a) Using the ‘bad’ advertisement from Stage 5, propose a new advertisement to make it effective (‘good’). You will not be judged on the quality or design of the advertisement itself – the crucial elements are your idea and justification.

The offending billboard (with branding removed).

In a previous post (Good Advertising vs Bad), I discussed the execution of a billboard advertisement and its perceived failings.

In particular, I felt the headline did not make a connection with the photograph in any meaningful way – besides a literal interpretation. The headline read “Boys have two speeds: flat out and stop” and the picture was of boys running. Hardly innovative – or memorable.

I would propose keeping the headline and changing the photograph in a bid to create resonance, which Stathakopoulos et al. (2008, p. 631) describe as a “echoing or doubleness of meaning”. 

Here is how I would redesign the advertisement (bearing in mind I am restricted by Creative Commons licensing agreements regarding the presentation of photographs and my own limited design skills).

new start
The new ad substitutes the usual meanings of “flat out” and “stop” for alternative meanings.

b) Clearly and succinctly explain how your advertisement is an improved version and why it would be effective.

In redesigning the ad, I would employ the rhetorical trope of substitution, which van Mulken (2003, p. 116) says involves saying “something other than what is meant” and allowing the audience to “make the necessary connection”. The cognitive work necessary on the audience’s part to decode the meaning of the message means they have lingered longer on the advertisement and it may have lodged in their memory.

I would also present a solution to the problem created by a boy having two speeds by adding “we cater for both” (Pickton & Broderick 2005). The subtext is that the college would cater to your son’s academic needs as well as  his extra-curricular needs.


Ben, 2015, ‘U11 season finale vs. St Andrews’, 29 August, viewed 21 August 2016, https://flic.kr/p/y3QoYH.

Myd, n.d., dawn, viewed 28 August 2016, https://flic.kr/p/psy8E.

Newman,  M 2011, ‘Reading’, 10 December, viewed 21 August 2016,       https://flic.kr/p/aTPxon.

Pickton, D & Broderick, A 2005, ‘Creative implementation’, in Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, Sydney, NSW, pp. 151-166.

Stathakopoulos, V, Theodorakis, I G, & Mastoridou, E 2008, ‘Visual and verbal rhetoric in advertising: The case of ‘resonance”, International Journal of Advertising, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 629-658, viewed 27 August 2016, goo.gl/10sgOl.

van Mulken, M  2003, ‘Analysing rhetorical devices in print advertisements’, Document Design, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 114-128, viewed 20 August 2016, goo.gl/64xQ7i.