Screencasting a Critical Analysis

Critically analyze a McDonald's commercial to compose a short video deconstructing the ad using the five critical questions of media literacy.

 
Watch the McDonalds' ad, "The Realm of Happiness" and deconstruct the ad, creating a critical analysis of the ad for a specific target audience. Then use a combination of images and some voice-over narration to produce a simple video screencast. 
 
BEFORE YOU BEGIN: PICK A TARGET AUDIENCE OUT OF THE HAT. Will you be creating a screencast for parents, children, teenagers, or teachers? Think about the interests, needs and values of your targe audience and how they may benefit from a critical analysis of this ad. 
 
STEP 1. VIEW AND DISCUSS 
1. Who is the author and what is the purpose?
2. What techniques are used to attract and hold your attention?
3. What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented?
4. How might different people interpret this message differently?
5. What is omitted?
STEP 2. DEVELOP KEY IDEAS AND WRITE THE VOICE-OVER NARRATION
  • Use creative brainstorming to generate great ideas but keep your ideas simple enough to manage the deadline pressure
  • Teamwork: Establish roles and divide and conquer to get work done (some team members may conduct research to gather relevant information and ideas, for example)
  • Keep in mind your target audience and your purpose as you develop your narration
  • Be concise: Make sure your word count does not exceed 300 words maximum (2 minutes) 
  • A strong controlling thesis statement will help you create a screencast with the maximum impact on the audience
  • A director can help keep the team focused and on schedule
STEP 3. SELECT IMAGES TO ACCOMPANY YOUR NARRATION
 
Create a PowerPoint presentation of the images you will be using to accompany your voice-over. You can download still images from the McDonald's "Realm of Happiness" ad here.  You may use other still images of your choice. 
 
STEP 4. REHEARSE AND PRODUCE YOUR SCREENCAST
 
STEP 5. UPLOAD AND SHARE YOUR COMPLETED VIDEO
  • If you have a Gmail account, you have a YouTube account that can be activated to host your video.  
VIEW & DISCUSS
The playlist below contains the original McDonald's ad for analysis and some examples of screencasts produced by participants of the Summer Institute in Digital Literacy: