Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2-hour Lecture-workshops


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 10 minute Group Presentation  (Advertising Pitch)  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word Pitch Report  30%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word Essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500-word Essay.  All failed elements must be retaken or made good. In the case of the essay, students will be required to complete a different assignment to the one originally submitted.   50%
Supplementary Assessment In the case of the presentation and pitch report tasks, students will be expected to re-sit one of the following: For a missed Group Presentation, students should submit a 500 word written account of how they would go about articulating their ideas to an audience, and include a Powerpoint file containing a pitch representation.  20%
Supplementary Assessment For failure to submit a pitch report, students will be required to follow the original rubric and record the ideas that led to the Group Presentation (2,000 words, worth 30% of the module mark).  30%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Outline and evaluate the main stages in the development of an advertising campaign

2. Reflect upon the socio-psychological factors that often underpin advertising campaigns, and explain how/why some campaigns might be controversial or problematic

3. Deconstruct and analyse advertisement texts using a range of tools

4. Systematically and analytically present ideas and justify choices

Brief description

This module is designed to offer students a critical insight into the advertising industry across a number of converging media. Using numerous examples of individual advertisements and advertising campaigns, this module will investigate many interrelated considerations, including the historical development of the advertising industry, industry structure, advertising philosophy and psychological approaches, and audience 'positioning'. Advertising texts (televisual, web and print) will be analysed in the context of each of the above points.


Lecture-workshop sessions will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction: The rise of modern advertising
  • The basic psychology of advertising
  • Creative Processes: The dynamics of agency and client
  • Theory 1: Images in ads
  • Theory 2: Rhetorical appeals
  • Product Targeting 1: Gender
  • Product Targeting 2: Age
  • Controversial Advertising: The dynamics of text and audience
  • Subvertising
  • Sex sells: Fashions and fragrances

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will be given the opportunity to reflect upon basic statistical data (primarily presented in percentages), through encountering key research studies in the field.
Communication Students' written communication skills will be developed (e.g. appropriate language and style, accuracy, precision and ability to be concise). Opportunities will be given, through interactive lecture-workshop sessions, for students to develop confidence in using their speaking and listening skills when communicating their ideas. Students will develop oral presentation skills by articulating their ideas to the group and putting together a systematic presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be able to develop their skills of information location and retrieval. Students will be given opportunities to develop effective note-taking skills. Students will develop their critical thinking skills. Through group and whole class discussion students will be given opportunities to develop an awareness of the opinions of others and reconsider initial ideas if necessary.
Information Technology Students will be given the opportunity to develop their authorial and note-taking skills when planning and preparing for the written assignments, and will be encouraged to develop their note-taking skills in lectures. Students will be given opportunities to develop their skills using electronic search and retrieval of sources both on the web and on the AU LIS. Students will develop their skills when referencing from the web and related sources, and will focus on the selection of materials appropriate to task. E-mail and Blackboard will be the main forms of communication and information-sharing in this module, so students will be encouraged to actively engage in these processes. Students will learn to use Powerpoint and other similar packages to create presentations.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be given the opportunity to evaluate current knowledge and skills and set targets for self-improvement. Students will be encouraged to take increasing responsibility for managing their own learning. Students will be encouraged to build upon the knowledge gained from lectures through developing skills in self study (supported by the general and specific reading lists and other resources distributed throughout the module). Students will develop self-confidence in public speaking, particularly valuable for those wishing to work in the advertising industry.
Problem solving Students should be able to identify tensions and debates in the field, and will be encouraged to critically reflect. Students should gain experience in apllying different approaches and materials to understand data and other patterns in research.
Research skills Students will be able to develop their skills of information location and retrieval. Students will be given opportunities to develop effective note-taking skills. Students will be encouraged to evaluate, interpret and reflect upon a variety of sources, and to make links to accomodate new ideas.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Most sessions will involve group work where students will be able to collaborate through discussion. Students will work in small groups to create an advertising pitch, culminating in class presentations.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Beasley, Ron & Marcel Danesi (2002) Persuasive Signs: The Semiotics of Advertising Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter Primo search Brierley, Sean (2002) The Advertising Handbook 2nd ed Routledge Primo search Clark, Eric (1988) The Wantmakers Hodder and Stoughton Primo search Cook, Guy (1992) The Discourse of Advertising Routledge Primo search Corrigan, Peter (1997) The Sociology of Consumption Sage Primo search Dickason, Renee (2000) British Television Advertising Luton University Press Primo search Dyer, Gillian (1982) Advertising as Communication Methuen Primo search Fowles, Jib (1996) Advertising and Popular Culture Sage Publications Primo search Goffman, Erving (1979) Gender Advertisements Macmillan Primo search Goldman, Robert (1992) Reading Ads Socially Routledge Primo search Gunter, Barrie & Adrian Furnham (1992) Consumer Profiles - An Introduction to Psychographics Routledge Primo search Hecker, Sidney & David W. Stewart (1988) Nonverbal Communication in Advertising D.C. Heath & Co Primo search Jhally, Sut (1987) The Codes of Advertising St. Martin's Press Primo search Kress, Gunther & Theo van Leeuwen (1996) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design Routledge Primo search Leiss, William, Stephen Kline & Sut Jhally (2005) Social Communication in Advertising 3rd edition Routledge Primo search Manca, Luigi & Alessandra Manca (Eds.) (1994) Gender and Utopia in Advertising Procopian Press Primo search Messaris, Paul (1997) Visual Persuasion - The Role of Images in Advertising Sage Publications Primo search Myers, Greg (1999) Ad Worlds: Brands, Media, Audiences Arnold Primo search Myers, Greg (1994) Words in Ads Arnold Primo search O'Shaughnessy, John & Nicholas Jackson O'Shaughnessy (2004) Persuasion in Advertising Routledge Primo search Scanlon, Jennifer (Ed) (2000) The Gender and Consumer Culture Reader New York University Press Primo search Stern, Barbara B. (Ed) (1998) Representing Consumers - Voices, Views and Visions Routledge Primo search Vestergaard, Torben & Kim Shroder (1985) The Language of Advertising Basil Blackwell Primo search Wernick, Andrew (1991) Promotional Culture - Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression Sage Primo search Williamson, Judith (1978) Decoding Advertisements - Ideology and Meaning in Advertising Marion Boyars Primo search Zaltman, Gerald (2003) How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market Harvard Business School Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5