Let's face it; writing essays is part and parcel of high school and college. If you're just a beginner when it comes to writing essays, there is no better starting point than talking about entire writing process in details.
It is important that you understand the specifics of the visual analysis essay. Obviously the two key words are visual and analysis and you will not be surprised to know that in many cases this type of essay usually discusses a work of art. It could be art history or even literature where images are discussed in the text. But in this case your essay is about an advertisement. Mind you, there are some people who would argue that the advertisement is itself a work of art.
Now the first thing you need to do is give a detailed description of the contents of the advertisement. This is a nuts and bolts situation. Describe the image or images. Describe the colours and the style. Give a detailed and specific description of everything you can see in the ad.
Then we move to the purpose of the advertisement. What is its purpose? Is it selling a product or service? Is it promoting an event? Why has it been created? Again you need to be very specific in providing the details. It will help if you consider the intended audience of the advertisement. Obviously if the pitch is towards children then the language and imagery will be appropriate. If the advertisement is pitched at wealthy adults then again the concept will match the intended audience.
There is a style which has been used in the advertisement whether it is traditional, funky, modern, post-modern or something else. In your analysis you need to discuss the style or approach which the creator of the advertisement has taken.
And finally you need to make a subjective judgment. You need to give your opinion. You need to answer the question about whether or not the advertisement is effective. Now in giving your opinion you need to say why you believe that point of view. You need to explain how you think the advertisement works or does not work. That is a major part of a visual analysis essay. Making comparisons with other advertisements in this field is also a good tip.
For every successful student it's not a secret that planning your assignments will save you a lot of time. So never omit this part of writing.