People are sick of hearing me complain about my tedious daily commute, which I understand. I get it. I can’t complain about something I choose for myself. So, in an effort to maintain what is most likely a ridiculous New Year’s resolution, I’m going to be upbeat and spin my commute in a positive manner.
One of the best things about being in a car roughly 2.5 hours a day is that I get to take in a variety of advertisements. Ads on billboards. Ads on buses. Ads on the radio. While we write often about the power of the media and image analysis, this week we are going to focus primarily on how to use print advertisements in the classroom in a variety of ways. Advertisement analysis isn’t new to the classroom; however, it is often limited to the ad itself and doesn’t encourage students to really push their understanding and consider the larger significance by connecting it to literature and their own lives.
Many of us ask students to evaluate the argument of the advertisement, consider who the intended audience is, and then evaluate the effectiveness of the advertisement in reaching that audience. These are excellent activities and ones I would certainly use prior to implementing the advertisement suggested this week. However, students need to have a deep understanding of the advertisement and what it suggests about human nature or our country. This week we will be suggesting new applications of advertisements and providing extensions to traditional advertisement analysis.