Advertisement Analysis Activity
This is a group activity meant to foster discussion about representation in advertisement.
The objective of this activity is to identify when stereotypes are present in advertisements. Students should leave the activity with a better awareness of stereotypes in advertising.
This activity can be used for a class of any size; for larger classes, have the students view find ads and answer the discussion questions out of class. They should be ready to discuss their answers as a whole class or in small discussion groups.
As a class watch at least five advertisements and discuss how well the ads represent different social groups (racial, gender, sexual, class, etc). Talk about whether or not the ads focused on stereotypes of those social groups and, if so, what they could have done better. Some good examples of advertisements to look at are cleaning products, car advertisements, perfume, body spray, and fragrance ads. During this activity, students will learn how to identify when prejudice is present in an advertisements.
Some suggested ads available on YouTube:
- "Tide: My Tide TV Commercial" or "Tide Dad Short Version"
- "Gay Inclusive Amazon Kindle Commercial"
- "Very Funny Pepsi Commercial with Chinese Monks"
- "TV Ad for Fiat 500 Abarth"
- "Dr. Pepper 10 Commercial"
- "Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like"
Optional: Have students watch the parody of the Ms. Clean Public Service Announcement. Have them discuss the counterstereotypic roles portrayed by the actors and how effective they believed the ad to be.