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’…”