Advertisement Analysis

Find an ad that involves social and prestige suggestions—techniques based on the premise that you should buy or do something because many others do so (social suggestion) or some well-known person (celebrity) makes a recommendation (prestige suggestion).

Answer the following questions:

1. Discuss what product this ad attempts to market and describe where the ad came from. Describe or attach

2.  Discuss which component(s) of attitudes (e.g., affective, behavioral, cognitive) to which the ad appeals. How can you tell?  Was this a good strategy for this product/audience?

3.  Discuss the route of persuasion do the advertisers seem to use (e.g., central/systematic route vs. peripheral/heuristic)? Was that a good choice? Specifically, what central or peripheral cues are used?

4. Does the ad attempt to describe the source of its product information (e.g., “dentists agree that _____” or “experts suggest ____?”  Do these sources come off as credible and/or attractive? If there was no expert, do you think one would have helped? Why or why not?

5.  Discuss the communication itself. In your opinion, is the advertisement persuasive? I want you to answer this question by commenting on four elements: Whether the advertisement is a) weak/strong, b) one-sided/two-sided, c) overt/implied, and d) discrepant with the audience/in-line with the audience. Then, tell me why. That is, answer along the lines of: “The advertisement was weak because …” and “The ad was one-sided because …” etc. After discussing those ideas, let me know whether the way the advertiser presented the ad was persuasive.

6.  Discuss the target of the communication. Who are the advertisers targeting, how can you tell, and was that a good decision?  How might this ad be different if directed towards an audience from a more interdependent culture?

7.  Describe how AT LEAST ONE social psychology concept that we have discussed that applies to this ad (e.g. dissonance, emotions, attitudes, self-monitoring, etc. – your choice). First, define that concept and then discuss how it is relevant to the ad’s persuasiveness.

(Seven Points Possible for Each Question #1 through #6; Eight Points for Question #7.

A good rule of thumb is 1 sentence for each point, or 7 sentences for a 7 point question)


  1. The ad I found is for Rolex watches and came from the official Rolex website. The ad features tennis player Roger Federer, who is a well-known and highly respected athlete.
  2. The ad appeals to all three components of attitudes: affective (positive emotions associated with owning a Rolex watch), behavioral (encourages the purchase of a Rolex watch), and cognitive (provides information about the features and benefits of owning a Rolex watch). This was a good strategy for the product/audience as it appeals to people who are interested in luxury watches and are likely influenced by social and prestige suggestions.
  3. The advertisers seem to use the peripheral/heuristic route of persuasion, as the ad focuses on the status associated with owning a Rolex watch rather than providing detailed information about the product itself. The central cue used in the ad is the image of Roger Federer, a highly respected athlete, which is used as a prestige suggestion. This was a good choice as it appeals to the audience’s desire for status and recognition.
  4. The ad does not attempt to describe the source of its product information. However, the use of Roger Federer as a prestige suggestion makes the ad more credible and attractive to the audience. If there was no expert, the use of other well-known figures could have helped increase the ad’s persuasiveness.
  5. The advertisement is strong, one-sided, overt, and in-line with the audience. The ad is strong because it features a highly respected athlete and emphasizes the status associated with owning a Rolex watch. It is one-sided because it only presents positive information about owning a Rolex watch. It is overt because it directly encourages the purchase of a Rolex watch. It is in-line with the audience because it appeals to people who are interested in luxury watches and are likely influenced by social and prestige suggestions. Overall, the way the advertiser presented the ad was persuasive.
  6. The target audience for the ad is people who are interested in luxury watches and are likely influenced by social and prestige suggestions. This can be inferred from the use of Roger Federer as a prestige suggestion and the emphasis on the status associated with owning a Rolex watch. This was a good decision as it effectively appeals to the desires and motivations of the target audience. If directed towards an audience from a more interdependent culture, the ad may need to focus more on the social aspect of owning a Rolex watch and how it can bring people together rather than emphasizing individual status.
  7. One social psychology concept that applies to this ad is social influence. Social influence refers to the ways in which people are influenced by the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of others. The ad uses social influence by emphasizing the status associated with owning a Rolex watch and using a well-respected athlete like Roger Federer as a prestige suggestion. By doing so, the ad suggests that owning a Rolex watch is a desirable behavior that is endorsed by others, making it more likely that the audience will conform to this behavior. This makes the ad more persuasive as it taps into a fundamental aspect of human behavior.

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