Faculty of Business and Law Department of Marketing

Assessment Instructions
The assessment for this module comprises a 2500 word written essay, plus a 500 word critical
reflection, submitted together in one document (Component A). In both cases, the word-count
stated should not be exceeded.
The 2500 word written essay will assess your ability to critically evaluate and analyse a topical
communications issue/campaign and to identify and integrate an appropriate selection of significant
communication literature to provide context, structure and objective support for your conclusions.
The 500 word critical reflection asks you to reflect on how the module content has informed your
approach to this assignment.
The task is designed to satisfy the following module learning outcomes.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the development of marketing communications theory
and its relevance in a contemporary context
 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the role of marketing communications in the co-
creation of meaning for the consumer
 Critically evaluate communication issues in an holistic and strategic context
 Review and critique mix, media and message decisions across diverse contexts
 Identify, select, synthesise and present relevant information from available resources
 Undertake independent/ self-directed learning
 Use written formats and linguistic skills to communicate ideas and information clearly, logically,
persuasively and effectively
Assessment Task
The highly successful multi-channel, transmedia campaign for Under Armour, ‘I will what I
want’ was launched in 2015 to solve a critical business problem: ‘How does a brand long
associated with American football win over a massive new target that outright rejects the
Consider the original campaign – how it achieved an astonishing 28% sales increase and how this impacted perception of the brand.
You are required to:
 Analyse the communications issue/campaign drawing on the approaches studied in the
 Critically evaluate the communications issue/campaign, using recognised frameworks
and marketing communications theory.
 Discuss the meaning of the campaign using relevant academic concepts. This may
include all or some of the following:
o How meaning is created among audiences
o How the communications mix is utilised across the campaign
o How the selection of media influences meaning making
o How creativity is utilised to engage audiences
 Submit a critical evaluation of the campaign in the light of your understanding of the
communications context, academic materials and trends in marketing communications.
 Provide a list of sources using the UWE Harvard style.
 Provide a 500 word critical reflection making clear linkages between your critical
evaluation and the module content.

You should not, under any circumstances, contact the originator of the campaign or rely on on-line
reviews of the campaign.
Note that a highly subjective analysis that merely reflects your own personal impressions and ideas
is not likely to pass. You should avoid merely describing the campaign or relying on what the
originator says about its purpose. Instead, the focus should be your assessment of the campaign.
While the meaning of the communication will differ for individuals, you need to demonstrate that your
analysis and interpretation is grounded in the relevant theory. There will be opportunities during
class time for you to develop and practice your analytical approach. Examine the Assessment
Criteria below and ensure that all key areas are addressed. Note also the approximate weighting for
each element as a guide to planning your essay.
Getting Started
It is often helpful to use a number of questions to guide your analysis of the communications
Start with some broad questions first then focus on more specific aspects. For example, as you begin,
you may wish to make some brief notes on your initial interpretation of the issue/campaign. What
seems to stand out? What is the message being communicated? How does this reflect your
understanding of persuasion? How is the consumer addressed?
Then conduct a more detailed analysis of the issue/campaign using a structured, methodical
approach, identifying and critiquing relevant features and considering the effect on the audience.
Ensure that you refer to relevant academic frameworks.
Analysis may include, but is not restricted to, the following:
 Analysis of the visual imagery of the advertisement.
 Analysis of persuasive language in the item.
 Use of non-verbal message codes such as use of space (termed proxemics) and
gestures, facial expressions, body movement (termed kinesics).
 Identification of different types of signs used in the data e.g. icon, index, symbol.
 Identification and analysis of competing discourses in the data.
The extent to which you use any of the above, or others, depends on the campaign itself. TV
advertisements for example rely less on the use of written text, and more on the use of imagery,
sound and movement, so you will need to choose an analytical approach that is suitable. It would be
useful for you to read some examples of this type of work such as those noted in your module guide.
Write up your critical evaluation in a format that suits your analytical approach. Note that the analysis
underpins this essay but the focus here should be your use of literature, theories and relevant
concepts to support your arguments and conclusions.

Writing the critical reflection
The purpose of the critical reflection is to demonstrate how the study of the module materials has
influenced your interpretation of the marketing communications issue/campaign. You should make
explicit connections with aspects of the module, highlighting how your study has helped you to
understand and critique the issue/campaign. Discuss challenges addressed and areas of interest to
you. Consider what your study of the module has contributed to your understanding of the promotion
or campaign.


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