Cartoons & Sales Pitches
You have been assigned to a group, and your group must work together to produce something that will help to protect children. Children grow up with cartoons and fantasy. We take them to Disneyland and introduce them to Mickey Mouse, we sit them in front of a television to keep them occupied while we try to get work done, we teach them to read by giving them comic books, and we let them play video games where fictional characters save the planet.
Kids are surrounded by fantasy, and we hope it will help them to dream big. But advertisers know that kids reside in their own fantasy worlds, and some advertisers take advantage of this by using cartoon characters, avatars, and other aspects of fantasy to sell products to those young and impressionable consumers.
Cartoons & Sales Pitches Purpose
Your group must design instructional material (poster, brochure, video, or any other form of ad) targeted at the parents of grade school students. It must teach them about the fact that cartoon characters and other appeals derived from children’s entertainment are being used to reach kids, and young children might not fully understand where entertainment ends and advertising begins, nor might they understand the true nature of advertising.
You should provide examples that will help parents understand. Remember, it is supposed to speak to parents. It must be capable of teaching them about these dangers of advertising, and provide some direction for how parents should protect their children.
There is no way you can do everything in the context of this assignment, so you are only required to cover what you consider the most important issues. Any issue that clearly affects children’s “advertising literacy” can be used. The choices are yours.
While you must teach parents about the dangers of cartoon/fantasy based advertising, you must do so without demonizing advertising. Don’t make them feel that advertising is inherently bad or evil.
Cartoons & Sales Pitches Format
The format is largely up to you, as well. It can be a film, a website, a research paper, an advertisement, a piece of art, or anything that will effectively communicate the lesson you have chosen to teach. It must be in a form that you can deposit in the “Assignment Folder” on D2L as a single item per group (i.e., don’t give me multiple files).
If you are using something like a promotional product, since you can’t slip most products into a virtual mailbox, do a drawing or clip some art that will help you explain to us what you envision. If you have questions about the approach you have in mind, please don’t hesitate to ask me or the TA. Remember that we can only give you a grade based on what you’ve communicated clearly to us. However, you must clearly list your GROUP NUMBER and the names of each GROUP MEMBER on the submission.
The group project will be scored on 1) potential effectiveness as an instructional piece, 2) the probability that it could really be used (i.e., is it realistic for use), 3) the amount of thought that went into it, 4) the amount of work that went into it, 5) the “originality” of the work, 6) the clarity (i.e., is it easy to understand and follow, and whether you provided any supporting information to convince us of what you are trying to achieve with your concept), and 7) how “polished” it is (i.e., does it need more work to be presentable?).
And, of course, woven through all those criteria is whether or not you followed directions. Each student’s grade will be adjusted based on their peer evaluations, so it is possible to receive a grade that is higher or lower than the group project score. Failure to submit a properly completed peer evaluation by the deadline will result in a loss of points.