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Creating an Effective Ad Campaign

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Keywords: Ad creation, Microsoft Publisher, layout, technology
Subject(s): Technology, Business
Grades 10 through 12
School: White Station High School, Memphis, TN
Planned By: Mark Harris
Original Author: Mark Harris, Memphis

Unit Plan

Unit Title: Creating an Effective Ad Campaign

Content Subject Area(s): Writing, Computer Technology, Graphic Design, Analytical Thinking, Presentation Skills

Grade Level(s): 10-12

Time Required: Five or Six Sessions

1. What standards-based big ideas are important for your students to learn?
Instructional grouping which teaches students that certain types of poster presentations can be quite effective in pushing the decision of a person one way or the other which meets IRA standard 2.1. Instruction will be given for using relatively simple multimedia creation software such as MS word for embedding images into a page. Instruction will also be given on image and text manipulation with the use of a software tool such as Macromedia Fireworks or other open source graphic editing software which is freely available to meet IRA Standard 2.2. The posters may be made in another language such as Spanish to show that it targets the Latino demographic in order to meet IRA standard 2.3.

What do you want students to know and/or be able to do?
Essentially, it is desired that the students understand that how they say what they want to say is almost as important as what they are saying. The way things are presented to an audience or the manner in which ideas are transmitted are as important as what the actual idea is. Towards this purpose, they will be given the knowledge as well as the knowhow on how they can create effective posters to encourage individuals to join the organization known as the Future Business Leaders of America.

Problem Specification
You have all seen posters. Some of them you may see for just a few seconds but they give you a message. The message can be funny, sad, shocking or even unbelievable but the poster is designed in such a way that in a few seconds it can have an impact on your mind. How do they do that? The answer is simple if you look at a poster long enough and know how posters are made. In this unit we are going to examine some good and some not so good posters to see what makes an effective poster. Then we are going to develop our own poster to see if we can make something which can encourage people to take an action.

Unit Summary
The first lesson is a introduction to posters to let students discover and analyze what an effective poster can be.

Lesson 1
In the first lesson, students will be introduced to the idea of poster campaigns and ask to share what they think were effective posters which they have seen for movies, concerts, video games etc. They will be asked to describe the posters and give any opinion they have on why they thought the posters were effective. They will then be shown certain posters from ad campaigns such as the Apple Inc. iPhone campaign, a poster for encouraging people to get a diabetes exam, one showing a UFO and the ‘Got Milk?’ series of ads. The students will be asked if they can identify what each poster is calling them to do and if they find the message impactful. For the last part of the first lesson, the students will be given an opportunity to break into groups and discuss the questions listed on think sheet A.

Lesson 1 Materials
Poster Images to be displayed Think sheet
Computer Presentation tool or smartboard

The poster images can be printed out and displayed for the students on the black board or they can be presented one by one on a computer slideshow as they are discussed. If a computer is to be used then a computer system along with a smartboard or a projector must be used as a presentation tool. It might be better to use a computer since images may be zoomed in on to show details.

Teacher Activities before the Lesson Starts
The teacher should:
1. Make the posters ready for a discussion
2. Know some famous posters to encourage discussion
3. Print the required number of copies for think sheet A.

Lesson 2
In the second lesson, the students will be shown and guided through breaking down the design elements of a poster. Here, they would be shown both the good posters discussed in the previous class and also shown some examples of poor posters which have issues in the message or the presentation. In terms of practical application, they will be shown using appropriate software tools how they can make a gradient for a background and how they can place images into a word document for manipulation of the image. The software tools used should be appropriate to the age and the requirements of the school and to reduce costs, instead of using commercial software, open source software (which is freely available) can also be used. If MS word is being used to the lesson, the students can be simply guided on how font sizes can be changed, the manner in which justification affects readability and how textboxes can be used to specify how text is placed within a poster. They can also be shown how some fonts can be difficult to read when printed i.e. Arial and how fonts with serifs are easier for reading in printed materials.

Lesson 2 Materials
Poster Images to be displayed Graphic and text editing software
Computer Presentation tool such as a smartboard
Since the students are to be shown how to create certain graphical elements, a computer connected to a presentation unit is essential here along with the graphic and text editing tools that will be used by the class.

Teacher Activities before the Lesson Starts
The teacher should:
1. Create Scans or photographs of the posters for the class
2. Go over making graphical elements such as gradients and shapes in graphic tools
3. Create the lecture outline for the typography information to be given to the class.

Lesson 3
The students will be introduced to the Future Business Leaders of America website and given some basic information about the membership of the organization. They will be guided through the website of the organization and shown graphic as well as textual examples of special effects blending (main page) style and theme (throughout the website) the key colors used by the website as well as their impact. The students will also be taught how to create posters by first making a mock drawing i.e. a thumbnail sketch on paper or using a graphic software tool and then translating it and actual poster with the use of a graphics editing package. Here they would be given guidelines about using rulers, graphical guides, spacing between text and other information which will be useful for them in creating the posters for FBLA. At the end of the lesson they would be given think sheet B and asked to think about making a poster to encourage people to join the FBLA.

