METHODOLOGY and VOCABULARY TO ANALYSE AN ADVERT

METHODOLOGY

INTRODUCTION

COMMENTARY

CONCLUSION

CONNOTATIONS

 

 

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GENERAL PLAN

I. INTRODUCTION: Presenting the document

  • What
  • Who
  • When / Where
  • What for

II. COMMENTARY

u DESCRIBING THE GENERAL LAYOUT

  • illustration
  • catchphrase
  • text/caption
  • logo
  • brand name
  • slogan

v ANALYSING THE ADVERTISEMENT

  • What is / are the most important elements in this ad?
  • How is the attention of the reader attracted?
  • What approach does the advertiser adopt?
  • What motivations or needs are targeted?
  • What are the ad-man's intentions?

III. CONCLUSION 

  • What is the impact on the reader?
  • Is the aim of the advertiser reached and why?
  • What is your personal opinion?

 

 


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I - INTRODUCTION: PRESENTING THE DOCUMENT

 

What is the product advertised ?

Who is the promoter ?

This document is a full page advertisement. It is an English / American advert.

It was produced by a Bank / an Insurance Company / a political party

When did this ad appear ?

It is an advert which appeared recently / in the sixties / in the eighties...

Where did it probably appear ?

It probably appeared in a magazine / a newspaper / on a billboard

Who is the target ?

·       It mainly addresses

teenagers / men / women / an elite / a special social group ...

·       It is aimed at

mothers / parents / teenagers / children ...

·       It is meant to reach

teenagers / middle-aged men ...

What is it for ? This advert is aimed at 
  • making people buy
  • informing
  • convincing
  • promoting

 

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II - COMMENTARY: DESCRIBING AND ANALYSING THE ADVERTISEMENT

 

u§ DESCRIBING THE GENERAL LAYOUT

   

Connotations and useful vocabulary

ILLUSTRATION The nature of the illustration It is presented in the form of a cartoon / a drawing / a photograph
 

The structure

characters / objects / setting / time

in the foreground / in the background / in the middle /

on the left / on the right; we can see / guess...

     
 

Camera angles

·   a close-up, a long distance shot

·The subject is seen 

-from above (1) downward view 

-from below (2) an upward view 

· The horizon is close, far away (3)

 

 

Major lines

 

·       There are many vertical/ horizontal/ diagonal lines (4)

·       There is a sense of perspective given by...

·       There is a feeling of movement suggested by...

 

 

 

(1) If the subject is seen from a high-angle shot (downward), it makes him appear smaller, unimportant and even ridiculous.  

(2) If the subject is seen from a low-angle shot (upward), it makes him appear taller and bigger and it can make him look more impressive.

(3)  -

       - A high horizon makes the viewer feel claustrophobic.

 

(4)  An X composition generates a feeling of order and stability.

·      If the vertical lines are apparent, there is a movement towards the sky and spirituality.

·     If the horizontal lines  predominate, there is a connotation of materialism.

·       A harmonious combination of vertical and horizontal lines results in an impression of peacefulness and calm.

·         A picture containing no lines, no bearings may create an impression of anxiety or even anguish.

 

Space distribution

The way surface is distributed in the picture gives more (less) importance to an element.

 
 

Referential images

characters / objects

  • can be  // can give

  •  is / are presented as

    • an obvious reference to our cultural background (ex : The Mona Lisa)

    • a slightly distorted image of...

    • a parody of...

 

Colours / setting / time references

They can symbolise

·  ideas

·  feelings

·  concepts

·      red can suggest blood / anguish

·       blue can symbolise the sea / the sky /peace

·      black may remind us of death

·      green is a symbol of nature, hope

·       sea and sun suggest summer time and holidays

·       night is synonymous with fear

CATCHPHRASE

It attracts the attention of the reader.

It encourages him to read what follows.

The advertiser mainly uses the imperative mood in order to make the viewer react / act.
CAPTION / TEXT

It gives a (detailed) account of the advantages of the product.

It gives information using key words.

LOGO It allows the viewer to recognise the product at a glance. It symbolises a flower / the union of opposites.
BRAND NAME It is the name of the product.  
SLOGAN It associates the product to a key-sentence. (ex: 'Just do it') The slogan is a well-known one / reminds us of ...

 

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v§ ANALYSING THE ADVERTISEMENT

   

Some expressions you can use

What is / are the most important element(s)in this ad?

It / they can be expressed in the catchphrase,

the illustration

or both

* The most important element is in the catchphrase. The ad-man does that in an attempt to

  • show /

  • suggest /

  • indicate  that ...

How is the attention of the reader attracted?

Some elements are used alone, others in combination

·       the size of the lettering

·       an unusual perspective

·       the use of colour(s)

·       the use of white space

·       the emphasis on a single element - a word for example

·       a distinctive style

·       an incomplete message

·        the place of the logo, slogan and catchphrase

1.      By drawing our attention to the size of the lettering, the ad-man’s purpose is to...

 

2.     He emphasises this element

  • in an effort to...--> obtain...

  • so as to...         --> suggest that ...

  • in order to...    -->convey an impression of...(+Noun)

What approach does the advertiser adopt?

It is for instance

·       a factual approach (technical facts, logical reasons)

·       an emotional approach (human interest)

·       a short story approach ( solution, happy ending)

·       a humorous approach 

·       a symbolical approach (massive use of colours)

* The fact that the ad-man adopts an emotional approach tends to

  • indicate

  • show

  • imply that...

What motivations or needs are targeted ?

 

 

What are the ad-man's intentions?

·       Education

·       Freedom

·       Leisure activities

·       Consumption

Study the concepts, feelings, values the ad appeals to :

·       thirst for, craving for

·       comfort, reliability

·       desire, admiration, superiority

·       fear, security, maternal instinct

·       happiness, envy

·       solidarity, self-esteem

Study the elements which are used to evoke these concepts, feelings and values:

·       status symbols

·       sex appeal, beauty

·       nature

* The promoter’s aim is

  • to improve one’s education

  • to make one’s feel free

  • to make one’s enjoy one’s leisure activities

  • to make one’s buy a product which is cheaper or technically more advanced

* By appealing to our feeling of superiority, the ad-man

---> wants to / intends to

  • make us feel

  • make us realise

  • make us understand that...

---> wants the reader to

  • feel

  • realise

  • understand that...

 

 

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III - CONCLUSION: GIVING YOUR PERSONAL OPINION ON THE ADVERTISEMENT

What is the impact on the reader ? * This advert may have a great impact on people who...

* It has a great impact on me. I find...

Is the aim of the advertiser reached ? Why ? * I find the ad well built / attractive / convincing / successful / efficient... because the ad-man finds the right arguments to convince people to...
What is your personal opinion ? Why ?

* My personal feeling is that... /

* In a word I think this advert is...because...

Ó Madame Yannick GUILLET