How to write an analysis essay on an advertisement

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As you probably know all too well, advertising has played and continues to play a major role in modern life. It fills hours of television programs, takes up space on just about every web page online, and lines roads to everywhere you go. A very common type of assignment is an analysis of advertising from one of several points of view. Here’s how to craft a great and eye-catching advertising analysis essay that is sure to impress your readers:

Step 1: Introduce the service or product advertised

In your introduction you should make sure to first introduce what the advertisement your essay will focus on. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about a political party, a dinner sale at a restaurant or a record store, you should get right to the point as early as possible. Never assume that your reader is automatically familiar with the product or service. Give a brief history and a thorough description. It’s also a good idea to show how your subject compares with some of the products from competitors and give some idea of it’s supposed market share.

Step 2: Say who is targeted in the advertisement

You should be aware that it’s impossible to create an advertisement that reaches or appeals to every market segment in a community. Each advertisement is affected by its target audience, so your analysis should try to discern just what that target audience is. Some advertisements are clearer in their intent than others, but each should have a particular group of people it addresses. Discuss how both the intent and the target audience work together to create a message or an idea within the advertisement.

Step 3: Describe how effective the advertisement has been

The last step to writing a great advertising analysis essay is to explain how popular or how effective the advertisement has been. This used to be pretty difficult to figure out. Years ago this was measured by working out how many people watched a television show when a commercial ran or how many people bought a magazine or newspaper an advertisement appeared in, but now the internet has provided marketing experts and businesses with tracking tools to figure out how many people viewed an advert. The best advertisements, whether pictures or videos, go viral and are sent to friends, family members, coworkers, etc. Using these numbers will give you pretty good idea of how much reach an advertisement has been.

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Advertisement Analysis Essay Writing Guide

Advertising plays a huge role in modern life. It interrupts TV and radio programms, decorates (or defaces) the sides of buildings and sometimes it seems like it’s the main function of the internet. It’s estimated that over $450 billion is spent on advertising every year, nearly a third of it in the United States alone.

The advertising industry hasn’t always been measured in US dollars either, because it’s old; Roman sesterces used to pay for quite a lot of it (both political and commercial advertising materials have been found in the ruins of Pompeii) and archaeologists have discovered ancient Egyptian posters that they think were advertisements.

With all this history and money involved it’s no wonder that advertising is a much-discussed subject, and a common essay topic is the analysis of an advertising campaign. Most essay writers aren’t advertising professionals though, so what’s the best way to go about it?

Introduce the product or service being advertised

It doesn’t matter if it’s an insurance company, a political party or a new brand of salad dressing; don’t assume that your reader has heard of it. Make sure to give a short history, a description (and perhaps how it compares with some competitors) and an idea of its market share.

Discuss who the advertising is aimed at

It’s almost impossible to make an advert that’s going to appeal to everyone, unless you’re selling a tree that money really does grow on, so every advert has a target audience. The target audience will influence its style, so in turn the style can be used to work out the target audience. For example an advert that uses skateboarding images is aimed at teenagers; an offer of payday loans is aimed at people who can’t manage money and don’t look like learning any time soon.

Estimate how popular the advert has been

This used to be quite difficult to work out. Often it was a matter of seeing how many people bought a newspaper that the advert was in (or watched a TV programme that it interrupted) and guessing what percentage paid any attention. Now, though, the internet makes it much easier to track. Popular adverts, especially if they’re amusing, often go viral. When this happens social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube make it easy to see how often they’ve been viewed and forwarded. Just make sure it’s not being forwarded with a tag that says “Look at this dumb advert LOL!”

You can also look at the history of similar adverts, if any exist, as well as new techniques or media that have been pioneered. Before you start adding these refinements, though, make sure you’ve covered these three basics thoroughly.

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