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Ad Deconstruction

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  1. Ad Deconstruction Grade 10 Media Unit

  2. When considering Advertisement techniques there are 3 main areas to consider.. • The Message of the Ad • Composition of Pictorial and Ad Copy (Techno-Effects) • Summary Observations

  3. The Message of the Ad

  4. Where and when does the advertisement appear?   What is the size of the print ad or the length of the TV or radio commercial?   What product or service is the ad selling?  Background:

  5. Target Audience • For whom is this advertisement intended?   • What is  the age, sex, social class, values and life-styles of the intended audience?  • What details suggest this particular audience?

  6. How does the ad get our attention? What is happening in the ad -- many ads tell stories. What "problems" will the product solve?   What are the advertisers trying to get you to believe?  Hook and Story:

  7. Some advertisements provide you with knowledge about a given product, but many ads say nothing about the actual product.  What actual knowledge/facts, or lack of, have been provided in the ad? For example, car advertisements focus on mileage, acceleration, comfort and style. Primary Informational Message

  8. These are the messages that are designed to "seduce" the potential consumer.  The may take the form of appeals  to emotion, associations, or fear tactics.  They may appeal to the needs and desires of individuals such as: guilt, security, sensuousness, social interaction, self-improvement, community, cleanliness, get up and do, desire to own, status, power, the need to help others. Secondary Messages (techniques of structure): 

  9. What are the associations the ad makes with the product?   What are the advertisers trying to get you to believe?  What messages is the ad trying to send? 

  10. What techniques of language have been used in the ad?   What claims do the ads make? What are the claims really saying? Skin cancer advertisement -> Advertising Claims (techniques of language):

  11. Composition of Pictorial and Ad Copy (Techno-Effects)

  12. What people (number, male or female, age, etc),   animals, animated characters are used in the ad? Characters:

  13. What place, decor, time of day, era, lighting, natural or artificial surroundings mark the ad? Setting: 

  14. What words ( whether written or spoken), slogans or catchy phrases, and logos are used?  How many times does the name of the product appear?   Or how many times is it spoken?  What is the location and prominence of the product itself in the ad?  How are captions used to attract your attention?   Copy: 

  15. Sound: • What voice (male or female),  music, natural noises, special sound effects are used?

  16. How are the elements in the picture arranged?   Is there any blank space?  Does the ad contain juxtaposition ( seemingly unrelated items placed close together or side by side)?   Visual:

  17. Who or what is being emphasized?   What are the facial expressions?  What is the message connected to body language?  Who or what is in the foreground?  Background?  What details may have been left out?

  18. Every color suggests a mood or tone.   Is the color bright and cheerful?    Warm and comforting?  Cool and professional?  What kind of lighting has been incorporated:  top lighting, side lighting, bottom lighting, back lighting artificial lighting, or natural lighting? ( Link to camera angles and shots) Color and Lighting:

  19. What camera angles have been used -- close up, long shot, looking up (low angle shot) or down (high angle shot), looking in or out, sharing a person's perspective (eye-level shot).  (link to cameral angles and shots) Point of View

  20. What clothing, jewelry, price tags and other details are displayed in the ad.  Remember that every detail has been chosen for a purpose. Details and Accessories

  21. Summary Observations

  22. What are the intended effects of the ad?  What are the products trying to do?  Identify the unintended effects of the ad.  What other meanings (oppositional readings) could audiences construct from the ad? Intended and Unintended Effects

  23. What information is withheld from the audience?  Labor involved? Resources Used?  Environment Issues?   Health concerns? etc... What the Ad Does Not Show

  24. Personal Reaction: • How effective is the ad? Why does it work?   not work?   Does the ad conform to the advertising codes in existence?   What codes are violated?  Is this ad controversial?  Does the ad use shock value through sexual means or by raising social issues?