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Home > Educator Resources > Advertising Campaigns

Advertising Campaigns

Advertising campaigns help students to become discerning consumers. By participating in the development of ads, children will become adept at recognizing factors used by commercial vendors to persuade and inform the public.

Background: Students must be equipped with skills to recognize the means/methods used by advertisers to persuade/inform their audience. Students must become aware that commercials are made to alter/influence the consumer's behavior.

Example: Students will generate a commercial (print, webpage, or video) ad presentation to inform and persuade the public to alter negative behaviors directed towards animals. Although negative advertising will be discussed, the focus of this lesson will be to create a positive ad.

National Council of Teachers of English National Standards


3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.

4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.



Other materials:
Instructional sequence:
  • First, students will brainstorm a list of commercials they remember the most. What information did the ad share? Were they persuaded to buy? Explain why or why not. What particular component of the ads persuaded and/or informed them? Why? Why did they remember those ads in particular? (slogans, jingles, actors, graphics/artwork, message, etc.)
  • Second, discuss the purposes of ads - to persuade and to inform. Review the ads brainstormed and ask students why they remember those ads. List and note likenesses/differences of those ads using some sort of graphic organizer. Graphic Organizer Strategy
  • Share and discuss the students' graphic organizers. From the information gathered, the students will generate a list of commonalities from the list of ads. Discuss how another group viewing the same ads might see the message differently. (Groups could be classified based on gender or age, for example.)
  • After developing the list of commonalities of ads, students will view ads online. Watch TV Ads and Commercials Online:
  • Groups will use list to check off features observed in the ads. (Students may wish to revise the list as they view the online ads.) In addition, students will report on who the ad was intended to reach. (adults, children, males, females, etc.) What clues in the ad told you this?
  • Class will revise commonalities list.
  • Introduce the topic of negative advertising. Refer to political ads. It would be great if this unit were to come during an election campaign for political ads of this type are great teachers! Students should discuss why they ads are effective or ineffective.
  • All students will work in pairs/groups to develop an ad based on the commonalities list. The focus of the ad will be to alter human behavior regarding an animal. (Tell students to focus on the positive advertising or you'll get blood and guts.)
    • First Steps:

    • 1) What animal has a problem? (Current events will provide an animal in distress. What behavior in humans do you wish to alter? Why?

      2) Who are you trying to influence? (inform/persuade) Are they children, hunters, conservationists, legislators, etc? Why did you choose this group?

      3) What means/methods will appeal to this group? Why?

      4) What presentation will work best with this group? Why?
  • Report to class your group's choice with information gathered.
  • Discuss the choices of presentation. (TV commercial, radio ad, print ad, etc.) Students will plan a storyboard if using a TV commerical or radio ad. (Require students to list materials.)
  • After project is completed, students will share presentation with class.

  • Contact a government representative for sharing purposes.
  • Publish the ad. (school presentation, newspaper, website, etc.)
  • Contact other groups/organizations concerned with preservation/ conservation and share group efforts. Offer to join their team.
  • Survey classmates to identify most effective ads.
  • Conduct a survey to assess comsumer habits in school.

Literacy advancement:
  • Read for research
  • Build vocabulary
  • Discern content validity
  • Organize written and spoken thought
  • Discriminate between informative and persuasive texts
  • Develop persuasive and informative skills

Author: Jones, Ruby

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