Assignment # 3 – Advertisement Analysis (Winter Semester Course)
Below, find your Advertisement Category based on the first letter in your last name (My last name is Winter, so I would be in category 3). Then, find an advertisement that falls into the description in that category, and analyze the ad from a psychological point of view. If you can, upload a picture of the ad with your assignment; otherwise, vividly describe the ad as best you can. You will upload it using the “quiz” (but not really a “quiz”) submission Canvas upload.
Last Name A – H: Find an ad that appeals to or is based on a creation of needs—think about this in terms of human hierarchy of needs (biological, safety and security, belonging and love, self-esteem and status, cognitive, aesthetic, and self-actualization). You might recall these needs from an intro psych course covering Maslow.
Last Name I – Q: Find an ad that involves social and prestige suggestions—techniques based on the premise that you should buy or do something because many others do so (social suggestion) or some well-known person makes a recommendation (prestige suggestion).
Last Name R – Z: Find an ad that involves loaded words and images—these tend to be more subtle techniques, including the use of attractive people in the advertisement, images of positive social situations associated with a product, or incorporating “buzzwords” or buzz phrases such as “natural” for food and beauty products.
(Five Points Possible Questions 1 and 7; Three points Questions 2 through 6)
1a. What product does this ad attempt to market, and where is the ad from? (You can attach the advertisement at the bottom of the Canvas submission link if you have access to an electronic copy or hyperlink. If not, then fully describe what it looks like. This question is worth 5 points, which come from EITHER your really good description or uploading the actual ad in either 1a or 1b – your choice!).
1b. No real “points” for this one, but if you prefer to upload your ad than do a full description in 1a, then upload it here (and slack off on the answer in 1a. Just make sure to tell me where the ad came from in 1a).
To which component(s) of attitudes (e.g., Affective, Behavioral, Cognitive – Or it might appeal to two or all three at the same time) does this ad appeal? How can you tell? Was this a good strategy for this product/audience, or would it have been better to try to appeal to a different ABC component? (3 points)
What route of persuasion do the advertisers seem to use (e.g., central/systematic route vs. peripheral/heuristic)? Was appealing to this route a good choice? Specifically, what central or peripheral cues are used in the advertisement? (3 points)
Does the ad attempt to describe the source of its product information (e.g., “dentists agree that _____” or “experts suggest ____?” If yes, do these sources come off as credible and/or attractive? If no, do you think a source like an expert might have helped? Why or why not? (3 points)
In your opinion, is the advertisement persuasive? I want you to answer this question by commenting on four elements: Whether the advertisement is a) weak/strong, b) one-sided/two-sided, c) overt/implied, and d) discrepant with the audience/in-line with the audience. Then, tell me why. That is, answer along the lines of: “The advertisement was weak because …” and “The ad was one-sided because …” etc. After discussing those ideas, let me know whether the way the advertiser presented the ad was persuasive. (3 points)
What about the intended target of the communication? Who are the advertisers targeting, how can you tell, and do you think the advertisement reached that audience? This might depend on where you saw the ad. For example, if the ad involves toys, advertising in an American Association of Retired People (AARP) magazine may be a poor choice. Finally, I assume most of your ads will center on Americans (though this is not required). If so, then how would you alter the ad if you needed to direct it towards an audience from a more interdependent culture? If it already is from an interdependent culture, then how would you alter it for an American audience (or would you even need to do so)? (3 points)
Finally, describe how AT LEAST ONE concept that we have discussed is relevant to the ad’s persuasiveness. You can look at dissonance, emotions, attitudes, self-monitoring, etc. There are tons of concepts we have covered other than these, so feel free to dive into other chapters as well. I do want you to define that concept first (“Dissonance is …”) and then apply it to the advertisement you found. (5 points). Yup, 5 points on this one, so make it really good!