Your written assignment will be a study of the dynamics of commercial imagery. There are many strategies that are used within commercial imagery to draw the viewer into a dynamic engagement with the advertisement. For ex, in our first class session we examine an ad for Mercedes in which numerous visual devices engage the eye and mind of the viewer, but we get only an obscure glimpse of the product itself. The story line and cast of characters takes centre stage. The composition is also very carefully controlled, in order to drive the message home most effectively.
Your task is to find THREE exs of magazine ads that you find intriguing. Your search should be confined to magazine ads. Choose your exs carefully. Cast a wide net as you get started, then refine your selections down to the three which are most interesting, complex and effective. You will then discuss each of them according to the following:
1) Composition and Design
Analyze the compositional aspects of the ad, including such elements as colour, light, form, balance, contrast, emphasis and rhythm. How do these contribute to the story, and to the overall message of the advertisement?
Assess the extent to which the ad “tells a story.” Pay particular attention to what moment(s) in the story are shown, where the story is set, and how this setting contributes to the story. What role does the product being advertised play in the story?
You should analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of each ad carefully. Do the composition and narrative come together to create a compelling and convincing advertisement? Don’t be afraid to give your own thoughtful speculations on why the designers made certain decisions.
Caution: Try to avoid subjective responses such as “I don’t like this ad.” You should not go into detailed discussion of why a product or service is a good idea or how much you enjoy using it. You must not discuss the viability or success of any product or marketing campaign in any way that is not directly relevant to the imagery used. Remember, this is an art assignment, not a marketing assignment!
You may draw upon ideas in your course readings, class notes, books, articles etc. where appropriate. If you refer to an idea from one of our class sessions, you do not need to include a footnote. Nor is any research required. The main point is to really look at your exs, to choose them carefully, and to discuss your ideas in a clear, methodical and organized way. Please don’t hesitate to be in frequent contact with me by e-mail as your work progresses.
Please follow these criteria:
• 5-6 pages text, approx. 300 words per page,
• double-spaced, 12-point “Arial” or “Times” font families.
• Please include a title page and a single staple in the upper left corner – no binders or duo-tangs please. Staple original illustrations or scans of your exs to the end of your essay