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Advertising Project Ideas

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Use these project ideas with students of any grade level to help them understand the world of advertising. Providing information and access to research resources in an engaging manner can help you guide students to become informed consumers.

Advertising Project Ideas

Advertising projects are a great way to encourage students of any age to be educated consumers. Use these project ideas to engage your students in creating an advertising campaign, identifying common power words used in advertising, or investigating the use of personal data in online advertising. Each project idea is explained briefly, a list of materials is provided, and steps to the project are detailed. Each project can be used as an independent or team activity.

Elementary: Pick a Prop

In this project, elementary students will select a prop and design an advertising campaign around it. This project will help you guide students to a better understanding of advertising techniques and how they are used to influence consumer decisions. Students will analyze print and multimedia advertisements and create slogans, graphics, and presentations for their selected product.

Materials:

  • a variety of props to serve as ''products'' to be advertised
  • advertising examples, both print and multimedia
  • poster paper
  • markers

Project Steps

  1. Introduce the project by discussing common advertising techniques and helping students find examples in print and multimedia ads.
  2. Ask students to select a single prop, which will be the product they are advertising. Encourage creativity by explaining that students do not have to advertise the literal item. Rather, they can interpret it or adjust its use. For example, an umbrella can become a satellite that picks up signals of life on other planets for the purpose of their advertising campaign.
  3. Explain the components of an advertising campaign, including a logo, a slogan, a print advertisement, and a skit or presentation. Depending on the level you are teaching, you can simplify this project by eliminating one or more of these components.
  4. Provide adequate time and support as students create their campaigns.
  5. Provide time for presentations, in the form of a verbal overview of their campaign or a skit of a multimedia advertisement (commercial).
  6. Provide a reflective component by asking students to detail the use of specific advertising techniques in their campaign.

Middle School: Power Words

In this project, students will identify the buzzwords used in advertising and apply them to their own print or multimedia ad. It's important for middle school students to understand the targeted language used to entice consumers to purchase products or services. This project will allow them to both research the use of advertising language and implement these power words into an advertisement of their own. For example, power words can include things like ''proven strategy'', ''call today'', or ''exclusive opportunity''. This project can be completed in student teams or by individual students.

Materials:

  • a variety of advertisements, both print and multimedia
  • poster paper
  • markers

Project Steps

  1. Begin by showing students a few example advertisements and ask them what is appealing about those ads. What makes them want to purchase the product or service being advertised?
  2. Analyze the language of these advertisements to identify power words and phrases used to convince a consumer to make the purchase.
  3. Provide students with additional advertisements, poster paper, and markers.
  4. Have students analyze the advertisements and write on the poster paper the power words found within their advertisements.
  5. Then, ask students to rank their power words and phrases from most convincing to least convincing. For a collaborative element, students can trade posters and have others rate the wording they selected.
  6. Have students create a product of their own and identify a list of ten power words and phrases they can use in an advertisement.
  7. Have students create a multimedia advertisement script or wording for a print ad that incorporate some or all of their power words. For a collaborative element, have other students engage in a power word scavenger hunt, reviewing their peers' advertisements to find them.
  8. Post student work as a visual reminder of the lesson.

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