Creating Parody Ads
Resources: MediaSmarts.ca; Adbusters.org; Media Literacy Resource Guide; Mass Media and Popular Culture (2nd Edition); handouts Expectations:
- To demonstrate an understanding that ads tell ½ truths about the product
- To increase awareness that ads are designed to deliver specific messages to consumers
- Thinks reflectively and creatively to evaluate situations and solve problems (CGE3c)
- Makes decisions in light of gospel values with an informed moral conscience (CGE3d)Works effectively as an interdependent team member (CGE5a)
1. Read article:” Just doing it lands Nike in ethical hot water” (by Naomi Klein) as a class.
2. Class Discussion (Guiding Questions):
- What images have Nike ads projected?
- Why has Nike been at the centre of a global campaign for human rights?
- What has the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace targeted in their human rights movement?
3. REFLECTION: Have international labour activists been successful in their campaign against child labour, see poverty wages and anti-union thuggery in Asian sweatshops? Do you believe that Nike is in ethical hot water or that their manufacturing practices are socially and morally justified? Describe a possible ad campaign that would combat the (above) unjust acts by Nike to manufacture its trademark “swoosh”.
4. Class Discussion: Discuss above reflection and ask for volunteers to explain their possible ad campaign
5. Use above discussion as a bridge to introduce PARODY ADS to students. Parody ads are a fun way to analyse popular advertisements, especially advertisers who are selling products which have social and political implications. When you spoof an ad, you take elements of the ad that give it power. You turn the message around to show that it is ridiculous or even untrue.
6. Continue Class Discussion: Show class parody of Nike ad and discuss what elements make it a “parody ad”.
- what was the first thing you noticed about the ad?
- what is being made fun of in the ad?
- how is the original ad constructed? (use of camera angles; lighting) How does that differ from the parody?
- what psychological appeals did the original advertiser use? What psychological appeals did the parody ad use?
- what advertising techniques are different or the same compared to the real ad?
- How did the parody make you feel?
- Did the parody ad change how you look at the original advertisers?
7. Student-Directed Activity:
– PARODY AD CAMPAIGN (see attached handout): In partners, have students find an ad in a magazine that they want to parody. Students may also find ads online, as they may choose to use PhotoShop to reconstruct the ad. (Students need guidance when choosing the advertisement – remind them they are to parody advertisers who pose social or political implications. Students may draw their spoof ads or use computer generated images. After the creation of their spoof ad, students will present their spoof print and radio/TV advertisement, and must also answer the above questions to guide them in a brief analysis of their creation.
DAY B & C:
1. Students continue with spoof ad assignment
DAY D & E:
1. Presentations to follow completion of assignment.
Closure: Question for discussion: Why is humour an effective way to make a point?
2. Assessment / Evaluation:
• Assessment: reflection and oral discussion; roving conferences
• Evaluation: parody ad campaign presentation; media products: print parody ad; radio/television spot; handout of analysis
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- To introduce parody as a way of understanding
- To encourage students to try to write Shakespeare-like verse.
Time needed: 20-30 minutes
Ask students to look at Mark Twain's parody of "To Be Or Not To Be" from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is available online at http://www.wwnorton.com/introlit/drama_shakespeare12.htm. Tell students not familiar with Macbeth that the charlatan who is spouting Shakespeare in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn does not seem to know that Hamlet and Macbeth are two different plays!
Discuss the following with students: For a parody to be successful, readers must know what is being parodied. What does Twain do to the structure, content, and imagery of Shakespeare's F1?
Invite students to write their own parodies of "To Be or Not To Be," retaining the meter and style of Shakespeare. This out-of-class writing assignment could provide the basis for an in-class reading.
Assign students to revise their parodies, then to step back from them in order to write a critical paragraph about their own parodies, assessing their strengths and flaws.