We live in a world of visual stimulation. In the car, on the metro, or strolling through town, we absorb the invitations to look, buy, do, react, often unconsciously. Because we are so accustomed to the barrage of media stimulation that blankets billboards or floats across our screens, we often take for granted our media savvy. Part of becoming more media literate is the ability to identify the techniques used by advertisers to persuade us. These techniques are the tools of advertisers to convince us to buy their product. Once you become familiar with them, you will see them all around you.
This lesson presents eight advertising techniques and several ads. After studying each technique, you can comment on their use in the ads below. After analyzing the ads, you can discuss the effects of them on their target audience. The case will be made that advertising can lead to social progress. This lesson is similar in many respects to the lesson on propaganda techniques and anti-drug campaigns on this Subject Site titled 'Just say no!' You may want to take a similar approach and organize several ads around a particular theme in order to enhance your understanding of a particular topic for Part 2.
8 advertising techniques
Below you see eight advertising techniques. They may already make sense to you. Try defining these terms in relation to advertising before clicking through to the glossary. How close is your understanding of the term to the one provided in the glossary?
|Advertisement||What kinds of advertising techniques are used and to what effects?|
|German Coast Guard|
|MTV global warming ad|
|Party All Night|
Below you see several ads. For each ad, state which techniques are being used, by filling out a table like the one above
German Coast Gaurd
Sussex Safer Roads
Party All Night
Drug Free World
The ads in this lesson were selected carefully, as they claim to improve you or the world in some way. This brings up several discussion points worth considering as a class or in groups.
Can advertising change the world for the better? If so, how can they do this?
Do advertisers have a responsibility to promote social progress?
How have advertisements changed in the past 10, 25 or 100 years? What does this say about this history of mankind or the progress of a nation?
Find an ad on YouTube that might instigate social progress. Present this to the class in a mini-presentation. Explain how this ad instigates social progress.
Written task 1 - After studying a particular ad campaign closely, write a letter to its art director, praising or condemning his or her use of various advertising techniques to achieve certain ends. Be sure that the written task meets the learning outcomes for Part 2
Further oral activity - Pretend that you are the art director of a particular ad campaign, such as that of Calvin Klein, Benetton or even 'Got Milk?' Ask a classmate to interview you for your further oral activity. Remember that you must demonstrate your understanding of the original ads in your interview.