Media Analysis Essay #2

For this assignment, you need to select a print advertisement. We highly recommend full-page advertisements in print magazines, but other print ads can work as well. (Don’t use an online ad.)

Your task is to assess the effectiveness of the advertisement, paying close attention to its likely purpose, its context (the media product it appears in), its content, and its likely target market.

You should make a case about what the aim of the ad was, and whether it achieved that aim. You should thus consider the questions:

  • Where was it placed? Why was it placed there?
    • To learn about the magazine the ad appeared in, look for the magazine’s media kit, which will contain information about the audience of the magazine
  • What was its intended function? Why do you think this?
    • This will require a little bit of detective work: consider thinking about the nature of the product being advertised, and whom the marketers might be trying to reach.
  • How well does the ad perform that function? What is your evidence for this?

One challenge of advertisement analysis today is that advertising campaigns are spread over a variety of media. Consider looking at the broader context of the campaign of which your ad was a part; you might mention how your ad was like, or unlike, others in the campaign in your essay.

In your analysis, use at least two outside sources in the development of your argument. Outside sources include further readings and guest lectures but not required readings or Prof. Wells’ lectures. In choosing the articles to help you analyze this ad, remember: you don’t have to agree with the authors of the articles you use, but you have to show that you understand how those authors would interpret the advertisement you’ve chosen.

Your essay should be about 1500 words, uploaded to turnitin by 5:00pm on Friday, April 14. When you turn in your paper to your TA, include a photocopy of your advertisement. If color plays an important part in the ad, make it a color photocopy.