Advertisement Analysis Essay: Steps, Tips, Insights, & Example

author By Mary Boies

Conventional selling methods that entail rational thoughts are no longer effective.

Today, advertisements that motivate the viewer or reader to take deliberate action stimulate emotion.

Therefore, knowing how to write an advertisement analysis essay correctly is an essential skill that all marketing or business students should master before graduation.

Advertisement analysis essays, also known as ad analysis essays, are quite popular among students.

Such essays are more about ad reviewing and have a specific format that should be adhered to.

What is an advertisement analysis essay, and how do you correctly write one? Keep on reading to find out more.

What is an Advertisement Analysis Essay?

An advertisement analysis essay is an academic essay that needs the student or writer to study an advert properly.

The essay is typically written about a television or print commercial, and it aims to disclose any hidden messages featured in the advertisement which might be misleading or false.

This can be achieved through studying different aspects like gender, used color schemes, age of the target market, and even the genre of music featured, among other things.

For instance, you can highlight how advertising primarily gives males dominant positions over women through virtually all details displayed in the advert.

A counterpart will then have to examine the same advert from the standpoint that it treats both genders equally, thus eliminating any preconceived thoughts about gender discrimination.

Nonetheless, even though ad analysis essays focus on specific works, whether visual or print, the analysis can be stretched to cover how media is used in audience manipulation.

You can, for instance, have an ad analysis essay that compares and contrasts gender roles across different ads or TV programs like soap operas and commercials.

And one great advantage that this kind of essay has over other essays written on the same topic is its ability to use several sources in backing and supporting an argument, and this not only shows that you have conducted thorough research on the topic but also proves your point.

Steps for Writing a Critical Analysis Essay for an Advertisement

Writing an advertisement essay is as simple as keenly reading or observing the advert and then interpreting its meaning to the target audience or exploring how well a brand or a company uses the Ad to achieve its marketing functions.

Today, there are many ways to run adverts apart from print media. Online platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube allow influencers, companies/brands, and marketing agencies to run different ads. Besides, there is also a choice of running ads on commercial TV or radio.

Like a standard academic essay, specific steps should be followed when writing an ad analysis essay.

Below are the steps involved in writing an ad analysis essay like a pro!

Step One: Analyze The Chosen Ad

You can look through magazines or newspapers to find one to discuss if not already provided. Pick an advertisement you understand and have sufficient background information on. Knowing the different parts of an ad and a few advertising methods will help you develop a comprehensive analysis and informative essay.

What five parts of an ad should you look out for? They are;

  1. A captivating headline
  2. Relatable color schemes, images, as well as packaging that capture the consumer's interest
  3. Marketing the benefits
  4. A call to action
  5. A memorable tagline

When assessing the advertisement, observe specific factors like the language, graphics, target audience, message, and cultural significance. In addition, the utilized advertising techniques should also be examined.

Step Two: Use Your Introduction to Introduce the Ad

The first sentence of your introduction should be an attention-grabber/hook that attracts your readers. It can be a statement, observation, statistic, or fact.

After selecting and analyzing the specific advertisement, utilize your essay's introduction to offer background details on the service or product presented in the ad.

Next, give a short analysis of the ad's history, mention why the advert seems better than others, and discuss the target audience.

Step Three: Add Your Thesis Statement

Utilize your thesis to mention what the essay will highlight and what the selected advert is doing about achieving its goal. The thesis statement should include the ad's message, whether it is implicit or explicit.

Make sure that the thesis statement is the last sentence in your introduction. A good thesis statement lets the reader know your standpoint before reading the entire essay.

Step Four: Discuss One Point Per Paragraph

Each body paragraph featured in the body of your essay should discuss one central point. For example, you can discuss the ad's creativity in one paragraph and then discuss the methods used to capture attention in another paragraph. This should be elaborate right from your topic sentence to the concluding sentence.

Generally, the body paragraphs should examine the ad and utilize statistics, facts, research, and examples to demonstrate how the advert leads to a specific outcome.

You can, for instance, quote any sensitive language used. Moreover, the body of your essay should explain how the advertising strategies used work and why they were chosen for that particular audience.

You can also compare and contrast the models used in the advert compared to adverts used by competitors to bring in the critical aspect that encouraged a good scholarly discussion.

You should also identify the loopholes in the market that need to be addressed or if there are needs of the target audience that the advert failed to meet.

Every suggestion you make on the advert should be objective and generalized so that the readers can themselves make a subjective opinion.

Do not forget to include examples as well. Besides, you should cite any information you borrow from scholarly sources to avoid plagiarism.

