One of my assignments in my freshman Rhetoric class in college
The objective of this week's discussion is to demonstrate your understanding of "good research" and how research is presented in advertising, as well as demonstrating your understanding of cultural and cross-cultural issues in research.
One of my assignments in my freshman Rhetoric class in college was to present an ad and evaluate how the language used in the ad influenced the viewer. I selected a PANTENE shampoo ad that claimed to prevent split ends and increase shine by stating the name of a chemical I had never heard. It sounded very scientific, so if it weren't for the assignment, I wouldn't have even checked what the ingredient was or even cared. I simply would have assumed that the chemical was some amazing, breakthrough ingredient.
In hindsight, this assignment was probably one of the catalysts for my interest in research, as well as my interest in market research, which is one of my consulting areas.
Lately, I seem to keep on seeing thetelevision commercial for Prevagen, (Links to an external site.)claiming it improves memory loss and brain function. For the purpose of this discussion, I checked their website to see how they presented their research. The Prevagen website has an entire section dedicated to their research.
Here is avideo (Links to an external site.)that "deconstructs" or breaks down the Prevagen commercial, including its claims.
I have only skimmed through one of the company-sponsored studies, but the deconstruction video is an example of how to cautiously evaluate information from commercials.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS WEEK'S DISCUSSION:
(1) PRESENT A TV/INTERNET OR PRINT COMMERCIAL/AD YOU HAVE SEEN THAT SHARES CLAIMS YOU HAVE EITHER BELIEVED, BEEN INTERESTED IN OR HAVE QUESTIONED.
WHAT IS/ARE THE CLAIM(S)? If you haven't seen one, search for one.
Potential ad/starting point: over-the-counter pharmaceuticals/supplements, dietary or exercise research, food or beverage, electronics, ads that share statistics, etc. (10 points)
(2) NOW THAT YOU'VE LEARNED ESSENTIALS OF GOOD RESEARCH AND CONDUCTING A GOOD EXPERIMENT, WHAT INFORMATION WOULD YOU SEEK ABOUT THE RESEARCH TO MAKE AN EDUCATED DECISION REGARDING CLAIMS MADE BY THAT SPECIFIC COMMERCIAL/AD? (5 points)
(3) CHAPTER 7 DISCUSSES THE INTERFACE OF RESEARCH AND CULTURE. DO YOU BELIEVE CULTURE WAS REFLECTED IN THE RESEARCH? WHY OR WHY NOT? (5 points)