1. Which of Jib Fowles’ appeals does the advertisement utilize? How, specifically, does
it use them? In other words, provide the how, the why, and the what … (note: if you
can’t find any appeals that work with the advertisement, then choose another
2. What branding strategy (from Klein’s article) does the advertisement use (what
lifestyle is it promoting)? Branding is often expressed with a few short words that
highlight that lifestyle (e.g. Nike uses “Just Do It). (note: if you can’t find any
branding in the advertisement, then choose another advertisement).
3. What is the general ambience of the advertisement? What mood does it create? How
does it do this?
4. What is the design of the advertisement? Does it use axial balance or some other
form? How are the basic components or elements arranged?
5. What is the relationship between pictorial elements and written material and what
does this tell us?
6. What is the use of space in the advertisement? Is there a lot of ‘white space” or is it
full of graphic and written elements?
7. What signs and symbols do we find? What role do they play in the ad’s impact?
8. If there are figures (men, women, children, animals) what are they like? What can be
said about their facial expressions, poses, hairstyle, age, sex, hair color, ethnicity,
education, occupation, relationships (of one to the other)?
9. What does the background tell us? Where is the advertisement taking place and what
significance does this background have?
10. What action is taking place in the advertisement and what significance does it have?
(This might be described as the ad’s “plot.”)
11. What theme or themes do we find in the advertisement? What is it about? (The plot of
an advertisement may involve a man and a woman drinking but the theme might be
jealousy, faithlessness, ambition, passion, etc.)
12. What about the language used? Does it essentially provide information or does it try to
generate some kind of emotional response? Or both? What techniques are used by the
copywriter: humor, alliteration, definitions” of life, comparisons, sexual innuendo, and
13. What typefaces are used and what impressions do they convey?
14. What is the item being advertised and what role does it play in American culture and
15. What about aesthetic decisions? If the advertisement is a photograph, what kind of a
shot is it? What significance do long shots, medium shots, close-up shots have? What
about the lighting, use of color, angle of the shot?
16. What sociological, political, economic or cultural attitudes are indirectly reflected in the
advertisement? An advertisement may be about a pair of blue jeans but it might,
indirectly, reflect such matters as sexism, alienation, stereotyped thinking,
conformism, generational conflict, loneliness, elitism, and so on.
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