Our assignment this week had several parts: first we were to pick a specific type of advertising to analyze; then we were to create our own example of that type of ad (either a true example or a parody); and finally we were to develop a class activity for teaching about a TV or magazine ad.
Part 1: Analysis
I decided that it would be fun to analyze movie one-sheets (advertising posters), but I quickly realized that I had to drastically narrow the topic in order to do anything coherent. So, having been annoyed by recent advertising for the movie 2012, I decided to look specifically at one-sheets advertising end-of-the-world disaster movies. Here's my VoiceThread analysis:
Part 2: Example
Of course I had to do a parody here. I used GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program), which looks to be much more powerful than I have time for at the moment, but served my purpose anyway. I made a poster for a movie, trying to include several of the elements I discussed in my VoiceThread: blue color scheme, vertical compositional elements, a tag line, and familiar landmarks being destroyed. And Sir John Gielgud was just the least likely action star I could think of at the moment...
Part 3: Activity
For this activity I would have students choose some product that they like: a video game system, a type of food or drink, a clothing brand, etc. I would have them search for as many ads as they could find in a short time (10-15 minutes), including any medium. Once they have a collection of ads for their product, I would tell the students to analyze the messages of the ads. For example: Who seems to be the target audience for the ads? What values are the ads portraying? What do the ads promise to people who buy the product? Finally, I would have students think about why they like this product, and what relationship (if any) their liking has to the product's advertising campaign. Does analyzing the underlying messages of the advertisement change their opinion of the product at all?