Marketing Communication


Choose ONE of the following to examine in detail for your assessment.

Audi RS3 Birth Commercial 2015.

Lloyds Bank 250 Year Anniversary Commercial

Three Sing it Kitty Cat Commercial


Module Title: Principles of Marketing Communications

Assessment Instructions

The assessment for this module comprises a 2500 word written essay, plus a 500 word critical reflection. (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
A current or recent marketing communications issue/campaign will be selected by the tutor.
You are required to:
• Analyse the communications issue/campaign drawing on the approaches studied in the module.
• 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 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. Instead, 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.

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Getting Started
It is often helpful to use a number of questions to guide your analysis of the communications issue/campaign.
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.

Marking Criteria

The following criteria will be used in evaluating this assessment. Note that weightings are approximate.

• Clarity and depth of analysis of marketing communications issue/ campaign (20%)
• Understanding of relevant issues in the campaign (10%)
• Critical use of readings and theories (30%)
• Critical evaluation and assessment of campaign, conclusions drawn (15%)
• Effectiveness of communications (style, structure and language) (10%)
• Quality, range and relevance of sources used/accurate use of referencing conventions Harvard) (10%)
• Demonstration of clear linkages in the critical reflection between your critical evaluation and the module content (5%)

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Note that a separate mark will not be given for the reflection, but it will be read in conjunction with the essay and is an essential part of your submission. Your final mark will be adjusted to recognise this. 5% will be deducted from the final mark if the reflection is not provided.

In addition, please note the following general criteria which will also be used to provide feedback.

Marks of over 70%:
– papers will stand out clearly as having been exceptionally well completed both in terms of structure and content but also with a good integration of theoretical aspects and practical considerations
– illustrates effective critical evaluation and critique with comprehensive review of relevant academic and trade literature
– conclusions and opinions will be offered confidently and convincingly, being based in theory but also evidencing a high degree of understanding of key practical arguments
– there will be strong evidence that the student has read widely and papers are likely to contain wide referencing for key theory, concepts, relevant research and examples
– arguments and conclusions will clearly evidence effective synthesis and integration of such material
– excellent use of language, clear structure and consistently high quality in presentation and referencing throughout

Marks of 60-69%:
– demonstrate a high level of understanding, critical evaluation and critique of concepts, and some degree of independent thought/ opinion
– a well-structured paper integrating appropriate material to evidence a disciplined approach to addressing key issues involved in the topic
– presents a consistently well-argued case with appropriate links to trade and academic literature within the line of argument
– references will demonstrate that a wide range of academic material has been consulted; actual references have been consistently and properly presented using the Harvard system
– papers will contain clear, well considered, conclusions demonstrating ability to synthesise differing viewpoints and revealing comprehension, application, analysis and critical evaluation
– standard of presentation, structure, language and grammar will be consistently good

Marks of 50-59%
– papers will have a recognisable structure and use appropriate frameworks and terminology to provide evidence that the student has taken a disciplined approach to address the issues involved in the topic
– presents a reasonably well argued case with appropriate links to trade and academic literature within the line of argument
– evidence of adequate background research to identify key issues
– demonstrates adequate levels of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and critical evaluation
– evident attempt to draw conclusions based on analysis although may not be comprehensive or entirely convincing
– language use is good enough to make meanings clear but there may be some problems with grammar and presentation

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Marks of less than 49%
– lack of discernible structure to the essay
– insufficient depth of analysis, lack of adequate background research and reading
– arguments not developed sufficiently or convincingly
– content tends to description rather than analysis; likely to be compounded by a lack of integration of relevant academic theory and concepts
– much of the content is likely to be superficial and unsubstantiated
– conclusions likely to be absent, vague, inconsistent or incomplete and without evidence of disciplined analysis and critical evaluation
– few, if any, academic references and those that are used unlikely to be referenced correctly
– poor written presentation and style

All work should be word processed in 12 point font Times New Roman and double spaced.
Please use the following file format(s): Word
Please ensure that you provide the following details on the first page of your coursework:
• Student Number
• Module Name and Number
• Word Count
• Title of Campaign
Word Limit

The word limit for this coursework is 3000 words. This comprises no more than 2,500 words for the essay/critical evaluation plus a maximum of 500 words for the reflection. Please collate in one submission, adding your reflection before or after your list of sources.

Word count includes everything in the main body of the text (including headings, tables, citations, quotes, lists, etc.).
• The references, bibliography and footnotes (provided footnotes only include references) are NOT included in the word count.
• There is no direct penalty for exceeding the word count but the marker WILL stop reading once the word limit has been reached and nothing further will be taken into account in the allocation of marks.


Please ensure you adhere to the principles of good academic practice and ensure you use the Harvard system to reference your work. Failure to properly reference your work to original source material can be grounds for the assessment offence of plagiarism and may result in failure of the assessment or have more serious implications.



Before submitting your work, please ensure the following:
• That you have proof read you work thoroughly to ensure your work is presented appropriately
• That you have addressed all the required elements of the assessment
• That you have referenced in accordance with the guidance provided
• That you have addressed each of the marking criterion
• That the submission is in the correct format