Analyzing Ad Essay

Develop an essay that analyzes a print advertisement. This is NOT an essay on the product or idea the ad is selling; instead, you’ll be analyzing how the ad works, not whether or not we should buy the product.

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For this essay, you must look at a print advertisement and write an essay that explains the ad’s target audience, the appeal it uses, and how effective the ad is.

Go to Print Adverts: The Best Print Adverts Ever and select one of the print ads shown there.
Take apart the essay to determine not only what the ad is selling but HOW it’s selling the product.
Develop an essay that analyzes how the advertisement works. Your essay must contain the following elements
What the essay includes

1. An introduction paragraph that includes a clear thesis statement

Be sure your thesis lays out the full scope of your essay.

2. A full description of the ad. You might want to explain the following:

How it looks
Who or what the ad features (celebrities, items, etc)
What colors are used in the ad
What artistic techniques are used in the ad.

3. A discussion of the target audience: At whom is this ad targeted?

Consider the sex, age, race, class, education, marital status, etc.
Do not say the ad is for everyone. If you can’t specifically define the audience, pick a different ad.

4. An explanation of the explicit and implicit sales targets

What values, attitudes, and/or beliefs does the ad perpetuate?
What does the ad tell us about modern culture?
What “hidden ideas” may be in the ad that is easily overlooked?

Example: The Marlboro cigarette ad explicitly sells cigarettes, but it implicitly sells strength and traditional ideas of masculinity to American males.

Your essay would then need to show how the ad works implicitly to make an audience think of strength and traditional concepts of masculinity.

5. An explanation of the rhetorical strategy the ad uses: Does this ad use ethos, logos, or pathos? Does it demonstrate a logical fallacy?

6. A Conclusion paragraph

This is a good place to summarize your overall findings and restate (not repeat) your thesis.
A call to action or overall approval or disapproval of the ad might go here as well.

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