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  1. 1. WHAT IS MEDIA LITERACY?MODULE 2: Advertising
  2. 2. Lesson Outcomes• In this lesson students will: ▫ Look at the relationship between media literacy and advertising. ▫ Understand the definition of advertising and how to evaluate different advertisements. ▫ Learn common techniques used to advertise.
  3. 3. Introductory Discussion• Now that you have a basic understanding of media literacy, think about how it is relevant to advertising in our society.• Discuss your thoughts among the class.
  4. 4. What is Advertising?• According to, Advertising is “the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc.” ▫ “Especially by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, etc.”• Advertising is primarily done through different aspects of the media, which brings in the need for media literacy.
  5. 5. Class Activity• Pair up with another student. You will be given two magazines of different genres and you will flip through each looking for advertisements. Find examples of three advertisements that portray different products/services, genders, races, etc.• Now, write a summary for each ad with your partner about what each advertisement is selling and the techniques that you think the company is using to entice consumers.• Think critically about each advertisement and put yourself in the place of the company.
  6. 6. Continued• Evaluating Advertisements: ▫ Here are some questions you should’ve thought about while analyzing your advertisements:  What is the product/service is being advertised?  Who made this advertisement/who is selling it?  What is the message for consumers?  Is it possible for different people to get a different message out of the advertisement? For example, does the advertisement work differently for men vs. women? Older ages vs. younger ages?
  7. 7. Advertising Techniques • AVANTE GARDE: Implies that using this product/service puts the consumer “ahead of the times”. • Encourages consumers to be “the first” • FACTS/FIGURES: Statistics and factual information that proves the superiority of a product/service. • WEASEL WORDS: Words that suggest a positive meaning without actually making a guarantee. • MAGIC INGREDIENTS: Claims that “some almost miraculous discovery” will make this product/service “exceptionally effective”.
  8. 8. Advertising Techniques• PATRIOTISM: Implying that this product/service “shows your love of your country”. • Bragging that the product is made in America.• DIVERSION: These ads appear to tackle a problem, but then throw in an emotional distraction.• TRANSFER: Words with positive connotations that can suggest positive qualities should be associated with the product/service.• PLAIN FOLKS: The product/service is practical, of good value, and for “ordinary people”.
  9. 9. Advertising Techniques• SNOB APPEAL: Using this product/service will make the consumer “part of an elite group with a luxurious and glamorous life style.• BRIBERY: Giving a “desirable extra something”; most consumers tend to be greedy.• TESTIMONIAL: A celebrity or famous personality endorses the product/service.• WIT AND HUMOR: Making the audience laugh or entertaining them with “clever use of visuals or language” is likely to attract consumers.
  10. 10. Advertising Techniques• SIMPLE SOLUTIONS: Avoiding complexities and “attacking many problems to one solution”.• CARD STACKING: “Stacking the cards in favor of the product”; Stressing the positive qualities of the product/service and ignoring the negative.• GLITTERING GENERALITIES: Using appealing words and images to sell the product/service.• BANDWAGON: “Exploiting the desire of most people to join the crowd or be on the winning side”; The popularity of a product is important to most.
  11. 11. Advertising Techniques• Every advertisement that you see, whether it is printed in a magazine or on a billboard, or a commercial on T.V., is very well thought out by the company and advertisers. No part of the advertisement is a mistake!• With this in mind, it is important to be media literate in terms of advertisements. If you do not understand the techniques previously listed, it is more likely that you will be manipulated into purchasing a product/service because of it’s advertisements.• Each day the average consumer is bombarded with 5,000 ADS!!
  12. 12. What are Advertisements Even Selling?• The majority of advertisements do not even sell the product/service, rather they try to sell “what people want”. ▫ Associate some kind of good quality with the product/service. ▫ Use sexual appeal and the physical appearance and attractiveness of men and women.• Advertisements largely focus on what the product/service will bring you, with an idea that is unrelated.
  13. 13. Advertisement Examples• In 1971, the McDonald’s campaign “You deserve a break today” was released. ▫ Advertising Age called it the number 1 jingle.• Creator Keith Reinhard said that “the consumer was not looking for a better hamburger. They were looking for a break.” ▫ Rather than selling McDonald’s food, the campaign sold the idea of getting “a break” when you purchase McDonald’s., JOUR175 LECTURE)

  14. 14. Advertisement ExamplesThese advertisements barely mention or show the product/service they are “selling”.
  15. 15. Advertisement Examples Selling the idea that if you buy this product, you will look like the models, live this glamorous life style, get an attractive female by your side, etc.
  16. 16. Assignment 2:• Choose a well-known advertising campaign that has been running for at least 10-15 years. Look back at the company’s advertising history and write a two page essay about how the company has changed its advertising campaign to adapt to the evolving technology.• Be sure to incorporate the relevant advertising techniques mentioned prior and discuss whether the campaign sells the product/service or other qualities that would come along with purchasing the product/service.