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ACE3202 Communication and Behaviour Change Assignment

Aim of the Assignment and why you are given ‘choice’!

This assignment provides you with the opportunity to undertake a critical and comparative analysis of two marketing or public health communications of your choice and to examine how the communications have been constructed to differentiate the products or services in the two communications, reinforce messages about them, inform customers about the product or service benefits and/or persuade customers into behaviour change.

The task is intended to:

  1. give you the flexibility to follow your own interests and analyse brands within product/service categories or public health interests of your choice
  2. demonstrate semiotic analysis skills through the (semiotic) analysis of two forms of communication of your product/service
  • demonstrate critical analysis skills and engagement with communications literature relevant to the chosen communications.


In undertaking this assignment, all students will demonstrate the following skills:


  • Critical thinking
  • Cultural awareness
  • reflectivity
  • digital capability
  • curiosity

The assignment is:

  • An individual report
  • Worth 100% of the module mark
  • Requires inclusion of a self-assessment
  • Submitted via Turnitin on or by 2pm Wednesday 11th May 2022


Task Details:

Undertake a critical and comparative analysis of ‘DRIP’ Communications for two brands or public health messages of your choice.



  • 1800 words maximum (from the introduction to end summary or conclusion) +/- 10%
  • Word count excludes figures, tables, references and appendices (if you have them)
  • 12 font; 1.5 line spacing (can be 1 line spacing in tables)
  • All tables and figures to be numbered, with headings and with sources (where appropriate)
  • Use Harvard Referencing system


How to begin your assignment

  1. Identify the brand/public health communications that interest you; the communications could range from traditional marketing communications such as print advertisements, website home page information (particularly for online brands) or product packaging (I’ve marked an excellent semiotic analysis of 2 different types of sausage packaging in the past, one of which was Heck).
  2. Choose the 2 x forms of communications that you will analyse. You can choose two brands in the same product category or explore the same brand through different communication media (print/online).  You will need to include images of the communications in your assignment.
  3. Begin your semiotic analysis.  Start with the relatively straightforward ‘denotation’ and then move to ‘connotative analysis’.  (See Week 3 module content for this.)
  4. Identify the key ‘DRIP’ elements in your chosen communications. Having completed your semiotic analysis, take a step back and identify the key messages (differentiation, reinforcement, information, persuasion), compare how they have been achieved and the extent to which you believe they are successful.  You will need to justify your critical analysis by drawing on relevant literature.  For example:
    1. if you were comparing marketing communications which contained influencer or celebrity images, you may refer to literature in Week 2 of the module
    2. if you were analysing public health messages, you may need to consider ‘optimistic biases’ discussed in week 7
  • if you were analysing Covid19 risk communication messages, it would be relevant to consider learning materials in week 6
  1. for any form of persuasion in your chosen communications, it would be relevant to consider learning content in week 5.


Referring to literature beyond articles introduced in the weekly sessions will be expected.


  • The self-assessment should be approximately half a page to one page in length.
  • It is not included as part of the word count.
  • Please place the self-assessment after your analysis and before your references
  • non-inclusion of the self-assessment will be subject to a 5% penalty..
  • The self-assessment should include the grade that you think you should receive for your analysis, giving your justification, and personal reflections on the assessment. (The semiotic analysis exemplars include examples of self-assessments.)



Structure of the Assignment


Assignment Component Description
Cover Page (or required information at the beginning of your assignment) Please include: student number & degree programme (name is not necessary – but some form of identifier is!) and the title (see information below) of your assignment.
Introduction This will be a relatively short paragraph to introduce your analysis, the brands, relevant contextual information and the DRIP communication basis of the comparative analysis (see title).
Semiotic Analysis Denotative and connotative analysis of the 2 x forms of communication
Critical Analysis Comparative analysis of the communication aims and efficacy drawing on the literature
Conclusion Short conclusion
Self-assessment Approximately half page justification on the grade that you think you should receive for your analysis, and personal reflections on the assessment
References In Harvard style see e.g.
Appendix Not necessarily required, but at end of document.  For information that my disrupt the flow of the analysis.


“Assignment Title” note

When you have completed your semiotic and comparative analyses, you will know the “story arc” of your assignment.  Everyone’s assignment is likely to be different.  Your assignment titles will reflect this.  Use the ‘task description’ above to create your own title.


For example:


  • For an analysis of 2 x brand adverts, a title might be: “A critical and comparative analysis of brand differentiation and reinforcement for ‘Daisy’ and ‘Chanel No5’ fragrances.
  • For an analysis of 2 x website home pages, a title might be: “A critical and comparative analysis of brand differentiation, information and persuasion for ‘Naked Wines’ and Laithwaite Wines’.
  • For an analysis of 2 x public health messages, a title might be: “A critical and comparative analysis of information, reinforcement and persuasion for two Covid19 adverts.


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