Advertising All Around Us

Offline & Connect
Offline & Connect

Help your participants to become more aware of the language and techniques used in print advertising, as well as the impact of advertising on their daily lives.


  • magazines, comics, newpapers, brochures, bulletins, and posters from various sources
  • scissors
  • backing paper
  • glue
  • Pencils
  • Writing paper


What does your group already know and feel about advertising? Ask them: What is advertising? Why do we advertise? Is advertising necessary?


  1. Select a few images and compare them:
  2. Is it an ad or a photograph? How do you know?
  3. Construction of Reality: Select two ads, one that features a product and one of a lifestyle that doesn’t include a product:

    What’s the difference between the ads?
    Why would an advertiser create an ad for a product that doesn’t include the product?
    What message is the advertiser trying to accomplish?

  4. Representation: Now, by examining a whole lot of ads of various formats (poster, flyers, newspapers, etc.).

    What’s similar about them all?
    How does the format impact its presentation?
    Would all formats work for all ads?
    Are there certain words or phrases that catch your attention or make you feel a certain way?
    How about colours?

  5. Audience: Compare ads from various countries.
    What is the product?

    Can you figure out the conveyed message even if in a different language?
    How might a person different from ourselves view the ad?
    Are there differences to our Canadian ads?
    (If you can find an ad from different countries of the same product) Do different countries use different ads for the same product?


  • An extended lesson plan version of this activity can be found at MediaSmarts. Visit the link at the bottom of the page.


  • There are no foreseeable safety concerns for this activity.


Have your group then create their own ads for a product of their choosing, keeping in mind the construction of reality, representation, and audience.

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