One of the projects we started before our Oregon trip was about the power of media. Our driving question was “How does what we hear, read, and see influence us?” We started out by reading the novel, The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch . In the novel the main character, Myles, was influenced highly by the media after getting a lot of media attention for discovering a giant squid on a beach in Oregon. In the novel he learns the importance of keeping the media and their influence out of his real life.
We then went on to look at different advertising techniques and analyzed which ones were the most persuasive. One of the most persuasive techniques was called “a sense of roots”. In this type of advertisement the advertiser tries to make you feel connected to the past or family and friends in a positive way. “Love object” is where the advertiser makes the audience feel the need to love someone or something, hopefully their product if they have done a good job. The technique I think is the best is called “reassurance of worth”. This technique makes the audience feel that they have worth and are important. We looked at different types of mediums and tried to identify these different techniques.
Mediums are the different presentations of the advertising message. They can include internet advertisements, video and TV advertisements, print ads, and billboards. The text is the media product, or the thing that the advertiser is trying to sell to the audience. We learned about the media triangle, which is the connection between the text (product), the audience, and the production (presentation of the product). The triangle shows all of the key elements that are taken into consideration when making an advertisement. For example looking at what ways the text tells a story, who is the intended target audience and why does the text appeal to the audience, and how is the text distributed or sold to the public. This is an image of the media triangle.
After examining advertising and figuring out what makes a good text, it was time to try our hand at making our own. To begin with, we were put into groups and got to choose a Deep Cove Business to try to create an advertisement for. We had to call the business and pitch our plan to create a print advertisement for them first. Our first business wasn’t interested, but we were really lucky that our second business accepted our pitch and it is a really cool business, Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak. One of their employees had been a PLP student so maybe that helped. We visited the store and interviewed one of their employees to find out more information about the company to make an effective ad that suits them and their style, as well as what focus they wanted their ad to have. In our interview we found out that they wanted to make the public more aware that they have activities in all seasons, not just summer. They wanted to make their audience, visitors to Deep Cove, aware of their fall and winter activities. Each person in our group then created a print advertisement. Here is a slide show of my 1st 2nd and 3rd drafts.
I liked the dates and schedule, the use of their logo, and the images (which were from their website). I used their images for the ad because they were really good pictures and because I don’t kayak, it would have been hard to get good images taking the pictures myself. I think I could have improved on how much empty space was in the ad.
Next we used what we learned to create an advertisement for a business that we were going to visit on our Oregon trip. This time the groups were assigned a business, but we still had to conduct an interview. Our group was assigned Clark’s Restaurant. We got to interview one of the owners, which gave us a chance to get a really good idea of what they wanted their audience to know about the restaurant. It is really important to them that they are a family owned restaurant. The restaurant was started by lumberjacks as a place to eat when they were logging. The restaurant changed hands a lot until the current owners bought it, and several members of the family work in the restaurant.
It is a family restaurant not just because of the family that works there, but also because their regular customers are like family. In fact, they have such a close relationship with their regular customers that if they haven’t seen someone for a couple of weeks, they will go to their house to check on them to make sure they are OK. They take a lot of pride in the family recipes as well. Their recipe for their homemade ice cream is the original recipe from the beginning of the restaurant. They are also famous for their burgers, which is why I used the burger image in my ad. This is a slide show of my 1st 2nd and 3rd draft of my ad.
The first draft I made had an orange background and the print was too small. On my next version, I changed the background colour to match the green on their website and made the text about the family owned and run restaurant larger. I wanted to add the wagon wheel icon that they use on their website as well, but I made a mistake in how I added them. I should have copied the icon right from the website, but instead I used the wagon wheel icon that was native to the app I used to create the ad. I really liked the picture I used, and the information I included about the history of the restaurant. I could have improved on making the logo stand out more, and using their wagon wheel icon.
I found this unit really helped me view advertising differently. When I was little I fell for the advertising techniques really quickly and always begged my parents for the latest cool toy I saw on TV. Thankfully, my parents were more aware of the effects of advertising techniques than I was and didn’t buy me most of the things I asked for. As I got older, I always viewed ads as really annoying and advertisers just wanting to get their products viewed. I would get irritated when ads would interfere with games I was playing on my device. Now I understand how much work, thought, and analysis goes in to creating all kinds of advertising. I think it also helps when I feel like I did when I was little and am feeling convinced that I really need to buy something I see in an ad. I can take a step back and analyze what technique the advertiser is using, have an appreciation for how well they have done their job, and not beg my parents to buy it for me.
Creating and extending shared understandings:
Text comprehension and appreciation strategies:
Literary identification and analysis: