2 parts creating and selling your campaign and analyzing your


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Part I. Creating and Selling Your Campaign (25 points)

You will design and present an advertising campaign for an imaginary product. Be creative! You will present your campaign to the class via a post in our final discussion (depending on the format you choose, your post will include a video, several print ads, or a link to a website. Consider our final discussion a chance for a “sales pitch”; present the campaign as though you are advertising executives seeking to land a client. In your post, tell us what TV network and time slot, stretch of highway, viewing demographic, or magazine is the ideal place for your ad. Then post your ads. 

You may choose ONE of the following ad formats. Whichever format you choose, make sure the ad(s) informs us about the product (what it is and does.)

  • Shoot two commercials. Make two video commercials for your product. Each commercial should be at least thirty seconds long.
  • Create a website. After researching the websites of several products similar to yours, design a website that both advertises your product and informs visitors about its attributes.
  • Design a series of print ads. Make three billboards or three print ads for a magazine.

This project is designed to make you think critically about what cultural products have to say about our culture(s). While inventing your product and planning your campaign, consider cultural mythologies you or your viewers may hold, either consciously or unconsciously. You may choose to incorporate and enhance one of these worldviews in order to zone in upon a certain audience.

Hint: The more manipulative your ad, the more you will have to analyze in your final essay. Your campaign does not have to be corrupt or manipulative, but this is an easy way to have an arguable thesis! (see below).

You will post the ads to our final discussion, on the next page. 

Part II. Analyzing Your Campaign (75 points)

Along with your presentation, you will submit a four-to-five-page essay as the last essay assignment for the course. This essay will interpret the “signs” of your own ad, much in the same way you practiced in the first two essays for this course.

VERY IMPORTANT: When you write the essay, you are NO LONGER “SELLING” THE PRODUCT. Instead, you are critiquing an ad campaign (that you designed) like you did in Essay #1. Refer back to the “two rules” of semiotic analysis from our first two essays in order to arrive at a thesis: “Everything is Connected” and “Question Authority.” What social or political trends appear in the campaign, either overtly or subliminally? What subversive, manipulative, or even disturbing elements appear in the ad, elements to which you, the advertisers, would resist admitting? Or, simply, to which trends or beliefs is this campaign “connected”? You may also find the following questions helpful in supporting your thesis; you are not required to answer all of these!

  1. Who is the intended audience?
  2. What sort of characters/ images are used? Why were they chosen?
  3. What segments of the public might be ignored or alienated by this ad? Why?
  4. Does the ad have an elitist or populist appeal; that is, toward which social class is it targeted?
  5. What is the ad selling besides the product?
  6. What is the tone of the ad? How is the tone created?
  7. What image does the ad attempt to create for this product?
  8. Why will this ad be effective in persuading its target audience to buy the product?
  9. How does the ad use metaphor?
  10. How do such elements as color, body language, camera movement, copy, subliminal images, etc., support the campaign’s goal?

Above all, create a project that interests and engages you!

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