Lesson 3 Materials
FBLA Website Think sheet B
Computer Presentation tool i.e. smartboard
Graphics and text editing software Pencils and scales if required

Teacher Activities before the Lesson Starts
The teacher should:
1. Have the FBLA website open
2. Know the various graphical and textual elements of note in the website
3. Create examples for graphical elements which are not present in the website
4. Print the required number of copies for think sheet B.

Lesson 4
Working individually or in groups depending on the availability of computers and other equipment, the students will start making mock up of a poster to encourage FBLA membership. They will also be told that they can place the text of the poster in Spanish if they so wish to encourage multiculturalism. The teacher should be able to engage with each group and give them guidelines as to how they can make their poster more effective. Once the mockups are complete, the students should move to the computers and start making the posters using the software tools for which the use has already been shown to them in previous lessons. The teacher should visit each workstation to help students if they have any difficulties in applying a particular effect or need additional guidance.

Lesson 4 Materials
Blank sheets, color pencils and other required stationery. Access to FBLA website for the students
Access to images.google.com Access to a media library for images
Computers for students Graphics and text editing software

Teacher Activities before the Lesson Starts
1. Ensure that the required software is present on all computers to be used by student groups

Computer Functions and Data Manipulation
Students can work in groups or work individually depending on the availability of the computers in the class.
Computer Function Computer Application Data Manipulation
Graphic editing Graphics editing package Students will edit and apply effects to the images they have found online or from other sources which they think are best for their posters.

Text Editing Text editing software Students can edit the text of their poster in the software and then place it in the graphic editing package to complete the poster. They can even do the reverse if they choose by creating the text first and placing the graphics alongside the text

Computer Activities
The teacher should supervise each group and try to make at least one visit to each group working on the posters.

Teacher actions to be completed prior to going to the computer: Student actions to be completed prior to going to the computer:
Explain the purpose creating the poster and ask the students to refer back to what was discussed in the preceding classes.
Create mockups on paper if required before creating the actual posters or writing text for the posters
Teacher actions to be completed at the computer Student actions to be completed at the computer
Check to see if the groups are making progress and if any decisions can be spotted at the present that could lead to difficulties in competition.
Use the graphic and text manipulation skills learnt by them to create the posters for FBLA membership

Teacher actions to be completed after going to the computer Student actions to be completed after going to the computer
Guide the poster making process to improve the effectiveness of the message. Go over the posters made to mark key spots which show why it is a good poster and present it to the rest of the class

Supporting Activities
Ideally, a group setting may be more useful than individual computers for all students simply because editing graphics and text can be time intensive process particularly where each student is to be given guidance. If all students have their own computers in the class then Lesson 5 may become a necessity.

Rotation Plan
A rotation plan would be inapplicable here since the student would have to go from making mock drawings of the poster to creating actual images. The problem of few computers in the classroom can be managed if students are formed into groups.

Lesson 5 (Optional)
If the posters are complex and the grade level demands it, the students should be given one extra session to work on their posters with the assistance of the teacher if required. The materials requirement as well as computer functions would remain the same as for lesson 4.

Lesson 6
The students should be given an opportunity to present the posters they have created to the class and discuss their experience along with what makes their posters effective. The time given to discuss each poster can be lengthened if the students have been working in groups but in the case of individual posters, the teacher should point out one or two key positive elements of the poster. This will help students learn from the work done by each other as well as show them how the same message can be carried out and passed to the audience in different ways.

Lesson 6 Materials
Presentation tools Collected images of posters from all student groups

Teacher Activities before the Lesson Starts

1. Collect all the posters made by various groups.

Unit Learning Objectives
The overall learning objectives of the unit are in line with the IRA standards as described below:
Learning Objectives
By the end of this unit, the students will: State Content Standard and Learning Expectations
Be able to understand various typographic and graphical elements used in posters to persuade people IRA Standard 2.1

Be able to create posters which can call people to a certain action
IRA Standard 2.2NETS-S Standards
Be encouraged to make their posters targeting a multicultural audience by presenting the text in Spanish or targeting a specific audience which does not have English as its first language
IRA Standard 2.3s
Students will make posters specific to one organization which will require them to change their writing style, vocabulary in order to communicate effectively with purpose. IRA Standard 4

Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Links: Link to FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America)
Materials: Video Cameras, Flip Video, DVD Camcorder, Hi-Def Camcorder, Digital Cameras, Point and Shoot, Projectors, Short Throw Projectors, Projector Screens, Camera/Video Accessories, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards, CDs and DVDs, Cables, Computer Accessories, Power, Keyboards, Headsets, Ports and Hubs, LCD Monitors, Mice, Internet Services, Worksheets, Student Resources, Assessment, Clip Art, Integrating Technology