Advertising is one of the driving forces in modern business development. Subconsciously, we are under the pressure of advertising campaigns. Nearly all the products that we use, we buy under the influence of TV, radio, online adverts.

Advertising can greatly appeal to Business English students.

In the given article we will present some practical ideas of how to make the Business lesson on the topic of Advertising engaging and informative.

Activity 1

Students work in pairs and talk about all the things they have in their house that have been advertised. Perhaps they could say what they have, how it was advertised, and who bought it. Some guidance and prompt by the teacher’s side may help the students to come up with a lot of mundane examples of advertised products which they have bought, and where they have seen it advertised. As a recap teacher generalizes the most famous advertising methods which have influenced the learners to buy products.

Then students devise a strategy for advertising in different situations (see the table). Basically, I ask them to decide what would be the best way to advertise in each case and why. Students are encouraged to come up with more than one effective advertising method for each case.

Advertisements in Business Lessons Skyteach

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Activity 2

Students are given Advertising slogans and they think of products for which these slogans can be used and explain their choice.

  • All the smart money is going on …
  • Keeps you feeling and looking young
  • Sure to attract admiring looks
  • Enjoy the amazing beauty of …
  • How could you be without a … ?
  • All the smart money is going on..

As a second stage of this activity students are given a list of popular companies (Coca Cola, Channel, Dior, Apple, Tesla, Lego, Mercedes, etc) and students decide which of the given slogans can be used for them and think of a new advertising campaign for them following this outline

  • Slogan
  • Benefits of the product
  • Advertising method

Activity 3

Students role-play case studies. Here is one example of a case study:

Card 1:

You are the manager of an advertising agency and recently you have been responsible for advertising children’s toys. Your company took the decision to advertise a range of popular toys on TV during the period before a popular national holiday.

NOTE – you do not work for the toy company, you are in advertising and the toy company is using you for publicity. But some parents are angry with you. They say you have deliberately exploited their easily-led children with such persuasive advertising that they have demanded toys that the parents cannot afford. Prepare your case.

Here are some of the things you might say:

  • You do not force anybody to buy the products
  • If the advertising is so bad, why let children watch TV at these times?
  • You believe that your products are educational and necessary for the children’s intellectual development
  • You deny that your ads are over-persuasive

Card 2:

You are the parent of two young children, 7 and 6 years old. You are a devoted parent who would move mountains to make your children happy, but you have a limited budget, and to be honest, the recent advertising campaign to sell children’s toys has caused you problems. Because the ads are so persuasive, your children are demanding toys you cannot afford. So you go to see the manager of the agency to argue the case of parents everywhere.

Here are some things you can say:

  • You think it is scandalous that so much pressure is put on innocent children to be in with the crowd
  • You think that it is unfair that so much money is being made when parents such as you are struggling
  • You think the adverts should be later in the evening so adults can decide what to buy without pressure from the children
  • You want the manager to understand that children do not realise that their parents have limited funds

Activity 4

Ask students to create a workflow of how advertising is created. Go through the process of receiving a request for proposals, brainstorming ideas, benefits of the product, advertising methods; testing out designs and slogans, and presenting the finished campaign.

Activity 5

Show videos and pictures, make students examine the best advertisements of all time and discuss what makes them successful. Ask students to make a list of tips on creating a powerful ad.

Find more ideas on how to use advertisements in the lesson here.  

All these activities can be found quite useful while dealing with the topic of advertising during Business English classes. They are engaging enough to have a fruitful discussion lesson where students can enrich not only their language knowledge but also their imagination and creative skills.

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