Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Analyzing Commercials

You have read about and seen videos about some of the more manipulative aspects of advertising, and you may not like these strategies. Nevertheless, advertisers have a job to do which is to interest you in the product, and hopefully, persuade you to buy it. Some advertisements are enormously successful in entertaining, creating interest and leaving an impression. Watch the following ads and reflect on how successful the ad is at delivering a message.

Consider the following questions:
1. Does the ad tell a story? If so, what is the basic structure—what is the sequence of events or actions?
2. Is there dialogue? How do the actors interact?
3. Is there a narrator (a voice of someone that you do not see)? If so, is it a man or a woman? Old or young? Authoritative, playful or matter-of-fact?
4. What is the tone of the ad—is it humourous, playful, serious, informative, etc?
5. Does the ad use music? What role does the music play?
6. What other technical devices are used in the ad: Does the ad show close-ups of the characters or long-shots (a picture taken from a distance)? Is lighting used in any special way? Are there unusual camera angles?
7. Are printed words used in the ad? What effect do they have?
8. Who is the target audience? Who is the commercial trying to reach?
9. What is the message? Is the intention to convince you to buy a product, inform you to do something or something else?
10. Does the commercial succeed in delivering the message? Do you feel inspired to act?
Berlitz (Germany)
Use Seatbelts (USA)
Guinness Evolution (Ireland)
Molson Beer (Canada)
Funding for the Arts (Canada)
Rice Krispies (USA 1960's)
How do these ads compare to other ads you have seen? Why are some ads more successful than others? Take a look at a short video called How to Write a Boring Ad that makes fun of traditional commercials.

After you have watched the commercials, work with a partner to write a short analysis of one or two of these ads by answering the questions above in a well-structured paragraph. Print out your paragraph to turn it in (double-spaced) and post your analysis on the collaborative blog (single-spaced on the blog). Read what your class mates wrote and leave them constructive comments. Click here to see some student samples.

Is there a commercial that you really dislike? If you can find a link for the commercial, leave a comment with the link. You can also leave a comment with a link for commercials you do like.


Blogger Mozza_Burger said...

Here's the Lexus "Moment" commercial.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Jane said...


10:38 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

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