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3 — Persuasive techniques used in advertising: Part 1

This learning sequence follows the idea of what it means to be consumer savvy with an exploration of the persuasive techniques that advertisers use. The students will begin to fill in the Digital advertising glossary worksheet. This worksheet will be used to track student understanding of different advertising techniques and will form part of the assessment requirements of Assessment task 1. Students will complete the form based on what they already know and what they find out through guided learning, as well as through their own independent research.

This sequence draws on the General Capabilities of Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, and Information and Communication Technology. 

Activity 1: Advertising glossary 

Introduce the students to the Digital advertising glossary worksheet and explain that as they learn more about advertising techniques, they will add ideas to the glossary. Based on their learning from the previous sequence, an entry can be made about brand names and slogans. You may need to model this entry for the students and reinforce it with this Nike ad example. Share the link with the students and use this example to further illustrate the use of branding and slogans in an advertisement, as well as to open up a discussion about other techniques used. As a class, create a definition for the use of brand familiarity in advertising. Point out that in the next few sequences they will focus on particular techniques and the goal will be to complete the glossary throughout the unit.

Note: Students can create individual glossaries or work with a partner. The worksheet can be printed and filled in manually or completed digitally.

Activity 2: Advertising techniques

Guide the students towards identifying and understanding some of the specific persuasive devices commonly used in advertising today. They will add insights to the Digital advertising glossary worksheet to assist in this process. Some sample advertisements (commercials and public service announcements) will be played in class and the students will use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information. They will compare the text structures and language features of the multimodal texts, explaining how they combine to influence an audience. ACELY1723ACELY1724 

There is a plethora of examples on YouTube that can be shown to the class. Students can be shown some specific examples where you can pause after each viewing to ask:

Once this is modelled, the students should be able to complete this process independently, using the What and who worksheet.

Sample clips from YouTube

Advertisement Advertising techniques
Colgate toothpaste (YouTube 1:02) Authority endorsement (white coat, soft focus), quality claims, informative statements
48-hour Rapid Detox (YouTube 1:00) Bandwagon, beauty and status appeal, language of appeal
Amazon Kindle vs iPad (YouTube 0:31) Product comparison, beauty and status appeal

Encourage the students to look out for persuasive techniques while they are viewing advertisements outside of school. They can be given the challenge of analysing a chosen advertisement (looking for the techniques explored in class). This analysis can be included in their advertising journals as per Assessment task 1.

Specific advertisements can also be sourced to focus on a particular strategy such as ‘nurture’ (for example, commercials featuring pets or young children).