In November of this year, Bloomingdale’s produced a holiday print ad in which a man looks intently at a woman in a care-free pose who’s laughing and looking away. The text reads, “Spike your best friend’s egg nog when they’re not looking.” The ad drew a spectacularly negative response over social media channels. An example of the ad, and the apology from Bloomingdale’s, can be found here: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/nov/11/bloomingdales-apologizes-holiday-ad-date-rape-joke.
In this MediaLit Moment, your high school students will have the chance to critique this ad in a number of different ways.
Ask students to respond to the ad in short form, such as a Tweet, thought bubble, or altered tag line.
AHA!: There are so many ways to use media to express how offensive this ad is. We’ve got the power!
Grade Level: 10-12
Key Question #4: What values, lifestyles and points of view are embedded in, or omitted from, this message?
Core Concept #4: Media have embedded values and points of view.
Key Question K#4 for Producers: Have I clearly and consistently framed values, lifestyles and points of view in my content?
Key Question #5 for Producers: Have I communicated my purpose effectively?
Core Concept #5: Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power.
Materials: Bloomingdale’s print ad and scissors, paper and paste; paper and pencil; or a screen image projected via data projector which can be altered with ed tech tools such as Phrase.It or Bubble Ply.
Activity: Show the ad to students and ask for their general reactions. How did it make them feel? Next, ask them to imagine what they think the advertisers were trying to convey. What makes it offensive or tasteless? What message does the ad convey about men and women in society? Introduce a sample Tweet about the ad to class: “Here's Bloomingdale's advertising festive date rape and non-consensual drug abuse to sell fashion. Stay classy.” @ DrJackMonroe. What makes the criticism in this Tweet particularly effective? Depending on the materials you choose or have at your disposal, ask students to produce their own responses to the ad. If using paper and pencil, try to keep the text short, like the sample Tweet. Display student work and discuss.
The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2016, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com.