Advertisement Analysis Activity

This is a group activity meant to foster discussion about representation in advertisement.

Objective

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.

Estimated Time

20 minutes

Group Size

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.

Instructions

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:

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.

Materials