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?
The following are just some questions to help you think about the types of abductive arguments you will make in your essay; you are not meant to follow them like an outline. Some may be more relevant than others to your particular arguments:
- 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).