Standards Database Logo
Home | Browse | Search | Purpose | History | Process | Acknowledgment| Reference

 


 

McREL Standards Activity


Commercial Appeal


Purpose:As a result of this activity, students will be able to evaluate the various techniques used in television and print advertising to appeal to and to persuade audiences of various messages.
Related Standard & Benchmarks:
Language Arts
 Standard 9.Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media
   Level III [Grade 6-8]
   Benchmark 9. Understands techniques used in visual media to influence or appeal to a particular audience (e.g., production techniques, such as designing a news program as entertainment; persuasive techniques, such as exaggerated claims, portrayal of appealing lifestyles, bandwagon, glittering generalities; subliminal messages; narrative style)
Language Arts
 Standard 8.Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes
   Level III [Grade 6-8]
   Benchmark 6. Makes oral presentations to the class (e.g., uses notes and outlines; uses organizational pattern that includes preview, introduction, body, transitions, conclusion; uses a clear point of view; uses evidence and arguments to support opinions; uses visual media)
Language Arts
 Standard 8.Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes
   Level III [Grade 6-8]
   Benchmark 7. Uses appropriate verbal and nonverbal techniques for oral presentations (e.g., inflection/modulation of voice, tempo, word choice, grammar, feeling, expression, tone, volume, enunciation, physical gestures, body movement, eye contact, posture)
Student Product:An oral report
Material & Resources:Students will use magazines and newspapers from their own home to find advertisements for analysis. Students also have the option of videotaping a television commercial and playing it before the class if a VCR and TV are available in the classroom.
Teacher's Note:Even if a VCR and TV are not available for classroom use, this activity will work just as well using print ads from magazines and newspapers. Since this activity requires students to present an oral report on an advertisement, you may need to address some of the techniques used in effective oral presentations, such as correct posture, use of gestures, eye contact, proper enunciation, organization of report, use of notes, etc.
Activity
Ask students, “What is the purpose of an advertisment? What different kinds of messages do advertisements hope to convey?” Initiate a discussion with students about some of the techniques used in advertising and provide them with some vocabulary terms with which they might analyze commercials and print ads on their own. Some terms which may be useful are: Types of appeal: 1. Rational appeal: the supplying of facts, figures, statistics, and other evidence to persuade audiences of the truth of a particular message 2. Emotional appeal: appealing to the emotions (e.g., love, greed, desire) of the audience in order to persuade them of a particular message 3. Ethical appeal: appealing to an audience by persuading them that a certain message is accepted by people of good will, good sense, and good moral character 4. Bandwagon or appeal to popularity: attempting to persuade an audience of a particular message on the basis that everyone believes in that message 5. Glittering generalities: attempting to persuade an audience through the use of statements that intentionally lack specificity or are generally vague statements. Once you have covered these different ways of appealing to an audience, you might also ask students to examine the kinds of narrative styles in which advertisements appear. Does an advertisement use humor to attract an audience? Does it dramatize a story? Does it present facts in a straight-forward manner? Does it use an object or person as a symbol? Does it use a comparison or a demonstration? After discussing different kinds of techniques and styles, assign students the task of choosing an advertisement on their own and explaining it to the class. Students may find advertisements in a magazine or newspaper and mount them on cardboard or construction paper, or the students may prefer to record a television commercial. The students should present their ad to the class and then, using notes as a reference, explain to the class what the message of the ad is, what kind of audience the ad hopes to appeal to, and what kind of techniques are used in that commercial to attract an audience.