Design Principles of Advertising and Communications

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  • A basic media literacy skill is “ deconstruction .” This is the careful and close analysis of a piece of media, looking beneath the surface – the characters, plot, language, etc. – to understand its deeper meanings. Any piece of media – a magazine ad, a sitcom, a conversation, a feature film, a TV commercial, or whatever – can be analyzed in this way. There is no one “correct” way to deconstruct a media example. One of the basic concepts of media literacy is that individuals construct their own meanings from media. This applies to the deconstruction process as well.
  • Analyzing ads is the easiest way to learn about all persuasion techniques. Ads are usually seen in carefully crafted packages (30-second spots on TV, radio, or in print) with coherent messages, involving simple transactions ("buy this"). Other kinds of persuasion (political, social, religious) are harder to analyze because the subjects are more complex, the emotional issues are more involving, and we experience them in bits and fragments (in headlines, TV news, in random discussions) often edited by others .
  • Basic & Simple are the obvious stages to hook the TV viewer.. .
  • Recognize that a 30-second spot TV ad is a synthesis, the end-product of a long, complex, composition process. Many specialists (writers, researchers, editors, psychologists, actors, artists, camera crews) may have spent months putting together the parts: every scene, every word, every image, every sound, every camera angle, every detail in the background. Ads targeted at kids (often using "cool" kids as the actors within the ad) are created by adults very specialized in their jobs. TV Ads: Use the 1-2-3-4-5 sequence of "the pitch" as a fingertip formula ( starting with your thumb ), as a useful memory device to organize your analysis: 1 . HI (attention-getting), 2. TRUST ME (confidence- building), 3. YOU NEED (desire-stimulating), 4. HURRY (urgency-stressing), 5. BUY (response- seeking). This sequence focuses your attention on the hidden superstructure , or the deep structure, common to all ads. Seek dominant impressions, but relate them to the whole. You can't analyze everything. So, focus on what seems (to you) to be the overall tone, or the general feeling, or the most noticeable, or the most interesting elements in an ad: for example, an intense urgency appeal, or a very strong authority figure , or a warm "feel good" emotional tone. By relating these to the overall context of "the pitch," your analysis can be systematic, yet flexible, appropriate to the situation.
  • Recognize surface variations. In 30 seconds, a TV ad may have 50 quick-cut shots of " good times " (happy people, sports fun, drinking cola); or 1 slow tracking scene of an old-fashioned sleigh ride through the woods, ending at "home," with a warm "Season's Greetings to Your Family" -- a " feel good " ad from an aerospace corporation; or a three-scene drama : a headache problem suffered by a "friend figure," with a solution offered by an "authority figure," and a final grateful smile from the relieved sufferer. But, the structure underneath is basically the same. Visuals imply. Nonverbals imply. They do not state explicit, rational messages. They imply or suggest emotional feelings and attitudes. Whenever visuals and nonverbals (or highly suggestive, vague words with multiple connotations) are used, different observers will infer different meanings. Thus, observers co-create. A message sender implies ; a receiver infers. Sometimes, we are set up to infer the wrong things, or to "jump to conclusions," set up for self-deception . Ads will not explicitly promise happiness, success, or popularity, but will show such scenes and let the visuals imply. Different ads have different target audiences . When ads are not linked to our own specific needs, either we tend to ignore them, or to find fault with them. Many people call some ads "stupid" because they don't realize that these ads are not targeted at them. Many people are so egocentric that they are unaware of the millions of other people in the audience.
  • Design Principles of Advertising and Communications

    1. 1. Advertising & Communication Design <ul><li>The Basics </li></ul>
    2. 2. Deconstructing an Ad <ul><li>Deconstruction: - careful and close analysis - Looking beneath the surface to deeper meanings - characters, plot, language, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>individuals construct their own meanings from media – individuals deconstruct meanings from media too! </li></ul>
    3. 3. Deconstructing an Ad <ul><li>You can use the following questions to quickly deconstruct a media example: · Who paid for the media? Why? · Who is being targeted? · What text, images or sounds lead you to this conclusion? · What is the text (literal meaning) of the message? · What is the subtext (unstated or underlying message)? · What kind of lifestyle is presented? Is it glamorized? How? · What values are expressed? · What tools or techniques of persuasion are used? · What story is not being told? · In what ways is this a healthy and/or unhealthy media message? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Steps for Analyzing Print Ads: <ul><li>Visually describe what you see in the ad (start with subject, move to text and then to colour & design) </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the overall mood of the ad. How does the advertiser create this mood? </li></ul><ul><li>If there are people or characters in the ad, describe them. What kind of scenario are they in (outdoors, in a car, laughing at a party, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Are any strong symbols used in the ad? <- this is actually a heady question, you are going to have to look and think hard about this as many symbols are so embedded that they are not obvious to the viewer. </li></ul><ul><li>What does the written text convey (meaning)? Is it effective? And what types of font are used in the ad? Why do you think the designer chose that specific font/face? </li></ul>
    5. 6. The Art of Persuasion <ul><li>Persuasion Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Analyzing ads is the easiest way to learn about all persuasion techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>carefully crafted packages > strong messages, </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;buy this“ </li></ul><ul><li>political, social, religious > more complex </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More involved emotional issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>experienced in bits and fragments screened by others </li></ul></ul>
    6. 8. Go to Adbusters.org and check out their ad spoofs https://www.adbusters.org/gallery/spoofads The great thing about spoof ads is they use the very same tools against the advertiser. Spoof ads often present a side of a product that is not generally advertised.
    7. 9. Advertising: “The Cave Art of the 20th Century” MM <ul><li>5 stage hooks of TV ads: </li></ul><ul><li>Attention Grabber (Hi!) </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence Building (Expert - often a voice over) </li></ul><ul><li>Desire Stimulator (tickles your ‘I NEED/WANT’ button) </li></ul><ul><li>Urgency Stressor (OMG - ‘You should go’) </li></ul><ul><li>Response Seeking (I want to buy that </li></ul>
    8. 10. Check out the following: <ul><li>ING Banking Ad </li></ul>
    9. 11. How to Analyze Ads .... <ul><li>Recognize that a 30-second spot TV ad is a synthesis, the end-product of a long, complex, composition process. </li></ul><ul><li>TV Ads: Use the 1-2-3-4-5 sequence of &quot;the pitch&quot; as a fingertip formula ( starting with your thumb ), as a useful memory device to organize your analysis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HI (attention-getting) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TRUST ME (confidence- building) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YOU NEED (desire-stimulating) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HURRY (urgency-stressing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUY (response- seeking). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Seek dominant impressions- focus on what seems (to you) to be the overall tone, the general feeling, the most noticeable, or most interesting elements in an ad </li></ul>
    10. 12. TV Ads <ul><li>Recognize surface variations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50 quick-cut shots of &quot; good times ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 slow tracking scene of an old-fashioned sleigh ride </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a three-scene drama : a problem suffered, solution offered and a final grateful smile </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visuals and Nonverbals suggest emotional feelings and attitudes. </li></ul><ul><li>Different ads have different target audiences </li></ul>Do different people all draw the same message from ads? Why or why not?
    11. 13. Pick and Dig <ul><li>Select one of the ads below to create a first time analysis. Have fun with it! </li></ul><ul><li>Coca Cola Ad </li></ul><ul><li>Coca Cola Super Bowl Ad </li></ul><ul><li>Chevy Super Bowl Ad &quot;Ain't We Got Love&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Isuzu Gemini Car Ad </li></ul><ul><li>Dove Evolution </li></ul>

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