Commercial Presentation: Explanation and Criteria

For this assignment, you will be working in small groups (3-5 people) to create a video or PowerPoint commercial and show it to the class for viewing and comments.  This commercial can be for any type of product or service that can be advertised on the television.

Don't know how to make a video or don't own a video camera? The Student Technology Center can help.

Commercials are designed so that when a consumer needs a product, the brand advertised in the commercial should be one of the first to come to mind.  Consequently, your commercial should incorporate elements that research in cognitive psychology has demonstrated improve memory for a product or cause an association to form between a product and a product name.  Be creative in your presentation and your application of what you have learned in class.  Feel free to have fun with the commercial.

Your commercial will consist of two components:

1. The commercial itself

2. Your explanation of the cognitive concepts and theories you incorporated into your commercial and why they were incorporated

Be sure to note how the commercial and the explanation will be graded.

One of the goals of this assignment is to enhance your understanding of the material you have learned in class and potential real-world applications of this knowledge.

A second goal is to give everyone an opportunity to practice their presentation skills in front of an audience (even if the audience is not immediately visible). 

Consequently, I expect every person in your group to participate verbally in some capacity for the commercial. 

The verbal component can occur in the commercial or in the explanation.

I won’t be grading the number of lines each person speaks (I know public speaking is more difficult for some than others), just whether or not each person in the group had something to say.

The Commercial

The commercial itself should be a video or a PowerPoint presentation. If your commercial is a video, it should be in one of the following formats: wmv, mov, mpeg.

It needs to be stored on some sort of media so it can be played on the class computer. The storage media include flash/thumb drives, CDs, and DVDs.
Prior to the day of the commercial, everyone should attempt to play the commercial on the class computer so that you know everything will be ready for the class presentation.

The commercial should be less than five minutes long

In the commercial, you should be selling your particular brand of a specific product

In the past, my students have a wide range of products including soda pop (Toca Cola), tools for making children behave (Terror Teddy), memory enhancers, study aids, boyfriend trackers, vegetarian grocery stores, travel agencies, and a lot more.

Any product (e.g., a behavior modification tool) is fair game. You just have to sell your particular brand (e.g., Terror Teddy) of the product.

The Explanation of the Commercial

Your explanation of your commercial provides you with another opportunity to be creative.  Maybe you can have the class guess what elements were incorporated into the commercial.  Maybe you can use cue cards or PowerPoint slides to present this information. 

You have up to 10 minutes for both the commercial and the explanation. You do not have to use all 10 minutes but you can use as much of it as you wish.

You need to:

1) identify the cognitive concepts used in your video (e.g., repetition)

2) explain how you used each of those concepts (e.g., repeated the product name 10 times during commercial)

3) explain how the use of that concept would help to sell your brand of product (e.g., "repetition, otherwise known as maintenance rehearsal, has been proven effective for moving information from STM into LTM")

If the technique you used has limitations, state it in your explanation (e.g., "However, information put into LTM through maintenance rehearsal is short-lived and difficult to retrieve. Getting people to use elaborative rehearsal would have led to better memory).

It is especially important to clarify the limitations in your instantiation of a concept if you know what you did in the commercial would not work as intended (e.g., "We used the concept of flashbulb memory by showing people at their wedding day (which is usually a flashbulb memory). Flashbulb memories are..... However, we know the viewer won't form a flashbulb memory of the event because....").

If you fail to do this when appropriate, I will assume you didn't understand the concept or didn't understand how to use the concept correctly.



5 points - Quality of the presentation (Is it smooth and well done?  Does it look as if the group has practiced the commercial before recording it or has taken the effort to edit and fix any obvious errors or problems in the video?)

5 points – Did everybody in the group participate verbally in some fashion in the class presentation? (You either get full points for this one or no points at all)

20 points - Application of cognitive concepts and theories (Did you use several concepts in your video?  Did it appear that you understood the concepts you used and applied them correctly?)


20 points - Explanation of the concepts used in the experiment

Did you explain all of the concepts used in the commercial?

Were all of the explanations of high quality (Is it possible to tell which concepts were being applied in which situations? Was the language used clear, grammatical and to the point?)?

What was the quality of the means used to explain the commercial as a whole?

How well did you explain the reasons the concepts were applied the way they were applied in the presentation?

Everybody in your group will receive the same score for the commercial.

Your individual group score can be modified on the basis of ratings given to you by your fellow group members. 

You will be given an opportunity to anonymously rate each of the members in your group in terms of their contribution to the video and the explanation.

This is done in order to encourage all the group members to expend effort in creating this commercial.  If the other group members indicate that you contributed little or nothing at all to the presentation, the group component of your score will be lower than members that contributed more.  Conversely, if the other group members indicate that you expended a great deal more effort than the rest of the group, the group component of your score will be higher than members that contributed less.

What to turn in:

A copy of the commercial file.

If your commercial is on a flash drive, download it to the classroom computer
If your commercial is on CD or DVD, give me a copy (I will not be able to return the original)

A copy of the PowerPoint explanation including the script of what was said during the explanation

If you did not use powerpoint for your explanation, I need a script or some sort of copy of what everybody said during the explanation.

I need these component to be able to accurately grade the commercials and presentations.

Commercials will be presented in class on 4/22