During my freshman year, I took an Introduction to Communication in the Media course. One of our assignments was to analyze an advertisement in a print magazine, and I chose a Playtex ad. While flipping through Seventeen Magazine, something I’m a little embarrassed to be admitting, the advertisement I chose to analyze immediately stood out to me. It was a black and white photo of a woman running through the streets of New York City in the rain. Immediately, I thought “Wow, this advertisement truly empowers women,” however, I soon noticed the very feminine, soft details in the ad that contradicted my immediate feelings.
The assignment was to take a list of terms that my professor gave us and apply them to the ad. These definitions including semiotics, interpellation, and connotation- words unknown to most unless they studied Communications. Thus, my paper was composed of a 5 page analysis of an advertisement using “important terms” and applying it to societal issues. Nevertheless, the format of the paper was essentially a research paper that I would write in middle school: stating the term, the term’s definitions, my argument, and my evidence to support it. Yet, the societal problem that existed in the ad- the contradictory elements of how females fit into the world- did not come across in my argument. Rather, I only scratched the surface of something that should have been addressed throughout my paper because I was so worried about including the necessary definitions in my work.
Thus, I am considering repurposing this paper in order to get away from the conventional analysis paper. I definitely want to keep the terms in my paper because they are supportive of the argument that I want to make throughout the paper- that of the contradictory ideas of a woman’s place in the world and how females are expected to act- but I do not want this to be a typical academic paper. I want to expand my audience and entertain them while informing them of this topic. I know for sure that I do not want to follow conventional academic writing, meaning I do not want to write this in an argumentative essay format. I was thinking about writing a satire piece, but I am not sure if this would be the best way to approach my repurpose. I was also considering writing the piece from the perspective of the female in the ad and putting a fiction spin on it.
I am excited to hear your thoughts and feedback!