Adforum is a collection of approximately 70,000 advertisements (digital, print and interactive). The purpose of the website is to share creative among agencies/clients through the Adforum Agency Preview. The Adfolio section assists in ad agency selection/client pitches and monitoring creative/advertising trends. Users can easily view (and purchase for download) print/commercials online.
The purpose of the AdForum website is to provide access to the most timely international information in the world of advertising. Possible academic uses include: -Content Analysis of Advertisements -Format/Style of Different Advertisements -Cross-Cultural differences in Advertising -Differences/Similarities within a Product Category -Gender Roles in Advertising -Explore potential differences between agencies -Learning Concepts tied in with recall on ads
Target Student Population:
Undergraduate and Graduate Level Communication and Marketing classes.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
A basic understanding of advertising is beneficial for use of this website, but is not required.
Type of Material:
Principles of Marketing
Upper Level Marketing Courses - Consumer Behavior, International Marketing, Marketing Capstone, Advertising, Communication Classes. Specific topics: In-class demonstration of marketing communications topics, particularly advertisement design.
Internet browser, speakers, a video viewer, Java.
Evaluation and Observation
AdForum.com provides an excellent resource for both students & teachers. The main page features a few select categories of advertisements, i.e. best funny ads or sci-fi ads (which constantly refresh to new categories), along with a profile of an agency, links to “today’s best ads,” news, awards and jobs. The advanced search feature allows you to seek ads based on keywords, title, client/brand/product, agency name, media type, business sector, country, date range, credits/celebrities, award name and award year. The site also has the means with which to search for an ad consultant/agency, as well as links to informational articles and blogs. When an ad is accessed, there is a host of accompanying information, such as the affiliated agency, credits and awards, though some of this information is limited (see concerns). Overall, the site is interactive, up-to-date and includes information that is world-wide. Additionally, the AdForum organization has been in existence since the 90s, and has over 120,000 advertisements in various formats available for access. Wonderful site - a great library of advertisements. Commercials/Prints are easily accessible and searchable by country, brand, advertisement, media and ad agency. The international focus and agency information is also unique and invaluable. Full credentials for the advertisements is also provided - giving context/background to advertisements that is often hard to come by. Lastly, the ads can be shared via social media.
While the site has a plethora of advertisements, some access to specific advertisement information, i.e. creator, award, etc., is restricted. A person can become a member for free or can subscribe to the site for varying time lengths/prices (which, when compared to the free membership, allows for greater access to information … though this reviewer had no difficulty seeing the ads without either membership or subscription). Additionally, while there are plenty of advertisements with which to choose from, entire “sets” of advertisements may or may not be available and different search methods offer different results. For instance, a quick search under the brand Coca-Cola yielded one ad, while a keyword search for “Coca-cola polar bears” yielded 2 and “Coca-cola Christmas” yielded 11. Lastly, this reviewer had difficulty downloading some of the advertisements, though there was no comparable difficulty when accessing video on YouTube or other sites. Some content tied with the advertisements is reserved only for subscription (which is expensive - $299 for a year). Some advertisements are also only for subscribers. You can download/purchase some advertisements, however, this is also quite expensive.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This module was not designed as a teaching tool, but rather as an informational tool. As such it has no built-in textbook discussion regarding advertising, creative methods, etc. Nevertheless, it has value in the presentation of a number of advertisements, from a number of companies and from a number of countries, and is therefore a good resource for instructors and students in classroom lecture and presentations. This can be easily used within the classroom and integrated into assignments. Students will appreciate the site and find it easy to use.
Instructors or students using this site would need to have some knowledge of ad design in order to interpret the examples provided. An instructor desiring to utilize this website for homework would need to generate the assignment.
Again, some information is not available.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The module is very easy to use with clearly labeled sections, lots of color and timeliness. It is helpful to a wide variety of classroom/course needs and certainly provides a large wealth of examples with over 120,000 ads to choose from. The advertisement library is easy to find and search.
As stated earlier, the downloading of information may present a problem. The site is somewhat cluttered.