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.