ZIP! Document of Learning #3

Question: Describe the ups and downs you have encountered to date in your inquiry. Specifically, when you were frustrated or why? If you haven’t made any changes to your plan, why do you feel you have been so successful in sticking to it?

It has been three weeks into ZIP, and I have had my share of ups and downs. To start off, I will start with the negatives. My question about finding out what makes a persuasive and effective advertisement was a bit broad. Rather than covering just a general knowledge of the subject, I wanted to pry deep into the abyss of knowledge of my subject, so I decided to pick a specific part of advertising, commercials. I also found that the definition of a “good” commercial was mostly subjective. Commercials don’t always appeal to everyone, and the underlying theme of the commercial must resonate with the audience for the audience to establish a deeper connection with the commercial. The most memorable commercials are usually those that trigger certain memories within us and make us feel sentimental. A good example of this is the “Coca Cola: Hey Brother Commercial”. The theme of brotherhood appeals to many people and makes people relieve memories of their own brotherhood. This creates a personal connection to the commercial, and the audience is more likely to buy their product. This, however, does not mean that it resonates with everyone. Members of the opposite gender never experienced this brotherhood, and are unable to personally connect to the commercial. While this commercial could have been effective and persuasive for a male, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the same will happen for a female, making the definition of an effective and persuasive advertisement subjective, or depending on personal views.

A subjective question made starting the research very difficult and frustrating for me because I didn’t know where to start, but once I got pen on paper (or font on Word document in my case), I was on a pretty good work flow. A subjective question was also the most intriguing parts of my ZIP project, however. By having a subjective question, I had to take a consumer’s point of view and watch a couple commercials myself before being able to formulate a hypothesis. Rather than writing down boring pieces of information that anyone could have found on the first page of Wikipedia, I was able to take a different perspective and get some interesting information about my topic.

I have changed my question from “What makes an effective and persuasive advertisement?” to “What makes an effective and persuasive commercial?” It was a very slight change and the reason I think I didn’t radically change my question was because my original question was a good inquiry question. It wasn’t too big or too small, so I didn’t have to change the entire question and just had to be a bit more specific.

Although this inquiry question has been a dive into uncharted waters, I have to say that the ups of this question have far outweighed the downs.

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