Writing 220: Repurposing Idea, Casey Lyons

Hi, Everyone!

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!

4 thoughts to “Writing 220: Repurposing Idea, Casey Lyons”

  1. Hi Casey,

    This has a lot of potential- it’s super relevant and could be very meaningful. In terms of your two ideas above, I’m thinking that writing the piece from the perspective of the female in the ad would be more interesting. You could definitely include humor in the piece (referring to your idea for a satire). Would you be writing from the perspective of the image and personifying that? That would be really interesting, you could work off of the specific brand, as well as the female’s actual pose in the ad. If that’s not what you were thinking, then scratch all of that!

    You might also consider having the female speaking throughout your piece, as if to an audience. It would be interesting to have the image of this woman become a living being. Just a thought!

    Good luck with your repurposing 🙂

    Best,
    Lauren

  2. Hi Casey! I think that your idea is fascinating. As a male, seeing that ad in that magazine probably wouldn’t have evoked a single thought in my mind, so being able to expand on that is a unique avenue to go down that could be a perspective I wouldn’t have recognized before. I may be biased as a comedy junkie, but I think a satire piece would be the most effective way to pronounce your creativity while making a poignant, meaningful statement. Either making the reader of laugh or giving them something to “uncover” underneath the satire would be engaging and powerful. My one concern though is that it is a supremely drastic overhaul of what you had written prior. Do you already have a potential story in mind? Good luck with repurposing, you seem very passionate about this topic! – Ethan

  3. Hi Casey!

    As someone who absolutely loves satire, I vote for that idea.

    I’m worried if you write it as fiction, it will end up predictable. These conflicting messages about how we are supposed to act are something all women have experienced. You could still make good points, but I wonder if it would inch closer to academic writing.
    However, with satire you could make it as extreme or as mild as you like, and we would never see it coming. Plus, I love the spunk behind satire. This a topic where some spunk can make your arguments strong. A lot of the expectations on and mixed messages to women are ridiculous, so some “ridiculous” writing could work well for this.

    Morgan

  4. Hey Casey!

    Your satire idea reminds me of a piece that I read back in high school for AP Lang, “Why I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady. Although a satire is a great idea, I am not really sure how that could fit into this ad. Would there be a voice- over or would the reader be aware of what’s running through the woman’s mind? Could it be from the photographer’s point of view? I think you would also have to consider whose narration would be the most powerful or interesting here. I think the message would not be as powerful with a fiction piece, unless there is some remarkable achievement by the character to be uncovered in the story. Overall, I would consider how you would want the audience to react to this piece and why you would want them to feel that way.

    I can’t wait to see your new version!
    Sanika

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