Culture and Consumption

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

--Westbrook/Roberston Ad

Conclusion – Show nuance of positive aspects mixed with negative

Sample Answer

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

In the Federalist Papers, Number Seventy, distributed March Fifteenth, 1788, Alexander Hamilton stated, "A weak Executive infers a weak execution of the legislature. A weak execution is nevertheless another expression for a terrible execution; and an administration poorly executed, whatever it might be in principle, must be, practically speaking, an awful government." He contended that a solitary official, rather than an official gathering, would be an obviously better decision. He realized that it would be the most ideal approach.

At the point when Hamilton composed the federalist paper number seventy, America had quite recently split away from the English government and was framing how the administration was to be organized. At the point when he said a weak official, he implied a president who didn't have a lot of intensity and needed to impart capacity to an official board. He felt that a gathering of more than one official would prompt a more fragile government.

Hamilton had faith in the vitality of the official, a vigorous particular pioneer. He trusted it was fundamental to the network and remote assaults. He didn't need the ability to be weakened among many. He said this would deny individuals of two protections. One being the restriction of general sentiment: who do you consider responsible if there is more than one individual in control and one of the people accomplishes something incorrectly? On the off chance that there is more than one individual in the workplace and something turns out badly, individuals could point fingers on one another. On another hand, if there is one president we realize who to fault, and can expel that individual from office.

He likewise believed that mystery in one individual official was satisfactory, particularly in the midst of war. In spite of the fact that antiquarians, for example, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. thought much in an unexpected way. He accepted that this sort of official mystery would at last lead to the ability to retain, spill, and the ability to lie. A case of this is the manner by which Eisenhower concealed CIA activities. "The ability to retain and the ability to spill drove on relentlessly to the ability to lie. The mystery framework ingrained in the official branch the possibility that international strategy was nobody's the same old thing, spare its own, and the uncontrolled mystery made it simple for misleading become schedule. It was in this soul that Eisenhower hid the CIA tasks it was mounting against governments around the globe." (Khan Academy)

In spite of the fact that Hamilton had the correct thought for having a solitary official as president, we can see that our ancestors were insightful enough to incorporate the Legislative and Judicial Branches to check and adjust their official. One case of this is the twenty-second revision, which takes into account close to two terms, four years each in an administration. President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt served four terms during the extraordinary sadness. As a response, on March Twenty-Fourth, 1947, Congress changed the Constitution. A subsequent model is the War Powers Act of 1973, in which Congress and the Legislative Branch casted a ballot and pondered that a president couldn't submit the United States to war without the assent of the U.S. Congress.

In the Federalist Papers, Number Seventy, Alexander Hamilton contends having a solitary official as our leader is fundamental for a flourishing republic. This president is a lively power whose extreme astuteness will lead the country while tolerating the exhortation, advice, and analysis of different branches. The Legislative and Judicial Branches serve to check and adjust this person as not to enable that person to have complete maltreatment of intensity.