Step Five: Conclude Your Essay

In the essay's conclusion paragraph, summarize your essay, mentioning some of the main points you discussed earlier. You will also need to restate your thesis statement. Remember that the conclusion is one of the most critical parts of your essay. You, therefore, should make sure that it is memorable.

Take advantage of conclusion paragraph starters to write a perfect conclusion that resonates with your readers.


Structure of an Ad Analysis Essay


The introduction should mention what the advertisement is for. You should summarize the ad's context, name the product or company, and give your thesis statement. The introduction can be written in any of these techniques; an interrogative introduction, narrative introduction, inverted triangle introduction, minding the gap introduction, or a paradoxical introduction.

Your thesis statement should also clarify what the ad is about and who the intended target audience is. Note that the thesis statement should be placed at the end of the introduction. A good thesis statement includes the following:


Your essay's body paragraphs should utilize evidence from the advertisement to prove the thesis statement. Make sure to include the following in your body paragraphs:


You should provide a brief summary of your essay, mentioning some of the points you discussed earlier. You will need to restate your thesis statement and remember that the conclusion is one of the most critical parts of your essay.

The conclusion should also explain the ad's cultural significance. Mention the attitudes, beliefs, and values the advertisement seeks to meet.

Ad Analysis Essay Outline

It is vital to develop an essay outline before you start writing your paper, and the outline will serve as a plan for how you intend to approach it. Below is an advertisement analysis essay outline template you can use for your assignment.


Body paragraphs


Follow our guidelines, and you can rest assured of having a perfect ad analysis essay!

Sample Advertisement Analysis Essay

Garnier Fructis Shampoo Advertisement Analysis Essay


Fructis Shampoo is one of the major products manufactured by Garnier, an American company. During one of its promotions to market the product, Garnier posted an advertisement for the shampoo in an issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. The ad focuses on a woman's beauty and how important her hair is to her general appearance in society. Like all other ads, the aim of this ad is to convince consumers to buy the product. Per se, the Fructis Shampoo by Garnier ad seeks to appeal to the target market via implicit messages, audience targeting, cultural significance, language, and graphics.

Advertisement Analysis (The Body)

Women between the ages of 18 to 40 comprise the bulk of Cosmopolitan magazine's target audience. Most of the magazine's readers are enthusiastic about beauty, fashion, and love. The magazine also features different articles on romance, weight loss, and famous personalities. Grownup females mainly read the magazine to be enlightened about current events and to discover solutions to their relationship and physical appearance problems.

Through addressing beauty issues, particularly those that involve a woman's hair, this advertisement strongly appeals to women in this target group via implicit messaging. Most American women place great significance on the appearance of their hair and are constantly searching for services or products that will allow them to align their hair to the latest trends in fashion (Zahra et al., 2022). This ad attempts to capitalize on women's worries about their hair by promising them a "great" solution that will enhance their beauty and boost their self-esteem. Therefore, the implicit messages of this ad promise a woman beauty, strength, and confidence.

The language employed in the ad expresses ideas about confidence and strength and boosts the promotion of beauty principles. The advert reads "sleek and shine" written in bold. Ladies often link these phrases with good things since American society highly values sleek and shiny hair. The ad is, however, vague regarding how much shine someone's hair will get following the use of the shampoo. In addition, the ad doesn't also define the term "sleek." And even though these two adjectives are appealing, they are useless as the ad does not mention the "shine" and "sleek" levels that the customer should anticipate. So, even though the ad's phrasing has logical appeal or logos (Elfhariyanti et al., 2021), it seems to convey unsupported information about the shampoo. Unfortunately, most readers don't take a moment to consider the significance of these two terms.

The graphics utilized in the advert use pathos by emotionally appealing to the intended group. The gorgeous long-haired model featured on the page is the ad's main subject. The model seems to display qualities that most ladies wish to possess. She has long, shining hair, an oval, blemish-free face, and a slim, tiny body. She also appears to be giving the reader an enigmatic, seductive gaze. The model is a woman the magazine readers imagine is sought-after by men and venerated by women, given that she resembles several other women in TV commercials, movies, and shows (Johnson, 2012). As a result, this ad tends to leave the reader with specific ideas about how a woman should physically look to be deemed desirable and beautiful as per the American Culture.

With regard to cultural significance, the ad tends to emphasize the importance of physical beauty in American culture, just like other TV programs and adverts do. The ad seems to imply that a lady may only be considered beautiful if she bears similar physical features as the woman featured in the advert. This ad implies that women can only feel secure about their bodies if they have a specific external appearance. Whereas some individuals think a woman ought to be strong, this Garnier ad insinuates that a woman's strength lies in her beauty as per societal standards. And just like other beauty ads, this particular one uses women's insecurities about themselves to get them to purchase cheap products. Ultimately, such advertising highlights a woman's outward beauty while completely overlooking her internal traits like compassion and intelligence.


