Sunday 19 June 2011

A Commercial Break: TV Adverts / Commercials - Make and present your own advert / commercial

You are going to 
  1. Watch some TV commercials and answer some questions
  2. Discuss advertising
  3. Make an ad of your own
  4. Write about advertising

1) Intro - Watch this TV ad.
  • How does it make you feel? 
  • Is it scary, funny or both? 
  • Is it memorable? 
  • Do you think it's a good ad?
  • What is the ad telling you about the car?

2) Discuss
  • Do you watch adverts on TV?
  • Do you like them?
  • Can you remember any? Can you think of any funny ones?
  • What do you think makes a succesful ad?
  • What's a slogan? What examples can you think of?
  • What makes a good slogan?
  • What do ads usually have to make them memorable?
Answers (highlight here) = Music, Slogan, Humour, Images...

3) Watch the clip of TV adverts and answer the questions

1) How many of the ads are for
  • shops
  • electrical items
  • central heating
  • films
  • insurance
  • cameras
2) What nine products or businesses do they advertise?

Answers (highlight here) =
1) How many of the ads are for
  • shops 3 - Wickes, Currys, M&S
  • electrical items 3 - TV Recorder, 02, Currys,
  • central heating 1 - Worcester
  • films 1 - The King's Speech
  • insurance 1 - Churchill
  • cameras 1 - Cannon
2) What nine products or businesses do they advertise?
  1. Wickes Kitchen units shop sale
  2. Freeview plus box TV recorder
  3. O2 phone network
  4. Cannon cameras
  5. Currys and PC World shop Sale
  6. Worcestor home heating
  7. Churchill home insurance
  8. The King's Speech film
  9. M&S shop Sale
3) Watch again. How many of the ads have slogans?
What are they?

Answers (highlight here) =
6 have slogans
1. It's got our name on it  
2. Buy today. Watch today. Free forever
3. We're better, connected
4. -
5. -
6. Thank Worcester for that.
7. Count on Churchill
8. -
9. Quality worth every penny

Watch these ads. Are they funny? Why do you think so many ads try to be funny?

Answer = It's a way of getting your attention and making you remember the product
Humour is one way advertising gets your attention. What other ways are used?
Suggested Answers = Excitement, appealing to the emotions, sex, music, glamour, making you feel happy...

More TV Ads here

4) Group Presentation Activity - Make an Advert
Make an advert and present it to the class. Choose what you want to advertise eg a drink, a holiday, your school.... The ad can be video or audio. You should have a slogan and it should be short and memorable. You must present your ad to the class.

Think of what kind of language you can practise in the ad.  

  • direct speech - "..... "
  • imperatives - Buy one, get one free!, Hurry!
  • conditionals - If you....
  • superlatives - It's the best, the fastest, the cheapest....
  • adjectives - new, modern, clean....
  • typical phrases - (Up to) 15% off,  Offer ends 15th March, Save £50, Half price,

When you have finished
  1.  Describe the product you are advertising.
  2.  Explain why you chose to advertise your product in the way you did. 

Answer these questions to help you plan and reflect

  1. What is your product?

  1. What kind of an ad is it? (Radio or TV) Why did you choose to advertise the product in this way?

  1. What is your target market? Old, young, teenagers...? (If you have any experience of marketing or business can you explain the best way to approach your chosen market?)

  1. Do you have a logo or slogan? How / why did you choose it?

  1. Is the Ad convincing? Does it appeal to people’s emotions or something more intellectual or both?

  1. What presentational style did you choose (is the advert funny / informative / does it tell a story / has it got music / what kind?)

  1. What kind of language did you use in the ad (formal / informal, direct speech, imperatives, conditionals, superlatives, adjectives…? Why?)

  1. Did you use music? What music did you choose? Why?

  1. Do you think your ad has the qualities to be successful? - is it memorable, persuasive, funny…?

  1. What difficulties did you encounter when designing the ad?

  1. What skills do you think you have learned from this challenging activity?

  1. What should you remember to do next time you do a presentation activity?

5) Discuss
  • Where do you see advertising?
  • Do you think advertising is a good thing or a bad thing?
  • Does it help you or annoy you?
  • Do you think advertisers always tell the truth?
  • Is some advertising informative?
  • Should advertisers be allowed to advertise to children?
  • Do you think advertising encourages stereotypes? 
  • Do you think advertising encourages people to buy things they don't need?
  • What effects does advertising have on business, people and society?

Choose one

1) Advertising is all around us, it is an unavoidable part of everyone's life. Some people say that advertising is a positive part of our lives while others say it is negative. Discuss both views and give your own opinion. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. You should write at least 250 words. (IELTS)

2) Today, the high sales of popular consumer goods reflect the power of advertising and not the real needs of the society in which they are sold. To what extent do you agree or disagree? You should write at least 250 words. (IELTS)


  1. This is a lot of material, thank you! I especially like the planning and reflecting questions. I will try to adapt parts of it to my 15 year olds (most of them pre-intermediate level) and do the lesson(s) in January. Thank you once again.

  2. Thanks for your comment Daniela! Hope it goes well! David

  3. I'm really happy to have this chance to say thank you for all this great material. I use it all the time - I love it!

    Many, many thanks for being so generous,

  4. Thanks Audrey! Glad it's useful!

  5. Thanks alot for this!
    This will be very useful with my students

  6. Hey! nice material and indeed very useful. But can I ask for a key to the exercises related to the video material?

  7. Hi Blanka. You can see the answers if you highlight under the questions.

  8. Really good. Thank you for sharing it with us