Ad Buster/Multimedia Photoshop Exam

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This exercise requires a written portion that will illustrate your ability to scientifically break down the components of a magazine ad that collectively determine the true and total message beyond the words. In addition, it will also be an opportunity to utilize your  Photoshop skills to convincingly alter the intended message to a new or different message.
 Remember the idea is not to re-invent the ad, but to make subtle changes that radically alters the obvious and/or hidden message within the original ad, while still making use of the bulk of what was there to begin with.

To begin; students are to find a magazine ad and scan it with the intention to manipulate in such a way to send a different message from that which was originally intended by the advertisers. You are transferring from one medium to another and altering the media/the content as well. This is  a bit of are reminder to this generation that there is indeed more than one medium besides the internet out there.

Your work is to be submitted in a word document as follows:

The written portion should:

1. Identify the obvious intended original message along with any underlying messages. In this sample ad you might think of the glamour and sexual underlying message.

          2. Clarify how the imagery supports these messages; the colours, the people, the scene; basically what you do see and maybe even what you don't see. Is what you see hint of glamour, class or sexuality? How??

           3. Explain how the words/text work reinforce the imagery (including the font, size, colour and position, perhaps)
Remember it is not just what you say, but how you say it. For example; in regards to the add above, ask yourself:

    a) What do you think about the text that reads "level vodka", not being level??
    b) Why is it that "level vodka" isn't capitalized?
    c) Why is it that sometimes, certain text in ads is Italic and some not, ...some bold or even in a different font, some big or  some small?
    d) the
simple “hello delicious”, is it directed to just the drink or does it carry other underlying invitations?

       4. Now consider: everything has a cost,... a downside. Using your imagination and Photoshop skills, alter the add in a way to deliver a message not intended or even desired by the producers. Lets us know what they are not telling us or simply tell us something different. Of course this exercise works well on adds that are designed to make something look really good for you, when perhaps it is something that could be bad for you or have serious side effects or potentially hurt others. For example: you could win large amounts of money if you play......, or loose everything because of a newly acquired gambling addiction. What about enjoying our cool sexy cigarettes before you eventually die of lung cancer, etc.
At this point you should have figured out how the original ad works
and just what it is telling us. Now decide on a new message or telling the story behind the story by doing the obvious, yet not so obvious; changing some words, as well as to make subtitle changes to what we see to support the new message.

   5. Finally document what and why, you did what you did, to successfully change what people would get from the ad. Hmm! I wonder why she added green eye shadow to her final ad?

<<<<Student Sample

Below is a second student sample:


Toxic Waste
Multimedia 12

October 1,  2010                         

Submitted by: Little Johnny      

Submitted to: Mr. MacInnis      

 This ad was scanned from the Feb 2, 2008 edition of "Sports Illustrated" magazine.

1. 1. The obvious intended message for this ad is that "Canadian Mist" costs less than other whiskies, and yet is supposed to taste better. After all, it tells you; "less coin" and it is a gold metal winner 4 years running. It is also trying to say that it is a drink for both men and women, and it is a drink for upper and lower class, young and old.

2.    The imagery supports the message by having a few good looking drinks. The use of the cherry can have a number of purposes. It could indicate a sweet choice, or that this drink is for the ladies. Notice the different fruity colour of that particular drink as well. The drink being poured looks like Scotch on the rocks. It is most likely targeting men, or  more specifically older high class people. While the tall glass filled with crushed ice, notably in the back for the younger crowd. The ice symbolizes a cool (mist) refreshing taste. The colour in one glass reflects the gold (metal), the another the colour of the bottle. The way they capture the whisky pouring smoothly into the glass, symbolizes the smooth taste. The different shaped glasses could add to the gender thing mentioned above. The variety of the 3 glasses with their different looks could infer this whiskey is good for a variety of peoples; tall and short, fit and otherwise, plain or sophisticated.

3.    They have the text work for them because it is nice and simple. The main message, mentioned above, is big and obvious. It also in clear view with no distractions. "Notice that they italicized "Mist. Make life more flavourful".  By doing so, they are adding flavour to the words, while "Drink Mist responsibly" is in smaller regular font, shows that what they are saying here isn't as important, nor as exciting. It could be their attempt to deliver a serious message. The problem with that being it's location and timing.

4.    They are not telling us what happens when you drink it. They do not make any reference to alcoholism or liver damage. At best, they make a (literally) small inference towards the temporary negative effects of over drinking once they overwhelm you with their sell. The last thing they want to remind their customers is "the sour flavour" that their product could put to anyone's life. They say to "enjoy life, drink Mist". When alcohol can so often be associated to the destruction of people's/family life, not to mention the toxic effect to the human body.

My message is "Drinking this product could have deadly concequences"

5.    To the picture, I changed the words from “more medal” to “more lethal”. And took out the cherry and added a skull which could represent to a quick death because of the drink such as a car accident. The skull and bones on the medals change the meaning of the award to a darker intent and link the action to the product. The green "Mist" that I smudged in at a low opacity alludes to the toxic affect to drinking, perhaps a slower but potential, eventual death. The words "unpredictable" and "chance" highlight the risk you take when you choose to can be "Lethal".