Advertising is an everyday and significant phenomenon. Sponsors hire agencies to inform us about, and persuade us to buy, innumerable branded products and services on the market, though a variety of mass media. Advertisements also urge us to donate to charity, vote for candidates, or adopt particular lifestyles. Furthermore, advertising may be blatant or subtle, inoffensive or controversial, conventional or ground-breaking. It may succeed, fail, or backfire. It is partly an intuitive art and partly an empirical science.
The course will initially address advertising from the perspective of the psychology of attitude change, seeking to understand it better through the lens of several classic and contemporary theories that are informed by empirical evidence.
Later, the course will turn to half a dozen specialist topics of particular interest, such as the ethics of advertising, the psychology of online clickbait, and role of associative conditioning.
Students will also be taught how to produce a print advertisement, in accordance with the principles recommended by famous and contemporary advertisers.
Finally, students will break up into smaller subsets, and complete two specialized tutorials. The purpose of these tutorials is to facilitate more personalized interaction between the instructor and students. These tutorials will address the timely topic of "Fake News", and students will have a go at developing their own (hypothetical) "smear" or "veneer" campaigns vis-a-vis a controversial figure.
Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to deploy the practical skills you have learned to create print advertisements meant for application in the real world for a variety of purposes.
- learning about the psychological processes that underlie different stages of persuasion
- learning about many key principles that make advertising persuasive
- Understanding in depth advertising in its context, both in terms of ethical principles, and its historical development.
- learning about the advertising world in general.
- Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to judiciously weigh the empirical and logistical merits of different proposed interventions to persuade consumers or the public to adopt particular attitudes or perform particular behaviors.
- learning how to imagine, design, and create a print advertisement in response to real a client brief
- Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of social psychological theories of persuasion in domain of advertising, as well as of several key principles that underlie the construction of effective print advertisements.
- Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to critically understand the scope and limitations of interventions designed to change minds or alter behavior, and the scope and limitations of methodologies and research designs used to arrive at scientific and applied conclusions.
- Understanding in depth specialist topics to do with advertising, such as role played associative conditioning, emotional factor, identity dynamics, and the techniques featured in online clickbait.
- Understanding the nature of "fake news" and propaganda, and concretely appreciating how it can be readily created.
1: Introduction to advertising: Setting the stage for a psychological understanding
2: Attitude change: Principles and models of persuasion
3: Prompting behaviour: How persuasion turns into action
4: By-passing persuasion: Techniques for eliciting compliance
These topics map on to four corresponding chapters in the textbook: "The Psychology of Advertising" by Fennis and Stroebe (2nd Edition).
These chapters are: Chapter 1, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, and Chapter 7.
Two class sessions will be devoted to each of these Chapters.
The multiple-choice quizzes (the midterm; 1/3 of the final exam) will be based exclusively on material from the book.
Students also benefit from two live practice sessions (one of Chapters 1 & 5; another of Chapters 6 & 7), in preparation for these multiple-choice quizzes.
5: The Ethics of Advertising
6: The History of Advertising
7: Principles of Clickbait
8: Associative Conditioning
9: Emotion in Advertising
10: Identity in Advertising
The materials for these topics are the lecture notes plus academic papers and other materials supplied on Blackboard.
These topic will be assessed by discussion questions in the examination. Students will choose 2 questions out of a choice of 6.
Students will benefit from an exam revision session, where issues arising from these topics get discussed, and constructive approaches to answering questions will be suggested.
Students will be given instruction on how to construct an effective print advertisement--drawing on the pointers provided by the celebrated advertiser and copywriter David Ogilvy, as well as by contemporary art director and copywriter Pete Barry. They will then take this knowledge—alongside that provided by the basic and specialist topics—and apply it to developing persuasive print advertisements.
Moreover, the advertisement will be developed on behalf of one or more businesses or causes in the local community with whom the course instructor has liaised, and informed by real-life briefs and requirements.
To assist students, not only will they provided with notes on, and recorded discussions of, the relevant chapters by Ogilvy and Barry, they will also be given a PowerPoint Template to work with, and will be offered one round of formative feedback via email on their print advertisement.
Furthermore, they will also be provided with "feed-forward", using examples of print advertisements submitted by student in previous years, the merits and marking of which be extensively discussed in live sessions.
Alongside their print advertisements, students will also submit a 100-word, free-form, justification documents, explaining the reasons for the decisions they made in creating the print advertisements, thereby aiding marking.
In sessions additional to those normally scheduled, students will break up into smaller subsets, and complete two specialised tutorials.
The purpose of these tutorials is to facilitate more personalised interaction between the instructor and students.
They will address the timely topic of "Fake News", and students will have a go at developing their own (hypothetical) "smear" or "veneer" campaigns vis-a-vis some suitable topic or figure. Students will do this by preparing, either alone or together (their choice), an additional print advertisement, using the same template as that prescribed for the Applied Topic, so they get added practice using that template. However, this additional print advertisement will NOT be marked. In the first tutorial, student will be given a grounding in the topic of "Fake News"; in the second tutorial, the instructor will circulate among the students, chatting and giving advice.
COURSE CONTENT BY WEEK
Session 1: Course Overview / Introduction to Advertising
Session 2: Attitude Change
Session 3: MCQ Practice 1 // Business Visit
Session 4: Prompting behaviour
Session 5: By-passing persuasion:
Session 6: MCQ Practice 2 // Print Ad Introduction
Session 7: Print Ad "Feedforward" // Public Ad Critique
Session 8: Ethics of Advertising // History of Advertising
Session 9: Principles of Clickbait// Associative Conditioning
Session 10: Emotion in Advertising //Identity in Advertising
Session 11: Discussion Question Practice
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Basic Topics: Lectures (also recorded)
Basic Topics: Practice Quizzes
Specialised Topics: Lectures (also recorded)
Specialised Topics: Discussion Question Practice
Applied Topic: Lectures (also recorded)
Applied Topic: Additional recorded lecture materials on Blackboard
Applied Topic: Individualised feedback over email
Applied Topic: Live session "feedforward" based on previous years (also recorded)
Tutorial Topic: One lecture (also recorded)
Tutorial Topic: Individualized class interaction
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Lecture Notes. Available on Blackboard
Additional Summary Notes. Available on Blackboard
Recording of lectures. Available on Blackboard
Fennis, B. & Stroebe, W. (2016). The psychology of advertising. New York: Taylor and Francis.
Ogilvy, D. (1983). Ogilvy on advertising. London: Pan Books.
Barry, P. (2016). The advertising concept book. London: Thames and Hudson..
Summative assessment description
Referral assessment description
Repeat type: Internal & External