DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Analysing Advertising
Module Code CM212
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Neil O'Boyle
Semester 2: Neil O'Boyle
Autumn: Neil O'Boyle
Module TeachersNeil O'Boyle
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination
Resit exam

This module explores contemporary advertising as it operates across a broad range of different media. Advertisements, the advertising industry and advertising audiences are examined from a variety of theoretical perspectives, with a view to encouraging a critical awareness of the social significance of living and working in an increasingly promotional media culture.

Learning Outcomes

1. explain the historical development of the advertising industry in the context of key social and economic changes, including the birth of psychoanalysis
2. critically analyse a broad range of advertising texts using a variety of methodological approaches, including content, semiotic, discourse, feminist and reception analysis
3. assess the ideological and psychological impact of advertising in western societies with reference to the relevant theoretical material
4. explain the concept of subvertising, identify examples and explain the strategies behind them

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture25weekly class contact
Independent Study40General research and reading
Directed learning40Exam preparation (including library time)
Online activity20Use of course-related material on Loop
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The advertising industry: an historical overview
News brokers to agencies, internationalisation

The birth of promotional culture
From products to brands, lifestyle advertising

Advertising as communication
Semiotic analysis

The psychology of advertising
Bernays, Freud, Dichter, Jung

Gender and sexuality in advertising
Postfeminism, Raunch Culture and Lad Culture

Cultural identity and ethnicity in advertising
Race, ethnicity, othering

Postmodernity, postmodernism and advertising
Irony, pastiche, intertextuality

Public information campaigns
Drink-driving, smoking, AIDS, condoms

Culture-jamming and Adbusters

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment20% Examination Weight80%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Poster presentation Subvertisement20%Week 8
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Einstein, Mara.: 2016, Black Ops Advertising., O/R Books, New York,
  • Serazio, Michael.: 2013, Your Ad Here: The Cool Sell of Guerrilla Marketing., New York UP, New York,
  • West, Emily and Mathew P. McCallister: 2013, The Routledge Companion to Advertising and Promotional Culture, Routledge, London,
  • Neil O'Boyle: 2011, New Vocabularies, Old Ideas, Peter Lang,
  • Chris Wharton: 2013, Advertising as Culture, Intellect, UK,
  • Joseph Turow and Matthew P. McAllister: 2009, The Advertising and Consumer Culture Reader, Routledge,
  • Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter: 2006, The Rebel Sell: How the Counter Culture Became Consumer Culture, Capstone,
  • Eric Gorden and David Bogen: 2011, Attention, Please! Choreographing Attention with the Tools of Digital Distraction, Routledge,
  • Tom Reichert and Jacqueline Lambiase: 2005, Sex in Consumer Culture: The Erotic Content of Media and Marketing, Routledge,
  • Celia Lury: 2004, Brands: the Logos of the Global Economy, Routledge,
  • Christina Spurgeon: 2007, Advertising and New Media, Routledge,
  • Anandi Ramamurthy: 2003, Imperial Persuaders: Images of Africa and Asia in British Advertising, Manchester University Press,
  • John O’Shaughnessy and Nicholas Jackson O’Shaughnessy: 2003, Persuasion in Advertising, Routledge,
  • Mica Nava et al.: 1996, Buy This Book: Studies in Advertising and Consumption, Routledge,
  • Jon McDonough: 2002, The Advertising Age Encyclopaedia of Advertising, Fitzroy Dearborn,
  • Angela Goddard: 2002, The Language of Advertising: Written Texts, Routledge,
  • Naomi Klein: 2002, No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs, Picador,
  • Anne Cronin: 2003, Advertising Myths: the Strange Half-Lives of Images and Commodities, Routledge,
  • Gill Branston and Roy Stafford: 2010, The Media Student's Book, 5th edition, Routledge,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSCIBA Social Sciences & Cultural Innovation
CSBA in Communication Studies
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
MMABSc in Multimedia
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
Date of Last Revision11-JAN-07

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement