TECHNIQUES AND TARGET AUDIENCES USED IN COMMERCIALS
GRADE: 9 to12
SUBJECT MATTER: Speech
Students will be able to:
Based on the NCTE standards.
PREP FOR TEACHER
Before class look at and bookmark the Internet sites for the students to view. Then construct a worksheet for students to complete as they work with the site. (look at some suggested questions at the end of this lesson). Next pre-record television commercials from some of the more popular television networks or shows. Show these commercials to the students in class, so previewing is needed to identify who the target audiences are and what type of advertising techniques they use. Choose three ads from www.adcritic.com for the culminating activity.
Introduce students to the advertising techniques that they should recognize and understand: bandwagon, testimonial, & propaganda. When using textbooks and Internet sites, some of these advertising techniques have different names even though they mean the same thing, so this should be told to the students. The students will have to look at the meaning of each advertising technique on this website to complete the activity.
To complete this activity use this site: http://www.entrenet.com/~groedmed/namedu/adtech.htm
While the students are looking at this site, have them complete the handout that was created in preparation. Have them identify and define each advertising technique and give an example of an ad that it is used in. Assign a TV log for homework. Each student should complete a TV log of the commercials that air during their favorite shows. Ask them to identify the target audiences and advertising techniques that they found in each one.
Suggestions for questions
to answer while watching the commercials at home: (from:http://www.entrenet.com/~groedmed/namedu/adtech.htm
Analyze three advertisements and do the following:
1. Look up any words whose meanings you do not know and create a list of new words with their definitions. (minimum of six words ( ___points)
2. Identify at least three advertising techniques that are used in each advertisement and explain how each of them is used. ( ___points)
3. Identify the target audience for each advertisement and explain why you think the advertisement is meant for that group of potential customers. ( ___points)
© National Aviation Museum, 1996
Discuss the TV logs that the students brought back for homework. This is a good start to a discussion about advertising. As the students discuss what they found, create a spider graph on the board or overhead comparing what was found in the ads (or create a compare and contrast chart). By the end this should be a good visual aid to compare advertisement techniques and the target audiences used in the various ads. Next, discuss the differences in products that are advertised to men and women and see if the ad strategies are the same for men and women. The spider graph will show them the differences between all the ads and will act as a good visual aid for the students. In this part of the lesson begin having the students explore the advertising techniques that they learned about on the Internet the day before: bandwagon, propaganda, & testimonial.
After the discussion, use the pre-recorded commercials and start playing the first one.
PAUSE after the first commercial and have the students write down the target audience for that ad and what ad technique they think was used. Remember to focus on advertising techniques used (bandwagon, testimonial & propaganda).
After about one minute,
START the next ad and then PAUSE it at the end of the ad.
Let the students continue like this until they have completed identifying
elements of 10 ads.
After playing the recorded commercials, take time to discuss what the students found.
Focus on the images that are being used. Discuss whether advertisements are selling a product or selling an image. Call on several students, asking the same question and asking for their evidence. Take several minutes for responses to this question. Then provide the evidence you identified in the ads that everyone has just viewed, and encourage students to notice and discuss power of ads and the effects ads have on them.
POST VIEWING ACTIVITIES
This site will be
used for looking at advertisements for products that the students will
be familiar with. The best part about this site is that it has the top
ten ads that students can play and view directly off the Internet. Use
the three ads that were chosen in preparation. Have the students identify
the target audiences and techniques used. Have them draw conclusions about
This activity can be their final assessment. A second culminating activity could be to have the students create their own ads and present them to the class. This could be done individually or in pairs.
For additional lesson plans and ideas relating to this topic and many others try TeacherSource at PBS Online! You will find activities, lesson plans, teacher guides and links to other great educational web sites! Search the database by keyword, grade level or subject area! Mathline and Scienceline are also great resources for teachers seeking teaching tips, lesson plans, assessment methods, professional development, and much more!
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