Essay 2: Analysis Synthesis
For this assignment, you will write an analysis synthesis essay. However, you will choose one of the following options:
· Select a category of three advertisements (e.g. cigarettes, alcohol, jeans, etc.) from different time periods. For example, you might select a cigarette ad from the 1940s, another from the 1970s, and one from the 2000s. Compare and contrast the types of appeals underlying these ads, as discussed by Fowles. To what extent do you notice significant shifts of appeal from the past to the present? Which types of appeal seem to you most effective with particular product categories? Is it more likely, for example, that people will buy cigarettes because they want to feel autonomous or because cigarettes will make them more attractive to the opposite sex.
· Select three ads in different product categories that all appear to rely on the same primary appeal–perhaps the appeal to sex or the appeal to affiliation. Compare and contrast the overall strategies of these ads. Draw upon Fowles and Boveé et al. to develop your ideas. To what extent do your analyses support argument often made by social critics (and advertising people) that what people are really buying is the image, rather than the product?
· Discuss how a selection (three) ads or television commercials that reveals shifting cultural attitudes over the past six decades toward either (1) gender relations; (2) romance between men and women; (3) smoking; or (4) automobiles. In the case of 1 or 2, the ads do not have to be for the same category of product. In terms of their underlying appeal, in terms of the implicit or explicit messages embodied both in the text and the graphics, how and to what extent do the ads reveal that attitudes of the target audiences have changed over the years?
· Select a TV commercial or a TV ad campaign (for example, for Sprint phone service, Progressive insurance, etc.) and analyze the commercial(s) in terms of Fowles’ categories, as well as the discussion of Bovée et al. To what extent do the principles discussed by these authors apply to broadcast, as well as to print ads? What are the special requirements of TV advertising?
· Find a small group of ads that rely upon little or no body copy–just a graphic, perhaps a headline, and the product name. What common features underlie the marketing strategies of such ads? What kinds of appeals do they make? How do their graphic aspects compare? What makes the need for text superfluous? You may draw from Fowles and/or Bovée et al. (Remember–you must use at least ONE of these sources).
· Many ads employ humor–in the graphics, in the body copy, or both–to sell a product. Examine one to three advertisements that rely on humor to make their appeal, and explain how they work. For example, do they play off an incongruity between one element of the ad and another (such as the basic message of the ad) and what we know or assume to be the case in the “real world”? Do they employ wordplay or irony? Do they picture people doing funny things (funny because inappropriate or unrealistic)? What appeal underlies the humor? Aggression? Sex? Nurturing? Based on your examination and analyses, what appear to be some of the more effective ways of employing humor?
Length: 1000 -1200 words (essays over 1200 words will not be graded), not including the title, Works Cited/Reference page, appropriate headings, and so on.
Font: 12 pica font (Times New Roman or Arial)
Format: Follow appropriate MLA- or APA-style formatting requirements.
Grading Criteria: Thesis, Development, Organization, Language Skills, and APA or MLA documentation and format.
Even though the essays will use sources I’ve posted to Moodle, a Works Cited page (MLA) or a References page (APA) is required. You will need to cite the sources you use, but NOT the ads or commercials you have found (As I will explain in class, these will be introduced in the essay’s body.). As with the first essay, outside research is not permitted–use the sources I have provided you with. Conducting outside research will result in an “F” on this essay. Remember, though, that the ads you choose can come from any source–from magazines, to image searches, to online videos, and so on.
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