8/30 Assignment Prompt Distributed
8/31-9/21 Tracking, research, analysis
10/9 7-8 minute presentations delivered in class
You will track two identifiable distilleries and analyze their brands based on various media such as (but not limited to) their website, print advertisements, audio ads, social media posts, etc. Your analysis should define how the brand works rhetorically. To do that you’ll need to identify, define, and analyze the image they are trying to project and the audience they are targeting. What larger cultural ideas or values do they attempt to connect to or with? What does this branding attempt to accomplish above and beyond promoting the distillery and its spirits? What story is it trying to tell and why?
Alternatively, you will track the social media presence for particular products noting how often, what they post, who is their audience, and whether or not they are successful for their audience. You will present your analysis to your peers, so we can collaboratively build a better understanding of branding and marketing strategies.
Whichever option you choose, your 7 minute presentation must make an argument about how they are defining their “brand” or “image,” who they are targeting, and how successfully their choice of messaging (think slogans, images, font size, etc) work to persuade this audience. You must include images slides to support your claims- remember to include screen captures to point to underscore and support your claims.
This presentation is worth 10% of your final grade for class.
All advertising is based around the imagining of an image. Just think about how many of readings mention Don Draper and the great success of Mad Men in reviving bourbon’s allure, and that of cocktails more broadly. Of course, as those readings also highlight cultural values and what is cool or hip not only change over time, but also according to whom you are targeting. This assignment is designed to give you some practice rhetorically analyzing the branding/marketing campaigns of popular (or trying to be popular) distilleries, bourbons, or brands while also giving us all an opportunity to learn collaboratively from one another.
Tips for Getting Started
Check out KDA’s list of their affiliated distilleries and brands , both for the regular tour and the “Craft Distilling Tour”. From there, look up the brand’s web presence, follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, keep a log (you can do this in your “writing log”) of what they post, when, how often. Answer the questions in the “basics” above. Make your claim, gather and organize your visual evidence for the presentation. You might want to organize your 8 minutes like this:
First 1-2 minutes–Introduce the brands and your argument about the values they appeal to/the story they tell/the image they are trying to sell to a particular audience. Include screenshots of logos, slogans. Make sure you state your argument about what their brands communicate clearly.
Next 2-3 Minutes–Support your claim with evidence and analysis. Discuss multiple examples that exemplify your claim about the brand’s story/image/values. Analyze images from their website, packaging, social media posts, promotional materials, advertisements. Make sure you analysis of the evidence you include here supports your overall claim about what the brands are communicating. Feel free to quote from Mitenbuler to help you situate the values.
Final 2-3 Minutes –Synthesis and Conclusion— Most importantly, what do were learn about bourbon branding in general by looking at these two specific brands? Whatever claim you make to answer that question, be sure to discuss the brands together–are they similar? different? in what ways, and why?
Presentation is completed within the 8 minute framework
Strong analysis that clearly defines the brands, the audience they target, how successful they are for that audience
Visuals include sufficient evidence from the source material to support the claims and are appropriately cited
Visuals make use of font/color/alignment to enable ease-of-reading
All visuals have been carefully proofread to make sure there are no type-os, spelling errors, etc.
Any material that is cited is identified in an oral footnote using strong attributive language (i.e, According to Reid Mitenbuler’s Bourbon Empire,….”….”)
Slides turned into the appropriate Canvas forum using proper naming convention
Final slide includes a Works Cited formatted in MLA
Presentation is delivered and not read directly from the slides themselves