Examiner: Do you remember any adverts you saw when you were younger?
Lena: Oh certainly! I remember a dollhouse that was featured for quite some time on television but I also remember commercials for adult products like bath soap or beer. I can’t really say what was so memorable about these commercials – perhaps the imagery or the jingle, but years later I most definitely remember them.
Examiner: Do you often buy things after seeing an advert?
Sonya: Sometimes I do, yes. If I believe that a product satisfies a particular need I have, then I may purchase it. Sometimes, in the case of food, the products displayed are so tantalizing that you may try the product just to see if it lives up to its hype.
Examiner: Do you like it when celebrities advertise products?
Sandeep: No, actually I don’t. I think celebrity endorsements cheapen the celebrity and insult the public’s intelligence. It’s fairly obvious that the celebrity is advertising the product only to earn a large amount of money and quite frankly, even if he or she does use the product, that does not automatically mean the product is right for me or will make me more similar to the celebrity. What is even worse than celebrity endorsements is when you see product placements in movies. There have been times when a soft drink was so prominently displayed on the screen that it was laughable. These types of ads repel me rather than attract me.
IELTS Speaking Part 2 (sample cue card)
Describe an advert you saw recently. You should say:
- What the product/ service was
- Where you saw it
- How was the product/ advertised
And how you felt about it
Leyla: To be honest, I don’t watch a lot of television although it is on in my house rather often. Lately, I have repeatedly heard adverts for a brand of cheese available in my country. I say I ”heard” them because it was the music that has stuck out in my mind. The commercial uses a folk song throughout the commercial that I find rather grating. It’s the kind of jingle – and commercial that makes me want to change the channel immediately!!! However, I think that this kind of advertising is very effective; if you like the song then you may be more inclined to purchase the product. If though you are like me and don’t like the song, then the ad is still successful because it has gotten my attention!
Examiner: Do you think advertising will change in the future?
Shahla: I think advertising is probably one of the fastest changing industries today. It must always adapt and find new ways of getting the attention of potential customers without turning them off. I think several years ago we could have in no way imagined how important Youtube or Facebook would be for advertisers so I believe in the future we will see more changes as more apps and sites become popular.
Examiner: How is advertising different now in relation to the past?
Minnie: Advertising in the past relied more heavily on print, like magazines, newspapers and billboards. I can’t recall the last time I noticed a billboard while driving. Radio too is less important and maybe a great medium for local products and services. I believe TV ads remain very popular but advertising on the internet has really taken over. We are bombarded with so many adverts online that I don’t think we even notice them anymore.
Examiner: Some people think it is unethical to advertise to children. Do you agree?
Rana: Apparently, in some countries children are a very powerful market with considerable buying power! So, it only makes sense that advertisers would want to advertise to them. However, this must be done extremely carefully. In my country there are laws forbidding advertisers from advertising toys when cartoons are playing. In my husband’s country though it is a free-for-all where commercials during Saturday morning cartoons promote toys, unhealthy snacks, theme parks – anything and everything that a child could – and undoubtedly does- ask for! Children are very impressionable so yes, it does seem unethical although with such financial strength I can understand why advertisers are tempted.
- Commercials: An advert on tv or radio
- Imagery: visual images
- Tantalizing: something that creates desire and excitement
- Live up to its hype: when something is as good as you expected it to be
- Product placement: a practice in movies or tv shows when a product or its brand name appear on screen visibly in order to gain exposure
- Celebrity endorsement: when a famous person advertises a product by saying he or she uses it
- Grating: describes sounds that are annoying
- Inclined to purchase: likely to buy
- Potential customers: people who might possibly buy your product
- Turn someone off: to make someone uninterested in something
- Pop-ups: advertisements that suddenly appear on a computer or device screen.
- Subconscious: the part of the brain that sees, hears or remembers things that you do not actively remember
- Subliminal: describes something that can influence the subconscious mind without the conscious mind realizing it
- Billboards: a large outdoor board, usually alongside large roads, used to display an ad
- Flyer: a small paper advertising a product, business or event
- Website traffic: the internet users who visit a website
- Brand awareness: when customers recognize or remember a brand and its qualities
- Jingle: music that accompanies commercials
- Telemarketing: the marketing of good or services over the phone
- Bombard: attack continuously
- Buying power: the money someone has to buy things
- Free-for-all: a situation with no rules, limits or restrictions
- Impressionable: describes a person who is easily influenced