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Does the visual message and the nonverbal codes match the verbal message?

Being a critical consumer of messages is more important than ever in the increasingly mediated society that we live in. This means being able to analyze all messages for purpose, audience, intended message and effectiveness. The skills learned from analyzing media messages can also be used in analyzing all messages – whether the messages are from the mass media, CMC, coworkers, our children, other family members, friends or other sources. You will need to analyze messages for purpose, audience and intended message.

First, what you need to do is to view at least 5 advertisements (commercials) on the television or Internet. You will probably need to watch the ad more than once.

Then, analyze the advertisements and explain your thoughts on the following questions. Provide specific examples and information from the class material to support your analysis.

Each explanation of the five advertisements (ad) should be in this format and include these elements:

1. What is the product/ service of the ad?
2. Where did you see the ad? Medium, time, day and other information (TV or Internet site, etc.) Note: If from an Internet site – needs to be an ad with both visual and audio elements (not just a written ad).
3. Who do you think is the intended audience?
4. Does the ad seem to adhere to basic ethical standards of persuasion in terms of forthrightness, completeness and honesty? Or does it use manipulation? In general, is the ad ethical or not. Explain with specific examples.
5. Does the visual message and the nonverbal codes match the verbal message? Explain why or why not with specific examples from the ad.
6. What is the goal of the advertisement? Is it successful? Explain with specific examples from the ad.
7. What are the strengths of the advertisement?
8. What are the weaknesses?
9. Did this ad work for you? Explain why or why not with specific examples from the ad.

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