In the morning workshop Hard-Core Media Literacy at the SPARK Summit, we deconstructed ads with these three framing questions that I think will help people become aware of what they are watching on television and in the media. The three questions are:
- What is the ad selling?
- How are they selling the product?
- What does the ad want me to feel?
These questions help open up the minds of the people who are unaware of how much these advertisements affect people everyday, including people who are close to them. During the workshop, we discussed how in many of the advertisements women are usually objectified by or dependent on men, while men are positioned to look independent and strong and not care about women. In the workshop that Melissa ran, we broke down a Victoria Secret’s advertisement, an Usher advertisement, and an Equinox advertisement. All three advertisements were selling sex and the image of what a perfect woman should look like. This workshop seemed to me to be like a continuation of Andrea Quijada’s who visited our feminism class from the Media Literacy Project in New Mexico; except this time, the group was able to take part in breaking down the ads. This workshop was a real eye-opener because it made me see how a lot of ads on TV have some kind of hidden subtext. There is one image I attached to this post because I just found it really disturbing. The ad above is for Equinox Gym.