A) Choose an advertising campaign (not a singular advertisement) for a particular product or service that has print and video ads and do a deep semiotic reading discussing how you think culture is being reflected (and perhaps affected) by the campaign. What cultural myths/beliefs (like conspicuous consumption, the American Dream, individualism and dissent, etc.) is the ad campaign perpetuating or deconstructing? What stereotypes (about race, class, gender, sexual orientation) is the campaign perpetuating or deconstructing?
How is the advertiser using culture to sell the product? (Think about Robert's essay about the culture of conspicuous consumption or Frank’s essay using the culture of dissent/counterculture).
How is the product marketing to specific demographics?
Are there different types of ads for the same product targeting different demographics?
Analyze the ads using the questions on page 30. Are the ads appealing more to logic, emotion, or credibility?
Is the campaign exploiting stereotypes or deconstructing them? (Think of Craig’s essay).
Essay should be 4-6 double-spaced pages in MLA format. You must use at least one quote from three different readings from this unit.
Should have a title that states topic and hints at thesis.
Introduction should begin with 3-5 sentences introducing the topic of how culture influences and is influenced by consumer society and marketing techniques as well as introduce the specific campaign you are going to analyze.
A thesis statement should end the introduction making an analytical argument about that particular campaign (What do you think the campaign says about our culture? Or how do you think our culture is impacted by the campaign? What similarities/differences do the ads show about culture? Or…?)
Body paragraphs should begin with clearly articulated topic sentences that develop individual points helping to support your overall thesis.
Evidence should describe the ads and be connected to quotes from essays in the unit when appropriate.
Conclusion should bring these individual points back to the overall thesis and make it clear why it is important to understand not only the argument you made for this particular campaign, but how that helps inform a more conscientious observer of all public discourse.
Edit carefully for grammar, spelling, punctuation.
Submit a basic outline of what you plan to write for Essay #1First. Put enough information so that it makes sense to you and you will know basically what you plan to write in each of the body paragraphs. Make sure to begin with your thesis at the top; each of the body paragraphs should connect back to that thesis in one way or another.
Here is an example:
While the current advertising campaign for Nike’s Air Jordan shoes seems to be connecting with aspirational sentiments of our current culture while hoping to show connection between their product and personal empowerment, the status symbol that Jordans have held in particular communities shows potentially dangerous and exploitative undercurrent.
Body 1 – Aspirational Tone of Ads
--Connecting success of Jordan w/ Success of Consumer
--Drake Ad – “Winning mentality”
Body 2 – Slogans
--Lean and Twist – Connection to Lean In (Westbrook Ad)
--Rise Above – Discuss as Political Slogan
Body 3 – Demographics of Ads (quote from Craig)
--Gender (Quote from Frank)
Body 4 – Status Symbol (Quote from Roberts)
--Compare to luxury items like watches, houses, boats
--Macklemore Song “Wing$”
--Look up reports of crimes involving stealing Jordans
Body 5 – Exploitation of Nostalgia
--1989 Print Ad
Conclusion – Show nuance of positive aspects mixed with negative
The advertising industry spends countless hours and millions of dollars developing marketing strategies and shaping the way and place in which a person will view their ad. However, within the realm of advertisements, there appears to be a fundamental difference in the way that cultures are portrayed. Additionally, the design schemes of ads that are targeted towards a specific goal apart from increasing the promotion and the name of the organization. This essay will discuss how advertisements have championed or showcased culture in its various dimensions as will be seen throughout the paper