To clarify the essay, we are looking for you to show your understanding of two or three models/theories about persuasion in advertising by critically discussing them i.e. how well do they explain persuasion? Do you agree with the theory, or are there some exceptions to the theory perhaps based on adverts you have seen recently? If you are looking at the ELM, why is it a 'good' theory, and why is it bad (what does it NOT explain?). The trick here is to offset theories against each other i.e. the strengths of one theory (perhaps that it shows a clear process of persuasion) are the weaknesses of another theory. We want you to think! Are you convinced by the theories you have encountered? Which theory makes sense to you? Which theory do you think is a load of rubbish? Do we get persuaded like robots i.e. like the IPA? Are we all just rational information processing units? Or... do we subconsciously get persuaded by more irrational things e.g. identification. The 'dissuasion' aspect of the question simply means what is off-putting (dissuading) about an advert.
In reference to brand communication, perhaps some theories explain brand communication better than others? Or, perhaps you could critically discuss a model/theory which shows how we are persuaded via brand communication versus a theory which discusses persuasion in general. This raises the question "how important is brand communication in advertising?"
Generally, it is up to you how you structure your essay, but those of you that get good marks for this assignment will:
* Have a clear introduction, where you signpost what is to come in the essay. * A coherent main body, where each paragraph links on from the other and where you have made good use of wider reading * Good use of literature to back up your points
* No subheadings please, it's not a report
* A definitive conclusion where you summarise your argument for which theor(ies) is(are) the best and worst for explaining...
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