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Ad Parody Assignment
A parody is a literary or artistic work that imitates the characteristic style of an
author or a work for comic effect or ridicule.
Create your own parody of a national print advertisement that will not only
grab an audience's attention but will subvert or undermine the original purpose of
the ad. Many good ad parodies are funny, but funny is not essential. A parody
that is unsettling works too. The key is to point out a deeper truth, something
the real ad is not telling you, or turn the meaning of the ad in on itself.
Ideally, your parody should be more than a joke or another version of the same
thing. It should make some sort of critical political/cultural/social statement.
Whether the issue is related to the environment, health, labor, media influence,
or another cause, you might want to do some research to support your point.
Make sure that the criticism of the product or the ad is clear. Before you decide
on an idea, ask yourself: If my parody ran in a national magazine, would readers
understand the point I am making? Would they understand that it is a parody?
If you are creating a parody of a specific ad, include the original ad in your folder.
Is the name of your product on the Advertisement?
Is there at least one phrase describing your product?
Are there at least 4 separate images in the parody ad?
Is it an obvious parody?
Is it obvious what product/idea your parody is about?
Are your Photoshop manipulations well crafted and show an expertise
with the program?
Ad Parody Grade
Visible name of product/service
At least one phrase describing product/service
At least 4 combined images
Obvious parody, clear message of an existing ad or issue
Text style is appropriate to message and legible
Color(s) appropriate and reinforces message
Photoshop manipulation skills
Degree of difficulty
_____ / 05
_____ / 05
_____ / 05
_____ / 10
_____ / 05
_____ / 05
_____ / 10
_____ / 05
_____ / 50
Devices advertisers use to sell the product:
Card Stacking: The strategy of showing the product’s best features, telling halftruths, and omitting or lying about its potential problems.
Testimonial: The use of well-known, respected people to endorse a product or
Glittering Generalities: The act of referring to words or ideas that evoke a
positive emotional response from an audience. Virtue words are often used.
Transfer: The act of relating something or someone we like or respect with a
product. Symbols are constantly used in this form of propaganda.
Plain Folks: The use of everyday people to sell a product or service. Speakers
and ads appear to make the person to be “one of the people.”
Bandwagon: Bandwagon attempts to persuade the target audience to take a
course of action "everyone else is taking." "Join the crowd." This technique
reinforces people's natural desire to be on the winning side.
Name calling: The use of names that evoke fear or hatred in the viewer. The
name-calling technique links a person, or idea, to a negative symbol.
Ad parody reflection:
Write a reflection describing:
-Who is your target audience, where would your parody be published and why
your parody would appeal to that group?
-What was the intended message of the original ad and what was your
- What, visually, gets each of the two messages across?
- Why you included the information you did?
- The propaganda technique(s) used in the original ad.
- The propaganda technique(s) you used and/or how you used it or turned it back
on itself.
50 pts.