marketing project



Select four full-page (or larger), COLOR advertisements.

Two of the advertisements must come from a “general interest” magazine (like Time, Life, People, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Tampa Bay Living, Good Housekeeping, etc.) From you perspective as an “advertising professional,” one of these ads should be well executed, while the other should–in your “professional” opinion be poorly executed. (Your textbook will give you insights in to print advertising execution.)

The other two advertisements must come from “special interest” magazines (like Fortune, Business Week, Progressive Grocer, Advertising Age, Hospital Management, or any such specialized magazine). Again, one of the ad examples well executed, while the other ad example should be poorly executed.

NOTE: You can’t categorize a cigarette ad as being poorly executed simply because you hate tobacco companies! You have to assess the quality of the ad itself!


Answer the following questions for each of your four advertisements:

Name of advertiser? General or special interest?

Well or poorly executed ad?

Answer the following questions for each of your four advertisements:

1. Who is the target audience for the ad?

a. consumers?

b. business?

2. What is the geographic target of the ad?

a. Is it intended for an international audience, that is, to be seen in its present form in countries outside North America?

b. Is it a national ad — to be seen in its present form across the country?

c. Is it regional — aimed at a section of the country?

d. Or is it local?

3. What is the function or purpose of the ad?

a. Is it a product or nonproduct advertisement? (Product advertising is intended to sell products and services. Nonproduct advertising is designed to sell ideas. When Phillips Petroleum places an ad for the petroleum products it sells, it is a product ad. However, if Phillips places an ad telling about its ability to drill for oil without disturbing the environment, the advertisement is selling the company rather than a particular product. This is called a nonproduct, or sometimes an “image” ad. In the textbook, these nonproduct ads are called Institutional advertising.)

b. Is the primary objective of the advertising message to inform, persuade, or remind?

c. Is it a commercial or noncommercial ad? (A commercial advertisement promotes goods, services, or ideas for a business with the expectation of making a profit. A noncommercial ad is sponsored by or for a charitable institution, civic group, or religious or political organization. Some of these ads are placed in hopes of raising funds, while others hope to change consumer behavior — “Buckle up for safety .”)

d. Is it a direct action or indirect action ad? (Does the ad seek immediate action from the reader? If so, this is a direct action ad. Most often, direct action ads have coupons, prominently displayed telephone numbers, or some other response vehicle, allowing the reader to react to the ad. Indirect action ads are aimed at informing, persuading, and reminding.)

4. What about the creative aspects of the advertisement…

a. Generally, does the headline do the following: Attract attention? Select the reader? (That is, does the headline tell whether the subject matter of the ad interests the reader? For example, a Citibank ad had the headline, “A word to the wealthy,” and that is exactly who the ad was aimed at.) Does the headline lead the reader to the body copy? Does the headline present a complete selling idea? (The DeBeers’ headline, “Diamonds are forever”, presents a complete selling idea. Since five times as many people read the headlines as the body copy, this is important.)

b. Is there any body copy? If so, does it generally follow the AIDA format? (Does it get Attention? Does it create Interest? Does it heighten Desire by informing the reader of the benefits of the product or service? Does it motivate the reader to take some Action, to do something, even if it is just agreeing with the advertiser?)

c. Is the layout effective? Research suggests that the most effective layout is a single dominant illustration occupying 60% to 70% of the ad. The next best is a large illustration and two smaller ones. However, a creative advertiser may violate those “rules-of-thumb” and produce outstanding results.

d. What is the importance of the photograph or illustration? Is it effective? (If the type style is unique or important to the ad, indicate how.)

e. How important is color to the ad? How effectively is it used?

5. How well do all of these things work together?

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