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Sometimes they’re good, I mean there have been some funny ones and the video ads on the internet are sometimes interesting, but generally I don’t pay much attention to advertising unless I’m really interested in buying something, and even then I’d probably go and read some reviews or stuff like that rather than make a buying decision based just on an ad.
Are they effective?
They must be because companies keep on using them, don’t they? You have to define effective though, because some ads are designed for you to respond to and others are designed to build brand awareness for a company or certain product and not really intended for you to react to there and then.
Where the ad appears is important too … obviously, I mean if the ad is on the side of a bus, you might see it and think about the product or company, but you’re probably not going to run to the nearest store and buy. But on the internet, there are many ads which are placed and all you have to do is just click on them and you can buy something online, it’s a totally different approach.
Are they useful for people?
I suppose they can be, some of them inform, as well as try and sell, they make you aware, sometimes they’re funny, but I’m sure most people could get by in life without seeing ads everywhere they go – so are they really useful for people? Most advertising is probably not.
IELTS Speaking Test Part 3 Discussion Questions
Can you compare advertisements on TV and in magazines?
Well, TV ads are more visually dynamic and tend to target a wider, more general audience, many of them are for household products such as detergent, food, toiletries and things like that, products that most people consume on a regular basis.
In magazines, the advertising you see depends on the type of magazine you read, I mean you don’t see a lot of luxury brands advertising in cheap local magazines, but you do see very expensive products being promoted in high quality glossy magazines like Vogue and GQ and publications like that.
Those ads are more targeted than TV ads, the fact that a person is reading that particular magazine says something about them – and companies can target their advertising more easily. TV ads have to be more general because companies really have little idea who’s watching when their ads appear on screen.
Is the difference only in extent of the audience?
No, the content is different also, depending on the audience being targeted, for example, let’s say a car manufacturer wants to advertise a new model on TV, it will typically be visually impacting, to catch people’s attention, and the whole ad will only be a couple of seconds, this means that the company has to create some slogan or buzzwords that people will remember easily, instantly.
If the same company advertises in a magazine, maybe they include more technical details about the benefits of the new model of car and more information rather than sensation because when people are looking at an ad in a magazine, in general, they have more time to absorb such information.
Are their methods always ethical?
That’s a big debate … I guess the short answer would be, no not always. Generally most advertising is okay, but there are always some which cause controversy, so no, they’re not always ethical.
They’re very creative – but not always ethical. Advertisers use quite a few unethical yet legal ways to get their message across, they use subliminal advertising, strong emotionally appealing images and concepts, and sometimes they target desperate individuals.
A couple of examples; the ads you see for easy, fast, cash loans which are clearly targeted at people who are already experiencing financial problems and the advertisers make it seem so easy, but they don’t explain that it’s highly likely they will actually make people’s situations worse. Likewise, the amount of fast food advertising which is targeted at young people and people who are busy, but at the same time medical authorities and doctors are warning that obesity caused by poor diet choices is becoming a very serious health risk for many of the population.