Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Campaign Ads

Back in February during the height of the Presidential Primary process I created an article with several campaign ads and discussed a method to engage students in a method of comparing and contrasting ads.

Within the last few days both of the ads I present here today have appeared in my email box via friends. Both ads were created by private inviduals and both are powerful messages in their own right concerning Iraq.

The first message is pro McCain….make sure you stay with the video until the very end. The message was created by the young man seen in the video.

This ad favors Obama and was created by a group of San Diego State students as an assignment. As with the first ad stay with it until the end.....make sure you view the series of Iraq images.

I’ve recreated here from the original post in February the process I use with students to compare and contrast ads. In the next several days we will be bombarded with tons of quips, barps, mini-messages, and all-holds-barred commercials touting one candidate over another. Perhaps we all need to go through the same process my students have done in order to keep it real and not let these messages cloud the issues.

Here’s the process:

First using Ease History we begin by looking at campaign ads from the past. As we watch them we categorize the ads into the following categories----biographical, issue-oriented, values-laden, and negative. These terms come from a lesson plan at the website found here.

Once we have looked at several examples for each category I divide the class into groups. Each student receives a work sheet with the following questions (taken from this page):

Group Members:
Candidate in Ad:

1. How would you categorize your ad? (biographical, issue-oriented, value-laden, or negative)

2. Describe the language and tone of the ad? Is the narrator a male, female, or the candidate? Does the ad specify an action for the viewer (i.e. to elect the candidate, to visit the candidate’s website, to vote against the opponent)? How do language and tone shape the overall message?

3. How do words, images, color, music, camera angles, lighting, people, and symbols contribute to the message of the ad? Do you think they are effective?

4. Did this ad influence you? Did you learn from it? How did it appeal to you? How would you change it to make it more effective?During our look at past campaign ads I also provide opportunities for students to answer the questions they will encounter during the group portion of the activity so that once they are are on their own they are familiar with the direction I’m trying to take them.

This activity meets several of Georgia’s standards for Language Arts as well as Social Studies.So, now it’s time for me to hold your feet to the fire. It’s your turn…Which one appeals to you, if you dare. :)

Related Content: Comparing and Contrasting Campaign Ads

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