Media Techniques in Advertising
Here are websites about understanding and applying the media techniques used in modern advertising. There are archives of ads, lesson plan ideas, interactive features, and articles about how advertising works. Included is an eThemes resource on propaganda that addresses some of the same techniques.
The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920
Search or browse this collection of historical advertisments. There are over 9,000 images with additional information about the history of advertising in America. Includes a timeline. NOTE: This collection includes historical materials that may contain negative stereotypes.
Ad Access: 1911-1955
Search or browse this collection of over 7,000 advertisements from U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines. Includes a timeline. NOTE: This collection includes historical materials that may contain negative stereotypes.
Here is an archive of classic print ads that can be browsed by decade. Ten new ads are featured daily. NOTE: Much of this site's content is restricted to subscribed members.
PBS: Don't Buy It
This site explores media literacy for kids with many interactive features. Topics covered includ advertising tricks, what goes on behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, and how to shop smarter.
PBS: New Merchants of Cool
This is a Frontline report on how media corporations target teenagers broken down by theme. You can read about these themes, and also interviews with media executives, market researchers, cultural critics, and teenagers. You can also view the entire program online in segments. NOTE: This site has a discussion forum.
Lesson Plan: Facts vs. Opinion
In this lesson plan, students can learn to analyze an advertisement to determine which claims are facts and which are opinions. This lesson is designed to encourage students to think critically.
Creating a Persuasive Podcast
For this project students can create a persuasive podcast and communicate their opinion on a given topic.
BBC: Stealth Advertising
This is an article about "stealth advertising" techniques such as product placement. NOTE: Reading level is for older students. NOTE: There is space below the article for reader comments.
PBS: The Persuaders
This is a Frontline report on advertisements and brand marketing. You can read interviews with media executives, market researchers, and cultural critics. You can also view the entire program online in segments. There is also a teachers' guide. NOTE: This site has a discussion forum.
How Product Placement Works
This site explains the marketing strategy of product placement, where name brands pay to have their products inserted in movies or television episodes. NOTE: Ironically, this site contains ads.
Read a two-page article about this group and their "un-commercials."
How Marketers Target Kids
This article is about how marketers target children and young people, and includes links to related articles and handouts.
Read this article about stealth advertising techniques such as "word of mouth" campaigns that are designed to attract teenage consumers.
Believe It or Not?
Advertisers use words and images to persuade consumers. This lesson aims to teach students how to differentiate facts from opinion and view ads with a healthy degree of skepticism.
eThemes Resource: Propaganda
These websites are about propaganda. How is propaganda used to influence political opinion? How is advertising like propaganda? Here you can find articles and lesson plans, sites about the persuasive techniques used in propaganda, examples of real life propaganda, and information on critical thinking skills.