Magazine Advertisements

Project Overview

For this project, students will be creating their own original magazine advertisements. Students will:
  • Choose a product.
  • Complete the brainstorming activities.
  • Create a new slogan for the product.
  • Take photographs in order to create 2 advertisement layouts for the chosen product.
  • Create 2 magazine advertisements that combine original photos, graphic design elements and text. This will be done in Adobe Photoshop.

Brainstorming Questions

In order to begin, students will need to answer several questions relating to the product and advertisements.

1. What is your product? What do you know about your product? What do you need to know about your product?

It is best to choose a product that is available to you. You will need to have the original packaging for the product, it is comes in a package. The product should also look new, not used. Therefore, your favorite pair of shoes may not be the best choice. First of all, you probably don't have the box they came in, plus you have worn them. A few better options are: lotion, hair products, small electronics, non-perishable food products, or candy.

2. What is the current slogan for your product?

You will be creating your own slogan for the product. In order to come up with a new idea, sometimes it is helpful to know the current slogan.

3. What is your target audience?

Your target audience is who you are trying to convince to buy your product. For example, if your product is Coco Puffs, you will probably want to target kids and mothers.

4. How are you going to capture your target audience's attention?

Advertisements need to be interesting to capture your audience's attention. You can capture attention in several way. For example, a funny slogan, a funny image/scene, interesting imagery, or shocking statistics. You can use one or a couple items to capture attention.

5. How are you going to convince your target audience to buy the product?

Usually, the consumer has several options when it comes to products. Think about all the different types of cell phones you have to choose from. Therefore, you will have to convince your audience that your product is better than the other similar products. You will have to determine how you are going to do this. Some tactics that are often used:

  • Price: This product is 30% cheaper than other leading brands...
  • Size: This cell phone is smaller than other competing cell phones; Contains 20% more than other potato chips....
  • Durability/Proficiency/Strength: Duracell Batteries last 50% longer than other brands; Removes stains better than other stain removers.

Magazine Ad Analysis

What makes an ad successful?

Good examples

  • The product that is being advertised must be obvious.
  • The product must be in the ad somewhere.
  • The product must be focused and clear.
This ad makes the product known. It is simple, but effective.

  • Text must be able to be read.
  • Text should include enough information to help the viewer understand the product.
  • Avoid paragraphs of information; the viewer will more than likely not read it.
  • Keep the font type and style uniform throughout the ad.
The text in this ad is very simple, but it also creates a clear message.

  • The images used should be eye-catching and/or important to the ad.
  • The message should clear, obvious, and logical.
  • The ad should make sense.
  • A color scheme should be used to unify the ad.
  • Repeating shapes, lines, and patterns can also unify the ad.
  • Whatever imagery is included in the ad should appeal to the target audience.
The background imagery in this ad is interesting and it creates a color scheme of red, gray, black and white.

  • The slogan should relate to the product somehow.
  • It should be short, catchy and memorable.
  • It should entice the target audience to want to buy the product.
Gatorade Always Wins is a slogan targeting athletes, who always want to win.

  • The mood is the overall feeling that the ad contains or portrays, such as happy or humorous, serious, youthful, energetic, etc.
  • The mood should be based on the product.
  • A serious product, such as jewelry or cologne, should be presented in a serious, seductive way.
  • Cars are usually presented in a way that illustrated the car's capability, such as towing power, control, etc.
  • Some products use humor to get the viewer's attention.
This Adidas ad uses humor to capture the viewer's attention, but to also give a message.

Comparing and Contrasting Magazine Ads

Put your knowledge to the test. Compare and contrast the following advertisements for successes and failures.

Project Requirements:

Students will:
1. Complete the brainstorming worksheet.
2. Take at least 20 photographs that can be used to create 2 magazine ads that will be advertising ONE chosen product. The photos should include:
  • The product, several views, with packaging, without packaging.
  • Interesting imagery that can be used to bring attention to the ad and the product.
  • Images that will create a message for the product.
  • Background images and other images to be used in the ad.
3. Using Adobe Photoshop, combine the photos (at least 2 photos for each ad) to create 2 magazine ads. Each ad must include:
  • Different imagery
  • Different layout
  • Text
  • Graphic design elements (shapes, textures, color scheme, patterns)
  • A slogan
  • At least 2 different images.
4. Choose one advertisement to print. Mat the printed image. (Instructions will be given in class for this process).
5. Complete a critical analysis* on the printed advertisement.
*The critical analysis process will be discussed and covered in class prior to this assignment.

Teacher's Examples

Student Examples