Communication Science

Communication Science Essay Sample


A qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the creative concepts used in the advertisements in the South African editions of Elle magazine (aimed at 16-35 year old fashion-forward woman), published during February and March 2012: A cross-sectional comparison.


This research evaluates the creative concepts in two consecutive issues of Elle magazines. The copy testing of the February and March 2012 issues will uncover: * The varying types of advertising

* Similarities in the messaging – similar products/services advertised


The research addresses content analysis of creative concepts limited to all advertisements published in two issues of Elle magazine (SA editions). All advertisements published in magazines make use of creative concepts but for the purpose of this research the problem is limited to Elle magazine published in February and March 2012. All advertisements published in the February and March 2012 editions of Elle magazine are accessible but for the purpose of this research only eight advertisements is identified and analysed.

By means of content analysis this research project aims to uncover create concepts found in two different magazines. In most cases advertisements make use of more than one creative concept, but for the purpose of this research only one creative concept per advertisement is identified and analysed. This research makes use of eight advertisements. Four advertisements are published in four advertisements are published in Elle February 2012 and Elle March 2012. The February and March 2012 editions contain various advertisements of different services providers offering products or services.



The population parameters are one magazine, namely Elle magazine (SA). The research will focus on the February – March 2012 issues and all the advertisements in these magazines.


South African women between the ages of 16 – 35 years old interested in content relating to fashion, design and lifestyle news.


Due to the nature of cross-sectional research, individual respondents of the target population will be earmarked for the research. It is suitable because:

•The objectives are to explore and describe.

•The reasoning is inductive because the research will start from making assumptions, to conducting the research, interpreting the responses from the data-collecting method and making recommendations to the organisation.

The methods of collecting data will be done through using open-ended questionnaires and the following:

Personal contacts:

It is important to put “feelers” out in the industry with personal contacts to investigate perception around creative concepts as featured in the February and March 2012 issues of Elle magazine.


Assumption 1:

Are concepts used in the one issue of Elle magazine (SA) similar to the other? Sub problems:

Does similar advertisements run in the February 2012 Elle magazine versus the March 2012 Elle magazine?

Assumption 2:

Some concepts only make use of one creative element.

Sub problems:

Do advertisements only make use of one creative element?


All advertisements make use of visual creative elements like pictures. Sub problems:

Do all advertisements use visual creative elements like pictures? Assumption


Different advertisements make use of different creative elements. Sub problems:

Do different advertisements make use of different creative elements? Assumption 5:

The same creative concepts can be found in consecutive issues of one magazine. Sub problems:

Do consecutive issues of one magazine feature the same creative concepts?


The goal of this research would be applied research because this research aims to evaluate similar advertisements and creative concepts found in consecutive issues of one magazine. The objectives are exploratory because through research investigation will be done into whether or not the above theory is true. The nature and scope of work which should be done:

Investigation of the varying creative concepts used in consecutive issues of Elle magazine.


Were the same creative concepts featured in both issues of the magazine? How do you think the creative concepts in the February 2012 issue of Elle magazine differed to the March 2012 issue? What was the most popular creative element featured in both issues? What was the ratio of visual element such as picture uses in the February 2012 issue versus the March 2012 issue?


The February 2012 and March 2012 issues of Elle magazine contained various advertisements of different service providers offering products or services.

Four advertisements are selected in each magazine. The creative concept (one per advertisement of the following advertisements published in the Elle February 2012 is identified: * Advertisements that contain proof to support such claims: Nivea: ‘100 years skincare for life’ * Advertisement that uses a factual approach: Motions hair relaxer: ‘Motions salon inspired magic, 85% less breakage, 80% more shine’. * Advertisement that contains slogans: ‘Motorola, LIFE. POWERED’.

The following creative concepts (one per advertisement) of the following advertisements published in the Elle March 2012 are identified: * Advertisement that contain appeals that clearly indicate the target market: Lacoste Touch of Pink – ‘Fragrance for women’ * Advertisement that provokes curiosity: ‘Guess seductive: Discover the new scent of seduction’. * Advertisement that contain amplification of the product/service and/or benefits: Nokia N9: ‘Curved glass all screen design, one hone, three simple views, maps, apps and more’. * Advertisement that calls the consumer to action: Lancôme rogue lipstick: ‘Get your FREE kiss Tattoo sample at your nearest Lancôme counter’


The research design will be quantitative cross sectional design whereby trends and themes will be explored in a short period. A representative sample will be drawn and the research will be conducted in real world setting. One on one interviews as well as semi-structured questionnaires will be used.


1. What have I learnt by doing the assignment?

I have learnt research plays an important role in everything we do and all the content which is presented to us. Research must also be thoroughly planned in order to be successful. 2. What skills, abilities and orientations have I accomplished? I have learnt that research is an in-depth function that is key to communications. 3. What strengths can I apply in my future life and work environment? I work for a fashion marketing agency and the background around the nature of advertising has proven to be very informative. I will use this knowledge around idea construction for future print advertisements. 4. What short comings do I need to address?

I found it difficult to understand what was required for this task. I will seek help from lecturers with regards to the rest of my assignments in order to get a better understanding of requirements. 5. To what extent have I achieved the learning outcomes formulated for each study unit? I feel that I

have faired averagely in terms of my understanding of the required outcomes. However this needs to be improved upon for the next assignment.


Du Plooy, GM. 2011. Communication Research. Only study guide for Com 306-D. Pretoria: University of South Africa. Du Plooy, GM. 2006. Communiction Research: Techniques, Methods and Applications. Cape Town Juta Elle: 2012. February: South Africa

Elle: 2012. March: South Africa

Tutorial letter, 101/3/2012. Communication Research.

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