Project 2: Advertisement Analysis Guidelines
The Advertisement Analysis
For this assignment, choose an original television commercial advertisement (not one shown in class) and analyze the ad for its uses of persuasive appeals. The essay must also make a judgement about the ad’s effectiveness based on the writer’s observations and outside research of various source material.
The essay should be 2-3 complete pages in length, double-spaced with Times New Roman 12 point font. It should have the appropriate heading on the top left hand corner of the first page. Your heading should look like the following:
First name Last name
Date paper is submitted written as day month year (Ex. 31 August 2018)
First-person point of view is NOT allowed in this paper. Points will be deducted if you use it.
The final draft must be typed, double-spaced and turned in through Canvas by the due date.
You must bring in a typed draft on the assigned date for peer review. Students who do not submit a draft and/or a completed peer review sheet will lose points off their final draft grade.
For any source material used in your essay, you must have proper MLA in-text parenthetical citations.
A properly formatted Works Cited page with a minimum of three (3) sources is required, including a YouTube video of the advertisement that you will show Professor Martin during the early draft conference.
Missing either a Works Cited Page or in-text citations will result in an automatic zero on the assignment.
In the INTRO PARAGRAPH, introduce the ad itself and then discuss the ad’s intended target audience – To get a better idea of an ad’s target audience, look at the other advertisements (compare to similar commercials if possible). Are they targeted towards a certain gender, age, income level, education level, and so on? The ad itself should help you to flesh out your audience analysis. What visual and verbal cues do the ad give that would connect to a particular audience?
Look for a common thread that seems to connect most of the essay’s ideas together. For example, the theme of family values relates might relate to the pathos of your ad, but also possibly to the ethos, logos, and target audience. Use this common theme to formulate your thesis statement that will come at the end of your intro paragraph. It should make a claim about the ad’s effectiveness based on its uses of specific appeals.
In the BODY PARAGRAPHS, discuss the ad’s use of any the 3 appeals. It is okay if more than one is used:
Ethos – What kind of image does the ad create for the company? Look at the verbal (or listen to dialogue) cues, like “4 out of 5 dentists recommend Crest” or “Serving you for 75 years”. Websites, 800 numbers, and even registered trademark symbols or logos are also cues. However, the images in an ad also provide cues to its ethos. What type of company do they want the audience to believe they are? Progressive, traditional, reliable, trendy, exciting? Do they use celebrity endorsements or endorsements from those who project a professional image? Is their brand name itself associated with “trustworthiness” or “reliability”?
Logos – First, identify the main claim of your ad (the purpose of your ad – what is it selling). What logical reasons does the advertisement use to support this claim? What factual evidence is provided to support these reasons? Look at the text or what’s presented — the visual cues. Remember that the logos of an argument isn’t always stated or indicated explicitly – sometimes it’s implied by the images, word choice, etc.
Pathos- Think about the values, emotions and beliefs contained in the ad. Once again, examine the images in the ad as well as the text or dialogue. For example, do the colors and imagery used in the ad evoke a particular emotion or belief? Also, what sort of emotional response is it trying to evoke from its audience?
Advertisements rely on their name brand and carefully construct an image or persona for a company. They want the audience to think the company is trustworthy and reliable (ethos). Secondly, advertisements appeal to the audience’s sense of logic, using good reason to support the claim that you should buy their product (logos). Finally, and most importantly, advertisements use pathos to connect to the audience’s feelings, beliefs and/or values. Often, the pathos appeal connects to basic American values, like equality, material comfort, efficiency, or individualism.
3. The conclusion should summarize your thoughts and provide a “clincher.” Again, do not skimp in this area. Recap what was stated in the essay up to this point, including the thesis, and then end the essay smoothly.
As you write your paper, use concrete details from your advertisement to support your claims. You can quote directly from the ad’s copy or dialogue, or use detailed language to describe the “meat” of the ad (color, fonts, music, imagery, language choice and technique).
MLA Citation examples for advertisements
For Ad found online on YouTube:
“Ad Title.” Name of Website. Version number (if available). Uploaded by username. Date accessed. Website url.
“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” YouTube. Uploaded by Old Spice. 4 February 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE.
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