Advertising Project

Analyze a Commercial

Students will enjoy this activity and learn advertising techniques. And, parents may be happy to find that their children are learning how the marketers and the advertisers try to manipulate them through the use of persuasive techniques.


This is a graded assignment
Watch a commercial, record it so you can go back and rewatch it.
If you cannot record, pick a popular commercial that is shown often. This way you can rewatch it as it is broadcast.
After watching your commercial several times click on the link below.
Use full sentence answers. At least 3 sentences per question.

Fill out this Form after watching your commercial

Use the definitions below to locate which type of gimmick/technique your commercial uses.

Advertisement Definitions

Advertisers use "gimmicks" or tricks to get you to buy their product. All commercials use one or more of the following:

Avante Garde – The advertiser suggest that the product will put the consumer ahead of the crowd by having the product first.
Bait and Switch--When an advertiser attracts the attention of the consumer with a low-priced product or service but is then encourages the consumer to buy a higher-priced one.
Bandwagon -- When a consumer is attracted to a cause, agrees to join an organization or club, or purchase an item because its popularity. The consumer is persuaded to “follow the crowd” rather than to use “evidence” to justify a choice.
Bias--An inclination of temperament or an outlook. A personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment that consumers have already made about a topic, product or person.
Card Stacking – When an advertiser stresses only the positive qualities and does not tell any of the negative ones. The consumer is given only one side of the story about a product.
Emotional Word Repetition -- When a consumer is conditioned to remember or persuaded to buy a product or service by repeating, again and again in different tones, the name of the product or service.
Facts and Figures – When an advertiser uses statistical evidence and facts to prove that a product is better than another product.
Glittering Generalities – When a consumer is persuaded by specially chosen words that can have many different positive meanings. The advertiser implies that using their fabulous product will make the consumer’s life wonderful.
Jingle--A light, rhythmical verse or short song used by advertisers.
Magic Ingredients – When an advertiser implies that a scientific or miraculous discovery makes the product outstanding.
Patriotism – When an advertiser implies that buying the product will show a love of country.
Persuasive Techniques--A strategy or method that a person, group or company uses to persuade the consumer to agree with the author or speaker’s point of view.
Plain Folks – When an advertiser implies that the product is a great value for everyday, “plain folks.”
Propaganda--The spreading of ideas, information or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause or a person.
Simple Solutions – When an advertiser implies that the product will help the consumer to avoid complex problems, or the one product will fix several problems.
Snob Appeal – When an advertiser implies that the product will make the consumer part of the rich, famous or elite group.
Stereotyping--A standardized mental picture that is held in by members of a group that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudice attitude or uncritical judgment.
Target or Intended Audience--The age group and gender that the author wants to persuade.
Testimonial – When an advertiser connects a famous or respectable person with a product through the use of quotations or endorsements from that famous or respectable person.
Transfer -- When a consumer is persuaded to buy a product or service because it is associated with something attractive or respectable.
Weasel Words -- When an advertiser uses words to imply meaning or facts without actually making a guarantee.
Wit and Humor – When the consumer is attracted to a product because the advertisement makes them laugh, or it is entertaining.

In Class

A. Discuss Findings
Pick a partner in class to:
1.Discuss the techniques used in your commercials.
2.Which commercials were the students' favorite ones?
3.Did they find that they were the target audience for the commercial?
4.Was the television show that was on before or after the commercial a favorite show?
5.Did they see any examples of bias or stereotyping? How did this affect or not affect them?
6.What were the most memorable slogans and/or jingles?
7.What commercials most effectively used a technique?

B. Students Make Own Commercial
Work in your small groups of three students selected by Mrs. Miller.
Each group needs to select a product, slogan, target audience, and advertisement technique.
The commercial needs to be organized and produced by the group. All do not need to be "in" the commercial, but the entire team needs to make a script, collect props and stage the commercial. The commercials can be completed "live" in front of the class or can be recorded earlier.

Commercials will be graded by: teamwork, organization, advertisement techniques, and execution of the commercial.

Jingles and Slogans

Jingles and slogans are created to be remembered and to sell products.

List of Slogans and Companies
"Do the Dew" -- Mountain Dew
"Have it your way" -- Burger King
"Need a moment" -- Twix
"Zoom, zoom" -- Mazda
"I'm loving it" -- McDonald's
"Eat fresh" -- Subway
"Open happiness" -- Coke
"Let's build something together" -- Home Depot
"Refresh everything or Every generation refreshes the world" -- Pepsi
"Drive one" -- Ford
"Taste the rainbow" -- Skittles
"It's way better than fast food" -- Wendy's
"A simpler way to ship" -- U.S. Postal Service
"Moving forward" -- Toyota
"It's good to play together" -- X Box

Can you think of other popular slogans?
Race North side of lab and south side of lab to see who can come up with the most slogans.