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Practice: Analyzing Symbolism in Ads
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by Claire Doyle
| 12 Questions
Note from the author:
This Formative asks students to think through the symbolism in popular advertisements. I used it as practice during our symbolism lesson; it was one step towards writing a paper on rhetoric in advertising.
Analyze the symbolism of each of the following ads. Ask yourself: What symbols do you see? What is the ad trying to turn its product into a symbol for?

Here’s an example:
What’s the tone? Wry, funny, affectionate
What are we supposed to believe about this product? McDonald’s chicken nuggets give us a shortcut to a home-cooked meal. Eating them is like eating food grandma slaved over.
What is the ad trying to turn its product into a symbol of? The ad is trying to turn chicken nuggets into a symbol of two ideas: 1) Family togetherness or old-fashioned values 2) modern convenience and freedom
1
1 pt
What's the tone?
2
1 pt
What is the ad trying to make us believe about its product?
3
1 pt
What is the ad trying to turn its product into a symbol of?
4
1 pt
What's the tone?
5
1 pt
What is the ad trying to make us believe about its product?
6
1 pt
What is the ad trying to turn its product into a symbol of?
7
1 pt
What's the tone?
8
1 pt
What is the ad trying to make us believe about its product?
9
1 pt
What is the ad trying to turn its product into a symbol of?
10
1 pt
What's the tone?
11
1 pt
What is the ad trying to make us believe about its product?
12
1 pt
What is the ad trying to turn its product into a symbol of?
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