Questions for Analyzing Ads Glossary of Commonly Used Techniques
To whom (which target audience) is the advertisement trying to
sell the product? Describe the target audience (age, gender, Beauty Appeal: Beauty attracts us; we are drawn to beautiful people,
culture, and lifestyle). places, and things.
Celebrity Endorsement: Associates product use with a well-known
person. By purchasing this product we are led to believe that we will
attain characteristics similar to the celebrity.
Does this ad appeal to your emotions? If so, which emotion(s)?
Compliment the Consumer: Advertisers flatter the consumer who is
willing to purchase their product. By purchasing the product the
consumer is recognized by the advertisers for making a good decision
Look beyond any emotional appeal to find out what the ad really with their selection.
says (or doesn’t say) about the product or service. Do you detect Escape: Getting away from it all is very appealing; you can imagine
any exaggeration or suspicious promises? If so, describe the adventures you cannot have; the idea of escape is pleasurable.
“hidden message.” Independence/Individuality: Associates product with people who can
think and act for themselves. Products are linked to individual decision
Intelligence: Associates product with smart people who can’t be
What is the intended use(s) of the product? Does the advertiser fooled.
point out special features of the product that distract for the Lifestyle: Associates product with a particular style of living/way of
intended use? If so, explain the distractions. Nurture: Every time you see an animal or a child, the appeal is to your
paternal or maternal instincts. Associates products with taking care of
Are there any signs or symbols in the ad? If so, what are they Peer Approval: Associates product use with friendship/acceptance.
trying to tell you? Advertisers can also use this negatively, to make you worry that you’ll
lose friends if you don’t use a certain product.
Rebel: Associates products with behaviors or lifestyles that oppose
What advertising techniques are being used to sell the product society’s norms.
(see glossary of terms)? Explain how each technique is being Rhetorical Question: This technique poses a question to the
used. consumer that demands a response. A question is asked and the
consumer is supposed to answer in such a way that affirms the product’s
Scientific/Statistical Claim: Provides some sort of scientific proof or
experiment, very specific numbers, or an impressive sounding mystery
**How would some of these strategies apply to drug abuse? ingredient.
Unfinished Comparison/Claim: Use of phrases such as “Works better
in poor driving conditions!” Works better than what?