My colleagues who teach IB Spanish III and I were brainstorming ideas for their Media and Communication unit. It got me thinking about an activity I would like to do with commercials and advertisements for the Advertising subtheme. I have not yet tried this out in class, so this is just my brainstorming. I would like to show the students two advertisements or commercials for the same type of product and ask them which one they would be more likely to buy and why. I’d like to show them several different pairs of ads for various products. Then at the end, we can talk about what strategies advertisers used in the ads to market their products. All of this would take place in the target language and the ads would come from the target cultures.
Then we could review commands and students could create their own ads or commercials, trying to incorporate some of the persuasive strategies we talked about in class. We could even make it a contest by showing students in other classes the commercials and having them vote on the one they prefer and explain why. I think a descriptive adjectives review would also come in handy for this activity.
As an extension acitivity, students could keep a record of advertising they came into contact with outside of school, and reflect on how it affected their behavior. It could include things such as billboards, products and advertisements in stores, ads on web pages they are visiting, television, etc. Then students could discuss in class. For example, how does advertising affect our buying habits? Our culture? Does it influence our values, or does it reflect them? Do advertisers lie in ads? Is this acceptable? What should we as consumers be aware of with all the advertising around us?
Some sources for commercials and advertisements are:
http://adsoftheworld.com/ (various languages)
http://www.publitv.com/ (I got this one from Noah Geisel)
http://www.unavidamejor.org/ (posters and commercials about values)
Youtube also has excellent commercials, just type in the product you are looking for. For example, when I searched for products for a health and hygiene unit, I found some good ones for toothpaste, soap, and shampoo. I don’t why people take the time to put them on youtube, but I am grateful that they do! 🙂
Another interesting thing that can come out of this activity is calling an awareness to cultural differences, certain knowledge of the target cultures that is required to fully understand the commercial.