The discussed Garnier Fructis shampoo advertisement uses particular appeal elements to draw the target audience's interest hopefully. These elements include implicit messaging, audience targeting, cultural significance, and language and graphics. Even though the use of these particular elements creates considerable appeal to potential buyers, some of these elements depict an exaggerated value of external beauty at the expense of internal beauty. The ad also seems to convey unsubstantiated facts about the product being sold. Therefore, even though the advertisement does a great job of appealing to the target audience, it can be improved to consider women's inner beauty and provide more factual information.


Elfhariyanti*, A. A., Ariyanti, L., & Harti, L. M. (2021). A multimodal analysis: Construing beauty standard in shampoo advertisement.�Pioneer Journal of Language and Literature,�13(1), 134-147.

Johnson, F. L. (2012).�Imaging in advertising: Verbal and visual codes of commerce. Routledge.

Zahra, G. E., Rehan, M., Hayat, R., & Batool, A. (2022). Construction of beauty concept by beauty product advertisements: A critical discourse analysis.�Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology,�19(3), 789-804.

How to Start an Advertisement Analysis Essay

Begin by introducing your thesis by explaining the product you picked as your essay's sample. Thoroughly analyze the product and ask your reader or reviewer if they are familiar with the development of the advertised work.

Note that you do not have to agree with the advertisement's implicit message. Discuss your claims in the essay, as there are no wrong or correct answers about the ad's implicit message. However, you will have to support your claims with reasonable arguments.

Next, inform your reader why the advertising company opted to adopt that approach of advertisement for the product you just discussed, given that there are several other modes of advertising. You should aim to detail why and how the company uses that advertisement mode.

Proceed to compare the organization's present ad model with the previous one(s) and its influence on the product's market, loss, or growth. An ad analysis will bring to light the loopholes and gaps in the market. It is vital always to generalize your remarks in the essay so that the reader can form their judgments personally, without your personal views affecting their decision.

Keep in mind that there are different target markets based on the product. Therefore, you must utilize the appropriate methods to communicate your message.

How to Conclude an Ad Analysis Essay

The essay conclusion should include the product's summary, the advertising mode, and how it has affected market changes. To properly conclude your ad analysis essay, summarize the most critical points of your essay. And most important is to restate your thesis statement without using the exact words in the introduction.

You should also rephrase the thesis statement as part of your concluding paragraph to complete the information loop and offer your readers closure.

In addition, mention whether or not the ad achieved its goal of informing, entertaining, or persuading its target audience. And without adding any new information, including one last sentence to leave the reader with something to ponder.

Tips to Write the Best Essay on an Advertisement

  1. Introduce the subject that you will be advertising. The readers of your analysis might be unfamiliar with the product or service you are discussing. Therefore, introducing it early enough in your essay will make it much simpler to understand. Regardless of the popularity or content of the advertisement, it would help if you gave a brief description of the ad so that everyone has a clear idea of what will be discussed in the essay.
  2. Establish what audience you'll be addressing. It is vital to know who you are writing to as this will allow you to focus your essay's content appropriately and permit you to draw special attention to those aspects your readers will be most interested in.
  3. Understand the purpose of the advert and your main reason for writing an analysis essay about that specific advert. Correctly understanding the ad's intent goes a long way in producing a well-structured paper.
  4. Take time to create an essay outline before you start writing your essay. Note that the contents of your essay need to be presented in a specific order, so you should plan this sequence before you begin writing the essay itself.
  5. Keep things simple when writing your essay. Avoid the use of complicated jargon. This will make reading more enjoyable and also meaningful.

Summing Up!

Writing an advertisement analysis essay does not have to be as troublesome as you suppose. Rather, it is an interactive process that enables you to get into the creators' minds, explore how well they did their craft, and suggest areas for improvement if needed.

When analyzing an advert, you need to identify the advertisement's rhetorical appeals (ethos, logos, and pathos). You must also analyze the target audience to determine its values, preferences, attitudes, intentions, and beliefs.

Think about the effects or potential purpose of the advertisement using diction, tone, language, and presentation.

You should be critical enough to determine the rhetoric behind the symbols and non-verbal cues and relate them to the specific brand and the target audience.

Now that you have the facts and access to tips, steps, and a written sample advert analysis essay, you are on the right track. However, sometimes many things come our way, limiting our chances to complete writing essays.

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