assignment 1-3: rhetorical analysis of an advertisement

Due: Friday September 15
Format: Please post this assignment on the Ning forum entitled “English 101: Rhetorical Analysis of an Advertisement.” Also please bring a printed (hard) copy so we can work with the assignment in class on Friday. See the bottom of this post for instructions on how to post your assignment to the Ning if you need help.

Introduction: This assignment builds on what you have been reading about rhetorical analysis by asking you to practice this type of analysis in a short essay. Earlier this week, you worked on a rhetorical analysis of a space, asking how the space shaped or influenced how occupants would think, feel, or behave. In this assignment, you will ask similar questions about one magazine advertisement.

Guidelines: Write a short (1.5 – 2 pgs) essay in which you analyze an advertisement rhetorically. To prepare for the assignment, we will do the following in class (see handout):

  • Suspend judgment
  • Create a “notice and focus” list about the advertisement
  • Find any patterns of repetition and contrast
  • Find any anomalies—things that seem unusual, that seem not to fit the pattern

Once we have completed these steps, you will be ready to move from “composing to learn” TO “composing to communicate.” Your purpose in writing is to interpret the ad and inform your readers about the ad’s implications or underlying message. Your essay should include these elements:

  • A summary of the ad for readers who have not seen it
  • The ad’s target audience
  • The purpose of the ad
  • Strategies the ad uses to reach the audience
  • Specific evidence to support your claims
  • A thesis statement

These elements do not have to be in this order, nor do they have to be in separate paragraphs. For example, you may take a single paragraph to develop a sense of the ad’s purpose and target audience, since these are so closely related.

Structure your essay as a response to these questions if you need help getting started:

  • Who is the target audience, and how do you know? What did you notice in the ad that would help you identify the intended audience? (see questions for audience analysis handed out in class)
  • How is this audience being invited to respond? What does the ad hope the audience will think, feel, or do after seeing the ad?
  • What strategies is the ad adding using to achieve this purpose in a specific larger and/or immediate context?
  • Do you think those strategies would be effective, given the ad’s purpose, audience, and context? (the answer to this question may be the kernel of a good thesis statement.)

If you have typed your analysis in a Word document, you should first select the text of your analysis. Click “copy.” Then return to the Ning. In the main page, you will see a list of forums. Our forum is clearly labeled. Click the forum titled, “Rhetorical Analysis of an Advertisement.” Be sure you are replying to the correct topic for our class. Then, a text box appears. Click in the box, under “Reply to This.” Right-click “paste” to paste the contents of your analysis. Then click “add reply” below the text box.

2 thoughts on “assignment 1-3: rhetorical analysis of an advertisement

  1. Hi since my Ning has to be approved and its friday, which is when the assignment is due, I’m going to post assignment 1-3 on here as well so that you know I did it on time. If thats alright.

    Rachel Hegland

    A young hot chick is heading out to the club on Friday night. She has her little black dress, her hot pink lip stick on, and her minivan to roll up in style. Not just any minivan however, but a 2008 Entourage minivan. Yes it is official; the minivan has now attempted to become the new sexy slick ride.
    The persona of the minivan is perceived as the ideal and picturesque ride for the American family. This automobile has aided soccer moms everywhere in driving their children and their entire carpooling friends. It has provided the space to the family luggage for a trip to grandmas or Disney World. The point is, the minivan has never been conceived as the idyllic ride for the twenty some party girl.
    Yet, I have in front of me, an advertisement of Hyundai’s 2008 Entourage; the modern caravan for any hip, happening, young, and fancy free female. This sassy advertisement provides a new feel for the minivan with enticing upbeat colors, trendy lingo, and a sexy atmosphere.
    What took my initial notice in this image was the euphoria of bright colors. The creators of this advertisement did job well done in generating an elated and lusty sense of the minivan to their audience by means of glowing hot pinks, purples, and reds. Instead of using scenery or drab colors, they provided a hip young feel that only a wild girl in her mid-twenties would be induced by.
    In the advertisement there is also a large Y. The ad says, “Y can’t a minivan go perfectly with your little black dress?” The catchy quote provides a sense of youth, primarily the large Y. The ad does not bother to spell out the word why, and why would they? Young people do not text in such big words, so the ad relates to the young adult by communicating by using hip dialect. Hyundai is trying to appeal to today’s youth that the minivan is down to drive in any scene.
    Out of all the tactics of persuasion used in this ad, the lip stick glossing across the lips of a chick with a gold tooth that is licking her lips as well, is bewildering. Indeed the bright colors and little black dress picture states a bold contrast to the uses of a minivan, but this image takes it to a whole other level. The creators not only wanted a cool feel to the minivan but a sexual one at that. The gold tooth indicates that a girl who gets into trouble would look very stylish rolling around in a minivan.
    In conclusion, it is very clear what the people at Hyundai intended in this ad. They wanted the viewer to have a new sense of the minivan and that it should not just be exclusive to the soccer moms and the big families. A new era has come where the minivan will out-style the corvette, and driving your mom’s minivan to school will no longer be humiliating.

  2. 50 Cent vs. Reebok

    This Reebok ad is intend to sell Reebok as a brand not anything specific. The advertisement is split into two different pictures.On the left side there is a picture of 50 cent a known rapper and spokes person. This is the first image you see at first glance of the advertisement. This Ad is made to be read from left to right. HIs face looks serious showing that he his serious about about advertising this product. It also looks like it could be consider a mug shot. 50 cent is a well know spokes person and can be recognized by majority of the population who look into media.
    The target market for this advertisement would be males ages His past is represented by his rapping career. When he first came into the media he was focused on crime, money and girls in his songs. Now looking at this advertisement in 2011 he is promoting himself as a well known business man. He is representing how far he has come into the rap game.
    He is the creator of vitamin water and also a spokes person for Reebok and other major companies. He is a great representation of rags to riches and taking chances. Therefore making the reader think by wearing Reebok they to can take a chance and become just as powerful. The picture also is dark around the edges bringing a suspenseful feel not knowing where the picture was taken. Almost looking like a mug shot, this also making the reader think they will be as tough as him wearing this product. He has an army hat on sideways with a matching wife beater while wearing a long chain. When people look at camouflage the first reaction is army toughness and that Reebok is just as tough as 50 cent and the army combined.
    There is a quote connecting the two pictures that says ” i am what i am ” in a sophisticated font. This is saying that he is representing himself wearing Reebok and anyone else can represent them selves as promoting and wearing reebok too. This set Rebook apart from competitors like Nike saying ” Just Do It”. Reebok wants to set them selves apart by promoting individualism and that anyone can create there own image wearing Reebok. On the right side of the advertisement there is another quote by 50 Cent saying “Where I am from, there is no plan B. So, take advantage of today because tomorrow is not promised.” This powerful statement that has been said in many different context. By Reebok saying this they are trying to say that who knows what tomorrow brings if there even is a tomorrow. They want you to take advantage of there product now because no one knows what tomorrow brings.
    In the background on the right side of the advertisement there is finger prints like on a police report. This is representing where 50 Cent has come from. He spent hard time and now being out of jail he can appreciate life in society. There is a select target market that is able to relate to this. Anyone who has been in jail or spent anytime can connect with 50 Cent and his experiences and think that if he can do it then anyone can.

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