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Please read this Assignment Guide carefully and read this before deciding on a topic, on which approval is needed.
BEFORE you enter a topic idea on the Canvas Topic Approval page, please note that this is NOT a brand or marketing comparison paper. Rather, this is a product-specific analysis which must focus on a specific product costing the same amount, for the SAME targeted and specific market segment, using similar print ads (online OK). You will need find ads with much text to analyze, as that is the main thrust of this assignment. It is not: a visual effects comparison, creativity assessment, nor a company marketing strategy comparison. Your product choices must receive my pre-approval, to avoid duplication and to set you up for a successful project. One per customer, please! 🙂 Request your topic here.
ACA Paper Requirements
You will analyze and evaluate text-based advertisements, in the same media (e.g., print, video commercial), for two products or services occupying essentially the same market niche or vying for essentially the same consumer base. You will analyze the text in the advertisements with the Argumentation theories and concepts, AND, the Persuasion theories and principles that we have discussed to date. You will consult the lecture notes and your textbooks to support the analysis.
You are required to demonstrate your understanding of course material, through the application of course principles.
You will be graded on how effectively you use actual text (“direct quotes”) from the ads themselves and apply the tools below to analyze them. Try to select advertisements with plenty of text. Sources/References: You are required to cite in-text, as well as on a Reference page, a minimum of (6) academic quality sources (academic peer-reviewed journals, books, etc.). Begin with using your required, posted COURSE readings. Then, you should find and use academic articles pulled from journals in Business, Marketing, Social Psychology and/or Advertising databases. Some students start with Academic Search Premier in Marketing.
Length: The paper length is to be approximately six to eight (6-8) double-spaced pages (NO TRIPLE SPACING between paragraphs), which does not count your Reference page or any supplementary materials (including any hard copies of the advertisement). As I have said many times, if you are worried about page numbers, you are focusing on the wrong thing. You should be focused on what the assignment itself requires.
Paper Organization Template
You must USE and FOLLOW EXACTLY this provided below. YES, you must include these labels on the left margin (without the numbers)! Criteria for Comparison: Identify all relevant criteria for comparison purposes, (e.g. on what basis are you making the comparison?). Who is the target market (be specific)? What is the general cost of the product? How are these products similar? Identify any qualifications or conditions mentioned in the ads (e.g., how the product must be used or not used?). Discuss and analyze the “fine print” in the ads. Offer some data on the company’s history, if relevant to the advertisements.
Aristotle: Link both ads to Aristotle’s modes of persuasion (ethos-pathos-logos).
Toulmin/Claims Analysis: Use the Toulmin Model to identify: ALL claims made, their evidence, the warrants (stated or not!), backing, qualifiers, and rebuttals, as presented in the ads. Is enough information provided to make an informed decision? Is information about the products being suppressed or distorted? You may use a table to organize your thoughts. Be sure to point out any fallacies.
Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM): Briefly explain ELM and link each ad “on the continuum”. Which type of processing is desired in the audience by the marketers? Consult lecture notes and required course readings.
Heuristics/Principles of Influence: Briefly describe and then apply those RELEVANT principles of the six discussed in class, as described in Cialdini and Perloff, to each of your advertisements. Discuss only those principles which apply!
Conclusion: Summarize by succinctly explaining which ad is more persuasive and makes the better argument. It is not whether or not you like the ad better, but through the use of the tools in your argumentation and persuasion toolbox, indicate which ad is more persuasive.
Appendix: Include original copies (or photocopies) of any print ads with your paper. Print screens are required for any online content, documenting all relevant images, all dialogue spoken, and all screen text. I will not accept papers without this important data!
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