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The Purpose of Advertising
An advertisement can be just about anything that draws attention to a particular thing such as a product, service or event. Advertisements are all around us - the billboards you see, the side of the coffee cup from the store, and even bumper stickers. No matter where you are, there is probably an ad somewhere within eyesight. The purpose of advertising is to make people aware that the product exists and to entice them to try it out. Though advertising is mainly used in selling a product, it does have a positive and very useful side as well, whether you are the consumer or seller.
Ads can be extremely invasive and become offensive to some people depending on how the advertisement is handled. There will always be ads that people are against because of the product or purpose they are trying to sell, but there are many positive sides to advertising as well.
Ads for medicinal products and purposes can help people know they are not alone in their problems and that there is help out there. Having trouble sleeping? We've all probably seen some commercial on TV that tell you sleep aids can help and to just "talk to your doctor today." Service ads are another example of a positive advertisement. When looking for a particular service - such as finding a plumber or electrician or even a dog sitter - advertisements in a local newspaper or telephone book can be extremely useful in helping you to find what you need.
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Creating an Ad for a School Project
Creating an advertisement for a school project is an entertaining way to present your subject. One fun and entertaining advertisement exercise can be done in conjunction with reading a book. Each student can choose a character in the book and create advertisements and posters to promote their character.
One example is to use the book Lord of the Flies. As the students read the book and discussions are done daily in class, the students can each choose or be assigned a character to follow carefully. While the characters in the book are creating their government, the students can create posters and ads to promote their character to be voted as president. This can be done both individually or in teams.
Grading can be based on a final vote from the class, or even several classes, who have seen the advertisements to determine which character will win the election. The winning student or team can then receive extra credit points for his or her assignment.
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Tips for Successful (and Entertaining) Advertisements
To have a successful and equally entertaining advertisement, there are several things to be sure to include.
- The fewer words, the better. By leaving some blank space, the few words that you include will have more of an impact and will catch the eye of the reader faster and easier. Do not feel like you need to fill in every space there is because the ad will become too active and difficult to read. Picking out the important and necessary information can be made difficult by too much wordage.
- Create a motto or catchy phrase to go along with the context of the advertisement. Even if it's slightly off, it doesn't matter if it's memorable. The key here is to make sure the product or reason for the ad can also be remembered.
- Use colors to make certain things stand out whether it's a single word or a phrase. Pick out one thing to focus on so if someone is quickly passing and can catch only one thing, it's the most important.
- Use pictures. By adding pictures to your ad, it will break up the words and sometimes a picture will catch a person's eye more than words will. There is less work and concentration needed for viewing a photo than there is for reading. Draw people in with a photo first.
- Have fun and get creative when designing your advertisement. As long as it is easy to read, appropriate for all ages, and has something to attract people, it can be an extremely successful ad for a school project or anything else.
A successful ad also heavily depends on the product or service being promoted or sold. Some products and services will be much harder to create an ad for whereas some will absolutely lend themselves to advertising. The key is to make it original so it stands out from the crowd. Get creative and have fun!
For more ideas, take special note of the television ads when watching your favorite show. What are they trying to sell or promote? Was it effective? Was it entertaining? How could it have been done better?