* I want you to spend 2-3 minutes flipping through
the magazine until you find an advertisement that catches your
eye. Ready? Go!
* OK. Now that youve found an ad, take a minute to
write down a sentence or two explaining why you found that
particular ad appealing, eye-catching, etc. Does the ad make
you want to buy the product? Why or why not?
* When you think about it, every ad makes an argument. What
is the basic claim of almost every ad? (You should buy this
product/ service.) Where do we find the reasons that support
this claim? What are they? (In order to enjoy whatever the
ad depicts, we must purchase the product.) Now I want to
ask you something else: what makes these reasons apply to
us, if they do? (Warrants assumptions that the advertisers
make about our likes and dislikes.) On TV, do all channels
show the same ads? Do ads on MTV air on CNN? Why not? (Demographics,
assumptions the advertisers make about the wants of MTV viewers
different from the assumptions they make about CNN viewers.)
Can we think of some examples? (Britney Spears ad for
Pepsi v. an ad for a financial services company/ Maalox/
* All right, now that we understand these ads are making
an argument, I want you to find two people and get into groups
of three. Share your ad and your reflections on it with your
group. Then pick the most appealing or repulsive/ unappealing
ad in the group. What does this ad assume about you or about
its audience of potential customers? Write down your thoughts.
* Share the 6 most appealing ads with the class. Discuss
the warrants/ assumptions made by these advertisers. (Ex.
In a tobacco ad we often see cowboys: assumes smokers or
potential smokers will be turned on by cowboys who smoke.)
* Select best ad of the 6 (vote as a class). Then have each
group brainstorm another reason advertisers could use to
get someone (not necessarily us) to buy this product. Give
each group an audience to target (your grandparents, your
parents, a 5 year old, a 30 year old office worker, a 50
year old farmer, an 80 year old widow).
* Share reasons (and audience); write on board.
* Ask for 3 volunteers to be judges (one to write down the
warrants on the board); break class into two teams. Team
A will have 30 seconds to articulate a warrant underlying
Reason #1. Team B will have 30 seconds to find a warrant
for R#2. Once each R has one W, try going through a second
time, if time allows.