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Assignment: Ad Analysis or Adbusting!

Blog Post Category 8. Adbusting (2 points)
Due by NOON on Monday April 2

Assignment Details: In American society (and increasingly in other Western and non-Western countries), children and adults alike are being socialized by the mass media as well as by parents, peers, schools, and other institutions. Advertising is a particularly interesting medium because it is meant to turn a profit. Much money is spent to induce you, the consumer, to have certain emotions and to feel certain needs. Advertisements can be viewed as very effective tools of socialization that suggest the statuses that are available within a society. They can also give insight into the values of a society.

Use About-Face.org as a resource

In this assignment you are asked to examine an advertisements in popular magazines and select one to bring to class). You must consider the following questions and write a 150 - 300 word post, OR, create (and post or bring to class) an ADBUSTER like the one you see below.

Questions to consider for your short analysis post:
1) What magazines did you examine? At what audience is each directed? How can you tell?

2) What roles in society are defined by these ads? Are they represented in any way that defines who (i.e., race, class, gender, age, ethnicity) should be in these roles?

3) What emotions are being elicited by these ads?

4) How is beauty portrayed in these ads?

5) What do these ads have to say about gender? What gendered norms are reinforced by these ads?

6) How might these ads be different from ads of the past? For example, can you see changing attitudes about men and women's work? Have ideas of beauty shifted—even in your lifetime?

7) Do you think these ads contribute to the gendered "problems" of eating disorders, sexual victimization, or cosmetic surgery? What would today's author have to say about what you found?



Here are other examples:
Adbusters spoof ads
Feministing has some in "Fun with Feminist Flickr" category

* NOTE * You may choose to write a post AND do an adbusting example for extra credit.


I love this doctored ad above. Whether feminist or mainstream this counter culture of media advertising is often collectively called culture jamming. For more great examples check out the linked wiki article, and look up the original culture jammers such as 'andre the giant has a posse', 'obey' and the 'yes men'.

As for manufacturing cultural ideology. . . no one shows it better than noam chomsky in manufacturing consent. Check out the full movie here on google videos.

This type of anti-consumerism is often called culture jamming. Check out that keyword string 'culture jamming' on wikipedia for more info. Also check out Noam Chomsky's manufacturing consent for a bit more detail.