What to do
Get into groups of 2 or 3 and give each group an advertisement (printed from the internet or from a magazine/newspaper), a large blank sheet of paper, a marker pen, glue and a set of questions. Each group should glue their advertisement onto the paper and spend 15 minutes discussing the questions, noting their responses on the paper to create a poster.
Questions to consider are:
- What is being advertised?
- What is the product used for?
- What technique does the advert use to persuade people to buy this product? • Who is it aimed at?
- How are men/women presented in the advert?
- What does the advert assume about the people it is aimed at?
- How realistic are the images being portrayed?
- Which magazine do think it is from, and why?
- Any other comments?
After 15 minutes, display the posters around the room and allow 5 minutes for each group to look at all the others.
- What do you notice most about the adverts?
- Are there any general points to be made about the adverts aimed at men and women?
- What do the adverts suggest about men and women? • What images do they put across?
- Are these images realistic?
- What effect to these images have on people?
- What problems might arise from presenting men and women in this way? • Why are the images used?
This activity focused on the theme of gender, but you could use the same process to focus on other issues – consumerism, the environment, war etc.