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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2011 - 2012

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

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
5. design and produce an original subvertising campaign (in the form of a still image, video clip or short radio piece) and to explain its conception and intended effect in the context of the relevant literature

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture125No Description
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

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

Advertising as communication
Semiotic analysis

The psychology of advertising

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

Cultural identity and ethnicity in advertising

Postmodernity, postmodernism and advertising

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

Culture-jamming and Adbusters

Creating your own subvertisement

Guest lecture
Q + A session with advertising creative

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • 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,
  • Joseph Turow and Matthew P. McAllister: 2009, The Advertising and Consumer Culture Reader, Routledge,
  • Tom Reichert and Jacqueline Lambiase: 2005, Sex in Consumer Culture: The Erotic Content of Media and Marketing, 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,
  • Celia Lury: 2004, Brands: the Logos of the Global Economy, 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