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task 1

Produce a set of case studies showing understanding of the five areas listed on the right.


You can do this as a written document, a presentation, or as a video essay. 

All work should be embedded on your website.


By 'structures', the specifications seems to mean 'form, style and conventions.' So, basically, show awareness that there are different techniques and approaches used in the construction of television adverts. Let's look at an example (all examples taken from this page.)

Old Spice, The Man your Man Could Smell Like, 2010

So, if we look at the criteria up there, what can we write about here? It's not really a narrative ad (it isn't telling a story.) It sort of borrows from the documentary or 'infomercial' style, with the character breaking the fourth wall and talking straight to camera. If we do a little bit of research, we'll find that the popularity of this ad caused it to be developed into a series of ads. It's obviously humorous and somewhat parodic, designed to mock both the heavy-handed and deeply dishonest sales pitches common in ads, and the overtly hyper-masculine representations in ads aimed at men in particular.

Old Spice, The Mark of a Man

This ad also represented a reframing of Old Spice's representation; it had traded on exactly those same hypermasculine representations for years.

We might also note the deliberately cheesy (and parodic) use of editing effects, again to create humour.

techniques, audience classification and characteristics of product

Similar to 'structures', this is just breaking the ads down a bit and examining how they actually construct some sort of appeal to an audience. We will revisit your basic audience theory here.


  • WHO is the audience?

    • gender​

    • age

    • demographic

    • psychographic

    • special interest

  • HOW are they targeted?

    • tone​

    • star appeal

    • aesthetic

    • other techniques

Calvin Klein, Obsession, 1986

So, for this ad, we might identify the audience as :

  • female (female characters emphasized in screen time, framing, narrative)

  • 25-40 or so(about the age of the people in the ad)

  • probably of a slightly higher demographic - C1 and up (social status tends to go along with a higher education level, so they might notice and appreciate the references to mid-century European film and the general 'arty' aesthetic

  • 'Aspirers' who like to think of themselves as cultured and 'a cut above.'

We might notice techniques like:

  • the arty (staged, monochromatic, very theatrical and stylised) aesthetic

  • expressionist lighting

  • representation of woman as predatory, sexual, powerful, dominant; very flattering to the target audience and a 'promise' associated with the product. 

  • emphasis on product; palette and design of packaging extended to whole aesthetic of ad, pack shot at end, repetition of name

audience information

Advertising is designed to provoke a reaction (usually, though not always, to go and buy something) and it's an expensive business (worth about 560 billion USD in 2019. That's substantially more than Hong Kong's GDP.) So, obviously a lot of time is spent checking to see if it worked. You need to know how this is done (and, eventually, do it yourself.) You'll need to understand about qualitative and quantitative research, as well as methods like interviews, focus groups and surveys.

Audience measurement panels



Advertising, like all areas of the media, needs to be regulated; that is, there are a lot of guidelines and laws about what is and isn't allowed In the UK, this is primarily handled by the Advertising Standards Authority. Look at their Codes and Rulings page - first, get a sense of what rules they apply (the 'codes') - then look at a few rulings and see if you can understand the kinds of things that cause trouble.

task 2

task 3

task 4

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