Creating a Spoof Ad
One way to encourage students to question rampant consumer culture and the insidious power of advertising is to have them create their own spoof ads, satirizing some of the most pervasive images and slogans in western culture. The assignment posted here helps students create a spoof ad.
Much the best starting point for this project is to visit the Adbusters website (www.adbusters.org). Adbusters is an organization that has raised the spoof ad to the level of anti-consumerist art and there are some powerful examples of spoof ads on their website. (For reasons of copyright, I regret I cannot reproduce any examples either here or on the assignment sheet.)
I suggest you fire up your data projector and show your students the spoof ads posted on the Adbusters website. I have always found that my grade 11 media studies students respond with great interest to the spoof ads and enjoy the challenge of creating their own.
The assignment posted here has some suggestions to help them get started on creating their own spoof ads. The assignment also includes a list of prompt questions to help students write two paragraphs, analyzing and reflecting on the implicit messages both of the original ad and of their own spoof ad.
Spoof ads can be drawn, or created electronically (for example, by using photoshop to modify existing ads), or even by simply cutting out ads from magazines and pasting on new slogans and copy.
This assignment was posted by Dumbledore, who is gradually posting a number of high-school media studies assignments. (These assignments may also be suitable for use as the media component of a high-school English course.