Project 2, Involvement Messages Proposal
optional dress rehearsal presentation on 21 NOV (day of second exam)
document due and in-class presentation on 5 DEC

Weighting: 150 points (two print ads, two printed supporting discussions, oral presentation)

General Assignment

Write two versions of a persuasive message that could be used by our clients to promote their business.  One version is to be most effective under a high involvement (and/or high knowledge) situation ("central" mode of processing); the other is to be most effective under a low involvement (and/or low knowledge) situation ("peripheral" mode of processing).  Attach a discussion of theoretical justification to each message.

Our clients would like to ensure that people are aware of their business and would like to persuade people to visit, to make purchases, to return, and to spread word of mouth promotions. 

Your assignment is to construct two persuasive messages for promoting our client's business: one that would work best under high involvement, high knowledge conditions,and one that would work best under low involvement, low knowledge conditions. 

Each message version must be written using theoretical ideas from the ELM: one version should be designed to be most effective under high involvement and/or knowledge conditions ("central" mode of processing), and the other should be designed to be most effective under low involvement and/or knowledge conditions ("peripheral" mode of processing).  Each message must be accompanied by a theoretical justification.  This justification is important for two reasons: First, our client has never heard of the concept of involvement and so you must explain how your message is expected to work in lay person terms.  Second, the involvement construct could be associated with quite a number of factors, so you need to describe your situational expectations or assumptions.  Some Specifics

  1. The assignment requires preparation of two PRINT messages; do not submit video/audio tapes, etc.  Each message MUST be accompanied by a one or two page explanation and theoretical justification.

  2. The message will be in the form of a printed message (e.g, advertisement or editorial) which can include non-text illustrations as part of the message if appropriate.  Illustrations may be simple hand-drawn mock-ups to suggest work that could be outsourced to an artist.  You are not required to use graphic illustrations, however (i.e., your proposed message could be entirely text, entirely graphic, or a layout that includes a combination of both).

  3. One message is to be most effective under high involvement (and/or high knowledge) conditions and the other is to be most effective under low involvement (and/or low knowledge) conditions.  Note that these must be broad and general conditions that maximize the use of the message; proposing a message that is only useful for recipients with limited English skills, for example, does not maximize the use of the message across a broad range of situations. 

  4. This is a very specific assignment that requires the use of concepts and theories learned in this course: merely submitting two messages will receive a failing grade if theory and guidelines associated with recipient involvement and attitude change are not followed.

  5. Each message is to be contained on a single, separate 8-1/2 x 11-inch page (a single sheet of typing paper).  Clearly mark which message is for high and which message is for low involvement conditions.  (You will receive a failing grade if you expect me to guess which message is supposed to be associated with which condition.)

  6. Additionally, each message is to be accompanied by a one or two page discussion.  This discussion must:

    1. explain the sorts of situations in which the recipient would be expected to be under higher or lower levels of involvement (or knowledge) when exposed to the message,

    2. explain why each message is expected to be more persuasive under one condition of involvement than the other, and

    3. explain why each message is expected to result in a more stable and enduring attitude change under one condition than the other.

    Note that you might be using cues in the message itself to invoke higher or lower levels of recipient involvement: if so, explain what you did to manipulate these differing levels.  Your discussion must be based on concepts and theories that we have discussed with respect to motivation, involvement, attention, and attitude change.  "Shooting from the hip" without reference to concepts discussed in this course will receive a failing grade.  The above criteria are minimal requirements of your discussion, so failure to include all of the above criteria in your discussion will substantially affect your grade. 

  7. You will work in teams of one or two.  The team is of your own choosing.  Note, however, that both members of a team will receive the same score. 

  8. Neatness is considered a minimal requirement in your grade.  Neatness is defined here to include grammar, spelling, typos, correct use of paragraphs, and such.  Problems with these would not be acceptable in "real" promotional or editorial copy and are therefore not acceptable in this assignment.  (I.e., shoddy, unprofessional work will be marked accordingly).  Note that neatness as defined here does not require that you have access to any special sort of equipment or software applications; you are merely creating a mock-up.

  9. Please do not use any kind of report folders.  Just use plain white paper with a single staple in the top left corner to attach each persuasive message the associated theoretical discussion. 

  10. You are encouraged to visit the professor outside of class to discuss your ideas.