.
Again, you are required to include two sources (no more than three, and one must be secondary); therefore, I strongly encourage you to support your ideas and assertions by referring to a number of sources already available to you: Signs ofLife essays, any dictionary of symbols (which can be found in any library or online), Killing Us Softly 3 or 4, narrated by Jean Kilbourne, “Advertising Fifteen Basic Appeals,” written by Jib Fowles, and genderads.com.
At least two sources (no more than three, and one must be secondary: what someone else has said about your topic) are required for every essay you write: no Wikipedia sources or dictionary definitions. Remember that “In academic research papers and in any other writing that borrows information from sources, the borrowed information–quotations, summaries, paraphrases, and any facts or ideas that are not common knowledge–must be clearly documented” (Hacker 326). Moreover, consider how you will manage your sources. For one, a strong paper makes connections between the sources and the paper’s main ideas. For an excellent model of synthesis (how one uses and manages sources in a paper), see the sample student paper, “Barbie: Queen of Dolls and Consumerism,” on page 37 in Signs of Life.
For a visual example of what your paper should look like, see the first page of the sample student paper on page 161 in your handbook, The Little Seagull.
A detailed rubric is available on our Canvas course page.
Submit your WA3 revision and Smarthinking response (or writing center proof) via the WA3 assignment link in Week 4 module on our Canvas course page on or before August 7.
Note: Papers submitted without sources, in-text citations, and a works cited page will receive 0 points!