Employment Relations- Deconstructing Media Messages: analyzing how an advertisement is constructed for different audience


The objective of this assignment is to apply the media literacy skills addressed in Segment 1 to real world examples. An important aspect of media literacy is understanding how media messages are constructed, with what purposes, and for whom they are constructed.


In the age of the Internet, however, advertising messages can be tailored specifically to you by a number of machine-driven algorithms that track your movements online and make assumptions about what kinds of advertising content you would most likely be engaged with. Think of the last time you searched for something on Amazon—for example, an office chair—and seeing advertisements for office chairs on other websites. This is the work of advertisement tailoring using consumer-driven data.


With social media, however, more information can be learned about you: your age, your gender, your race/ethnicity, your political affiliation, and a lot more. This makes it even easier for companies to tailor their advertisements to you more specifically.


In this assignment, you will be analyzing how an advertisement is constructed for different audiences. However, we are asking you to analyze an advertisement within the context of social networking platforms like Facebook or online video streaming services like Hulu or YouTube (since Netflix has no advertisements).


To find an advertisement targeted specifically to you, go to any of your social media platforms or watch something on Hulu or YouTube that will show advertisements. You can also find an advertisement from your Facebook account, Instagram account, Twitter account, Weibo account, or any other social networking site or service you use that you have seen advertisements on. The advertisement can either be a video advertisement or a “print” advertisement that only has words/pictures and no video.


Include a screenshot of the advertisement in your assignment as a separate page.

  1. What is the advertisement for? Who made the advertisement?
  2. Describe the advertisement. What techniques are being used to attract your attention?
  • For example, are there any celebrities in the advertisement? (If there is, what is their fan base?) is there a lot of color? What is the music like (if there is music)? Are the people in the advertisement young or old, men or women? Are there cute animals? Are there any text messages in the advertisement? (If there is, what do they mean?) And any other elements that have captured your attention.
  1. What kind of lifestyle and values are being represented in the advertisement?
  • Is it trying to appeal to a certain group of consumers?
  • Why do you think this advertisement is being shown to you?
  1. What does this advertisement reveal to you about your own Internet presence?
  • Why do you think this advertisement is being shown to you? What about your browsing history (e.g., recent searches) may have helped the advertisers to identify you as their target audience?
  • Was the advertisement accurate in terms of your interests? Are you persuaded by the advertisement to purchase the product now or in the future?



Essays must be a minimum of one (1) page and a maximum of two (2) pages of written content. Text must be in Times New Roman, single spaced, and 12pt font. One inch margins are required. Page numbers must be included in the top right corner of the page. Essays must address each of the aforementioned questions.

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