I have not been able to stop thinking about an article I just read in the New York Times that discusses the influence of social media on ad design. Concepts, words, and even icons from social media are being used in print and even television ads. Words such as “like” and “friends” are being used more often and symbols such as a “thumbs up” may appear in print ads. The article presents some excellent examples being used in print ads.

A recent television ad for Toyota Venza has a daughter bemoaning the anti-social nature of her parents because they have only 19 friends on Facebook. This TV ad could be a spring board for an excellent discussion on the impact of social media on ad design.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What impact has social media had on advertising design?
  2. Is there a generation gap between older and younger consumers in terms of social media?
  3. Does the use of social media terms, symbols, and icons in ads influence purchase behavior or brand attitude?

Alternative Teaching Approach – Ask students to locate a print or television ad that utilizes social media in some way and then discuss the use of social media in the ad design. This can be done as an individual project, group project, or even presented to the class.

About Dr. Ken Clow

Co-author of textbook.

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