Evaluation of a commercial

Why Am I Being Asked to Write an Evaluation?
Unfortunately, the word “evaluation” may connote the kind of testing everyone dreads: standardized testing. It’s true that an evaluation is a kind of test. However, this assignment, unlike the ACT, puts the power in your hands: YOU are both the creator and evaluator of the test. Evaluating is the kind of testing that facilitates our judgment-making ability (in competition with our feelings) and guides our life choices. Understanding why certain choices are better than others is critical as our feelings alone can sometimes lead us astray (remember that impulse buy or that bad date?). This assignment invites you to evaluate an advertisement because ads are everywhere and they attempt to impact your choices and behavior. Our class activities and your thoughtful work provide the opportunity to practice your analysis, judgment, reading and writing skills.
Overview
For this assignment, you will be evaluating an ad. “Evaluations argue either whether something meets a specific set of criteria or whether the set criteria determine the status of that object under evaluation. Your evaluation of an ad will establish inclusion criteria for the category of an “effective ____ (car, restaurant, service, etc.) ____ advertisement” and then determine whether or not the ad you’re analyzing (NOT the product itself!) is a match. In other words, does the ad you’re analyzing match the criteria you established for an effective ad in the category you chose? The criteria-match process enables you to then make a judgment on the issue of advertising effectiveness. An evaluation has two basic components: (1) a judgment, and (2) the criteria used to arrive at that judgment.
Your Evaluation should be:
• 1,000 words
• Tailored to a specific audience with identifiable values.
• Formatted appropriately to the corresponding audience and medium
For Example:
I locate a political ad online – audience selection is your choice – but let’s say I choose my fictional brother who has strong opinions about politics. I’m going to be evaluating, for my audience, the effectiveness of the ad (NOT the candidate himself). I then articulate the criteria for an effective political phone ad.
In doing this, it is critical that I consider my audience’s perspective. Because this is a writing class, I can take great liberties in defining the values and needs of my audience. Now I consider: how might my chosen audience define an “effective political ad?”
The purpose of a political ad is to inspire action (to mobilize voters for or against a candidate), so some sample criteria we could evaluate might include evaluating how well they used the tools available to them; did their choices add to their persuasive power or detract from it:
Is it a video or a still image? What stance does the ad take? To what opportunity is it responding?
What is the logos? Is there use of fonts, images, sound, points of view? What is the focal point? The setting? Cultural signs?

I then ask: which of my established criteria does this ad match, and how well are those criteria evidenced? What evidence can I use to support my evaluation? These questions spark my evaluation process and final judgment of the effectiveness of the ad. Is this ad effective in mobilizing voters for or against the candidate?
Steps for conducting your evaluation:
1. Search for and select ONE ad. An ad is an audio or visual form of marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service, or idea. The ad can be a commercial, a billboard, a flyer, or something meant to promote or sell something.
2. Identify your audience: pick one person with identifiable values.

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