Our “driving question” for this project was “How does what see, hear, and read influence us?” Throughout the duration of this project, we focused a lot on media and how its message(s) affect us. By taking into account different perspectives, being aware of media’s influence, and analyzing numerous forms of media, we were able to work towards the finalization of our Deep Cove advertisements.
Also, if you haven’t already, check out my The Medium is the Message Reflection that highlights many of the early steps to this project.
What is “The Medium is the Message”?
Until last week, I had merely thought that “The Medium is the Message” was simply just the title of our project. However, our teachers explained to us that she chose this project’s name based off of Marshall McLuhan’s theory. McLuhan is a Canadian who wrote a book called “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man”, which was published in 1964. Basically, McLuhan explains that the medium is more important than the message itself. A medium is often a form technology or an extension of ourselves. (In some cases, a medium may even be a certain teenage boy’s alternate philosophic persona. Haha, get the reference?) Our teachers explained this to us in class by reading a text called “McLuhan For Beginners,” by W. Terrence Gordon.
ADVERTISING PHOTO JOURNAL
Over the past few weeks, we had to take photos of advertisements that we came across in our everyday lives. From there, we were tasked to analyze the message, target audience, and advertising techniques and appeals of the advertisements. (Here is my Advertising Photo Journal.)
MILESTONE 5: How Does the Medium Influence the Message?
For this Milestone, we have been tasked to write about how Marshall McLuhan’s theory, “The Medium is the Message”, connects to a novel we were assigned to read in class called “The Gospel According to Larry”, by Janet Tashjian. As a brief summary, McLuhan’s theory states that the medium is always more important than the message. In the novel, Josh Swensen, a teenage boy, used his persona as “Larry” to anonymously spread awareness about anti-consumerism on his blog.
I found it quite interesting how McLuhan’s theory connected to Larry’s story. Honestly, reading this novel was likely my favourite part of this overall project. I’ve never seen a fictional work portrayed to look like it’s non-fiction until now. I highly recommend reading “A Gospel According to Larry” by Janet Tashjian if you haven’t already. (You can find my paragraph here.)
DEVELOP AND CRITIQUE
MILESTONE 4: How Do I Determine My Client’s Needs?
As part of this Milestone, our North groups have been working and compiling our work into a Numbers file. LAUNCH stands for “Look, Listen, and Learn, Ask, Understand, Navigate, Create, Highlight.” My group consisted of Sylas, Declan, Faith, Max, Noah, and myself.
Together, we were to create an advertisement for a Deep Cove business. We choose Deep Cove Music (DCM). While I was unable to participate in the vast majority of this Milestone, I was able to work with my group for the Highlight category.
This task consisted of receiving and taking notes of critique from various sources. Branden, the DCM employee we contacted regarding this Milestone gave us feedback on the following advertisements:
Branden said he liked the more colourful advertisement on the right however, he felt the wood themed advertisement fit his brand more. This inspired us to create this new version of the DCM advertisement that Mr. Hepburn, the founder and director of his own advertising company critiqued, as seen below.
During this critique session, each group in the class was given three jobs. The annotator, the speaker, and the note taker. I was given the first job to complete. The annotator basically annotates a file of your group’s advertisement as a way to “take note of” the changes we need to make. The speaker asked Mr. Hepburn questions regarding our advertisement and his business, meanwhile the note taker took notes using their iPads.
Based on Mr. Hepburn’s critique, we were prompted to consider what information we felt was most important to include as our advertisement was a little “cramped” with words. In the end, our group decided to remove the “buy, sell, trade instruments” portion in favour of the business’ opening hours and address.
During the “Develop and Critique” stage, we also exchanged feedback and critique with our peers. We used the “20 Minute Peer Feedback Protocol” for this task.
MILESTONE 6: How Do I Design an Advertisement to Meet a Client’s Needs?
This was the final step of our project. After what felt like countless hours of critiquing and revising our final draft, we handed in the final copy of our advertisement for DCM at last. We made sure to make our advertisement appropriate for children since DCM’s target audience is children of ages 6-18. We also tried to maintain a balance of colour and DCM’s brand.
Admittedly, I’m somewhat surprised that we actually managed to complete something in time to hand in. Our North group was working quite slowly and we had a tendency to disagree on things at times. However, I’m extremely glad that we managed it in the end.
Overall, I feel like the past few weeks was a great learning opportunity for myself and many others. Throughout our project path we applied different concepts to our learning such as team work, critiquing, perspective, different advertising techniques, and the importance of media. I find it rather bizarre that the overflow of advertisements we see today is what’s considered the “norm”. However, that’s exactly what makes it vital to be aware of media, along with its medium. Advertising is ever-present in our everyday lives and it’s important to always be mindful of how it influences us.