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Persuasive Techniques in Advertising
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Estimated Time||Seven 50-minute sessions, with additional time for producing commercials|
Students will learn persuasive techniques used in advertising, specifically, pathos or emotion, logos or logic, and ethos or credibility/character. They will use this knowledge to analyze advertising in a variety of sources: print, television, and Web-based advertising. Students will also explore the concepts of demographics and marketing for a specific audience. The lesson will culminate in the production of an advertisement in one of several various forms of media, intended for a specific demographic.
The Art of Rhetoric: Persuasive Techniques in Advertising: This online video describes how advertisers use pathos or emotion, logos or logic, and ethos or credibility/character in order to persuade consumers.
Students encounter advertising at every turn of their lives: on public billboards, during nearly every television show, on the Internet, on their cell phones, and even in schools. They are undoubtedly aware that these ads have a specific purpose: to sell something to them. Rarely, however, do teenagers think precisely about how the text, sounds, and images in these advertisements have been carefully crafted to persuade them to purchase a product or service-and that these techniques are not far from those they have already used in their own persuasive writing.
We emphasize the need to make our students more literate, and this lesson aims to improve their critical media literacy. By reducing advertising to its basic rhetorical components, students "can begin to understand how to construct their own messages to convey the meanings they intend and to evoke the responses they desire" (173). Becoming more media literate allows our youth to "create messages of their own so that they can communicate clearly, effectively, and purposefully" (176).
Christel, Mary, and Scott Sullivan, eds. 2007. Lesson Plans for Creating Media-Rich Classrooms. Urbana, IL: NCTE.