Evaluating Advertisements

Contributor: Emily Love. Lesson ID: 10787

Why do you buy the products or support the candidates you do? Ads don't come out of thin air; they are purposely crafted to persuade you. Watch videos and read online articles to learn their tricks!

categories

Writing

subject
English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Take a minute to analyze this ad created by Du Pont Cellophane. Cellophane is a thin, transparent sheet made out of regenerated cellulose. You've probably seen it when you opened a package of cookies or crackers. What do you think is surprising or even funny about this advertisement?

Probably the strangest feature of this advertisement is the idea of putting babies in cellophane!

Advertisers use a variety of strategies to sell products, programs, and even candidates to the public. Understanding how to evaluate advertisements will help you become a conscientious consumer and citizen.

When analyzing advertisements, you have to consider each element individually before considering the whole. For print advertisements, you need to pay close attention to the imagery and the words. With television ads, you have to consider imagery, print words, spoken words, and music.

Consider the following questions to ask when thinking about each individual element of an advertisement:

  1. Imagery
  • Who or what are the advertisers trying to associate with the product or person?
  • Do you see the actual product or individual in the ad?
  • Have the advertisers used colors or symbols with strong associations, such as the red, white, and blue of the American flag?
  1. Print Words
  • Do the advertisers use positive language to describe the product or person?
  • Do they use general or specific language?
  • What information is easiest to read?
  • What information is in smaller print?
  • What information is NOT included in the ad?
  • Were the words chosen to try to make you feel a specific emotion?
  1. Spoken Words
  • What does the speaker's voice sound like, and how does it influence the audience?
  • How would you describe the speaker's tone (humorous, serious, sad, etc.)?
  • Are his or her words trying to make you feel a specific emotion?
  • Compare and contrast the information spoken to the information printed.
  1. Music
  • How would you describe the tone of the music?
  • How does the music affect the mood created in the ad?
  • Does the music distract you from the content of the ad, or do you think it is complementary?
  • Do you associate something or someone with the song?
  • If there is no music, what does the lack of music accomplish?

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