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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Evaluation example

Evaluation and analysis are very similar, with the main difference being that in evaluation you are judging the claim you made during analysis. So for example, say my ad is for the TV show Bizarre foods. In the ad two men are looking into a microwave, which serves as the audience’s point of view, at a normal TV dinner–except there is a fried tarantula included in it.

During analysis I may make the claim that,
“By including a fried insect in the traditional microwave dinner the ad is appealing to a viewer’s curiosity. This addition to the dinner is also intended to evoke some kind of emotional reaction from the viewer as spiders are often looked at as pests and insects that Western citizens avoid, so for the ad to imply that this man will be eating them gains a response of fear or intrigue from the audience. This is enhanced by the perspective of the ad as it implies that the man in the background, who is grimacing, did not expect this surprise of a tarantula lunch while the host, who is situated in the foreground, smiles excitedly at his meal. The connotation of this is that the audience can expect the host to take on eating unthinkable things throughout the show and the audience will be entertained in watching his approach to cuisine.”

This is an analytical claim because as a writer I am answering the implied question, “Why would this ad’s focus be a contaminated TV dinner”? My only concern during analysis is to answer the questions that my ad may imply with rhetorical tools like the modes of persuasion (ethos/pathos/logos), the appeals, and the physical facets of the ad.

Now, as I move on to evaluation with my ad my job is to assess those claims that I made during analysis. This can feel repetitive to students because it requires that you use the claim that you have already generated. However, something very different is happening in evaluation that did not during analysis, and that is your assessment of the rhetoric the ad has used. Just because you identified the rhetoric at work in your ad, does not mean that it is an effective avenue to the target audience. Your job during evaluation is to make that decision of whether or not your ad’s rhetoric is effective and then to argue your stance in terms of the target audience.

My ad evaluation of the previous claim may play out like this:
“The primary claim present in my ad for the Travel Channel’s show Bizarre Foods is an appeal to the viewer’s curiosity. I found this appeal to dominate overall because it is paired with pathos via an intention to shock the audience and raise questions about how the primary agent is going to go about eating such exotic dishes. In general this seems to be an effective approach to drum up an audience because human curiosity is a powerful an persuasive force. This is most evident when examining the target audience that the ad is addressed to, who I found to be in the middle to upper class range of North Americans due to the fact that the show advertised airs on a network that is not included in a standard cable subscription and is only available in the United States and Canada. This says a lot about what type of rhetoric could be effective for this audience because the two main things that define the demographic as a whole are that they are expectedly of a Western frame of mind and that they are avid cable subscribers. These aspects of the audience led me to realize that the ad’s decision to shock the viewer with a startling image would be effective because people often turn to television to escape the mundanity or stress of their lives by observing others–a reason why reality programs in general so so popular in America. In light of this, it is important to address the fact that the entire premise of the show is to cross cultural boundaries and marvel at the taboo food customs of others and the ad brings focus to that through the text, ‘One man’s weird is another man’s wonderful’…”

So in this paragraph of evaluation I am addressing the claim that I made during analysis and making a judgment about whether or not it was an effective approach in terms of the target audience.

For Monday

Please come to class Monday with a draft of your evaluation ready to be peer reviewed. This can either be in hard copy form or as a soft copy if you are willing to email you draft to your partner.

Also, please have the Unit Two Mycomplab assignments done by October 4th at 5pm in order to receive those point for the working folder!!

Notes on Evaluation

Our third section of the Unit Two paper is an evaluation. Evaluative arguments have a persuasive rather than informative aim. It is a specific kind of argument that focuses on an evaluative stance, an overall judgement about the image, rather than simply pointing out the good or bad points of something. Evaluations are an important type of argument because they help readers to make choices about their own actions, beliefs, or values by testing the validity or believability of the image. In this section of the Unit Two essay you will be arguing the effectiveness of your advertisement. Overall you need to keep the target audience of the Ad in mind as you evaluate and remember to always provide evidence from the advertisement when you make a claim!

What does an effective Ad do?
1. Raises interest in the product via modes of persuasion. (ethos/pathos/logos)
2. Appeal to the target audience through rhetoric. (15 appeals, mirror/window)
3. Creates an immediate connection between the audience and product. (target audience)
4. Has either an implicit or explicit message that forms a thesis.
-an implicit message is the connotation of the image
-an explicit message is the denotation of the image

What should be addressed in my evaluation?
1. Whether or not the ad has properly aligned with the target audience and what evidence implies that.
2. The “thesis” or theme of your ad and what rhetoric built it. Consider the implicit and explicit messages that your ad is sending out through rhetoric.
3. Your experience with this ad and how your investigation of it affected you as a consumer.

Some things you may be able to evaluate are the Ad’s use of:
-Creativity (rhetoric/thesis)
-Agents (gender, class, race)
-Visual symbolism/metaphor
-Text (what wording accompanies the image)


Transition from Description to Analysis Example


Keep in mind as you draft that analysis is one step away from description–essentially you are taking the time to revisit your description and providing the commentary that accompanies it. For example if you were given an advertisement that was for the product Kilz Premium Primer and in your description you stated that,

“There is an older man with a short, salt and pepper haircut. He is looking into the the camera as he stands with his hands on his hips and a creased brow. His clothes are plain: a simple white jumpsuit with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and a uniform, grey undershirt.”

You may begin analysis by revisiting those descriptions and adding assertions about them that discuss the rhetoric of the image,

“This advertisement addresses the consumer’s need for dominance and guidance as the primary figure of the Ad is an older man with salt and pepper hair and a firm stance of his hands on his hips. These details speak to the reader’s understanding of guidance because by using an older man with grey in his hair the Ad is implying that this man is wise to the world, in a way he looks like a father figure, he is someone that you may ask for advice. The appeal to dominance is shown in the advertisement particularly in the man’s stance. With his hands on his hips, shoulders straight and strong posture the man is clearly confidant in his craftsman abilities. He is looking directly at the camera as if to challenge the viewer to do things his way, to use Kilz Primer.”

If you are feeling that you are unsure of what to talk about in your analysis there are many class resources for you to consult:
1. “Advertising’s 15 Basic Appeals” on pp. 148 of your Mercury Reader
2. “Strategies for Analyzing the Compositional Features of Print Ads” on pp. 279 of your A&B
3. “Messages persuade through appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos.” on pp. 58 of your A&B
4. “Mirrors and Windows” on pp. 276 of your A&B

Rhetorical questions for visual analysis:
-What details has the ad focused on?
-What is the dominant impression of the Ad?
-How does the Ad affect the viewer emotionally?
-How does it make the viewer feel about the product?
-What type of audience is being addressed?

**Always remember to explain your claims!!
Do not simply say “This ad makes the viewer feel safe using the product”, elaborate and provide evidence to your assertion:
“This ad makes the viewer feel safe using the product because its use of soothing, low lighting and soft imagery surrounding the product imply that the user is at not risk and can feel relaxed.”

Please have at least a page of analysis completed by Monday.

Analysis Game Ads

1. zippo-lighters-technology

2. DoSardine

3. JhoZZ

4. mossyoakad

5. KEENDiversityAD

6. spca-latest-print-ad


7. Zhvggw6


8. Brilliant-Ads-29


10. converse-advertisement


Make sure that you bring your table or a hard copy of your description on Monday so that you are able to participate in the small peer review. You must also have your advertisement that you described to share with your partner.


For Monday have a sentence written for each of these examples in which you state the Ad’s main appeal and then give a short explanation as to why it represents that appeal.