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The Impact of Advertising on Teenagers

Author: Jacquelyn Massey


West Philadelphia High School

Year: 2006

Seminar: Visual Art and Society

Keywords: advertising, advertising agencies, advertising strategies, business, communication, computer technology, graphic art

School Subject(s): Arts

Teenagers do not fully understand the impact that advertising has on them. Webster’s dictionary uses words like “vigorous,” “lively,” “immature,” and “impetuous” to describe youth. Advertisers are well aware of these qualities when they concoct strategies to reach the youth market.

This curriculum will expose teenagers to the various techniques and strategies that advertisers use to encourage their desire to buy particular products and services. The unit is intended for 9th through 12th grade students who have had some computer experience. It will integrate computer technology, graphic arts, communication and business. Using cooperative learning, students will form their own advertising agencies and develop advertising campaigns to promote a product or service.

Since each lesson can stand alone, teachers will have the option to use some or all of the lessons for their classes. Time will dictate whether or not they choose to do the entire unit. This unit could be taught in business and technology classes, but might also be adapted for a social studies or art class.

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Full Unit Text

Teenagers do not fully understand the impact that advertising has on them. Webster’s dictionary uses words like “vigorous,” “lively,” “immature,” and “impetuous” to describe youth. Advertisers are well aware of these qualities when they concoct strategies to reach the youth market.

This curriculum will expose teenagers to the various techniques and strategies that advertisers use to encourage their desire to buy particular products and services. The unit is intended for 9th through 12th grade students who have had some computer experience. It will integrate computer technology, graphic arts, communication and business. Using cooperative learning, students will form their own advertising agencies and develop advertising campaigns to promote a product or service.

Since each lesson can stand alone, teachers will have the option to use some or all of the lessons for their classes. Time will dictate whether or not they choose to do the entire unit. This unit could be taught in business and technology classes, but might also be adapted for a social studies or art class.


“Have It Your Way”, “Just Do It”, “Ipod, Therefore I Am”, “Reach Out and Touch Someone”, “It’s Everywhere You Want To Be”, “Finger Lickin’ Good”, “Got Milk?”, “Be All You Can Be”–We have heard these slogans many times during the course of a day in some fashion or other. What they all have in common is that they are directed toward teenagers. Teenagers are probably more influenced by advertising than any other age group, and they are really not aware of it.
“The advertising industry itself has funded dozens of studies on children designed to enhance marketing effectiveness. According to the industry newsletter, Selling to Kids, Saatchi & Saatchi hired clinical psychologists and cultural anthropologists to record more than 500 hours of interviews and observations of children between the ages of six and 20. Increasingly, such research is taking place in schools.” (Linn 2) “And according to USA TODAY, grade schools in Connecticut accepted $5,000 from a company in exchange for permission to interview 10- to 12-year-old students in classrooms after school. The Gepetto Group conducts focus groups and consults with psychologists to help businesses better understand how to market to teens by exploiting their vulnerabilities. Teens are ‘… an oppositional subculture, interested in shutting out the adult world,’ the firm’s chief strategic officer explained in a Selling to Kids interview. There are enormous opportunities for the marketer who is able to understand both the reality and fantasy of teen life.” (Linn 2)
“It has been documented that the average teenager spends about 6 ¾ hours a day (38+ hours/week) using media—television, movies, magazines, newspapers, playing video games and using the computer. The average child sees approximately 20,000 commercials a year. About 57% of viewers surveyed in 1996 enjoy commercials as much as television programs. Advertisers spend over $40 billion each year on television commercials. By the time a child is 18, he or she will have seen about 20,000 food commercials advertising food low in nutrition. It is estimated that teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 spend $100 a week or $144 billion per year on clothing, entertainment, and fast food. Advertisers now realize that children not only influence the purchases of the goods and services that appeal to them, but they also influence many of the purchases in the entire household. For example, it is estimated that 78% of children influence what their parents buy (McDougal Littell, 2001). These purchases can be small to large ticket items. It is no longer up to the parents alone to decide what the family needs. With our fast-paced society, teenagers are being left more on their own to make decisions that have a direct impact on families, and these decisions are often influenced by what advertising they see—through print, television, radio, and the internet.

This is an advertisers dream. Is it any wonder that this particular age group is targeted? We as adults have the ability to think logically when it comes to making purchases. We see something that we need, research the product to see what best fits those needs, and then make a purchase. Teenagers, on the other hand, are “impulse” purchasers. “CEA’s (Consumer Electronics Association) research says teens may be more open to impulse purchases because they tend not to overanalyze. They are less likely than others to compare prices or seek recommendations(Vision 3).” They buy based upon what their friends are buying, what will make them more popular with their peer group, or what a celebrity whom they admire or respect says they need. They are more insecure and more rebellious than people of any other age group. Advertisers are aware of this and desperately try to meet their fluctuating—and they are succeeding. They know that teenagers’ tastes will change on any given day – what’s popular today can be passé tomorrow.

Do teenagers give any serious thought about the role that advertising plays in what they buy? Do they realize that a great deal of time, effort, manpower, and money goes into developing products and services and marketing them to young people? Do they truly understand how the images they see, hear, touch, smell, and taste trigger their desires to accumulate more and more “stuff?”

Advertisers have found their niche with teenagers. They have become very creative when it comes to marketing to this group. We often notice that advertising geared toward this demographic is often very visual, interactive, incorporates catchy slogans, employs celebrities to pitch the products, and is simple yet effective in its language.

The purpose of my unit is to make the teenagers I teach aware of how they are being targeted by advertising; how they are being manipulated to buy certain products or services. Students will learn how advertisers change their “wants” into “needs,” and the different strategies and techniques that are incorporated in their advertising campaigns. Students will learn that since the advent of our technological age, they are being bombarded by advertising at an alarming pace. The advent of cable television, cell phones, computers, video games, and ipods, has afforded the advertising industry numerous vehicles to expose young people to more and more advertising. This unit will aim to show my students how this is done and how they are influenced by it.

The design of this unit has been directly influenced by the circumstances under which I teach. I am the Business/Technology Coordinator at West Philadelphia High School, where I have taught for thirty-four years. West Philadelphia High School has a population of approximately 1,000 students that is 97% African American. Seventy-nine percent of students at West Philadelphia High School come from low-income households (School District of Philadelphia/Demographics). For the past few years, a very large percentage of students have scored below basic on standardized testing. This has placed the school in the unenviable position of being slated for takeover—possibly by one of the private companies, such as Foundations or Edison Schools. As with all urban schools, there are many problems for students, including a high dropout rate, low attendance, violence in the neighborhood, and fragmented family structure. Ironically, the school also sits in a neighborhood where gentrification has caused housing prices to rise; where you can easily find a house selling for upwards of $300,000 or more.

Educating young people who must deal with some of these problems can be an awesome task. Making learning interesting, fun and relevant to their lives takes a great deal of effort and planning. Because of their backgrounds and environmental conditions, advertising plays an important role in their lives. This unit was developed to show my students just how much of a role it plays and how they can use it to their advantage.

Sometimes my students are thought of as the forgotten children. They are in desperate need of life skills. They need to become informed consumers who make choices based on facts and not always on emotions. I, as a teacher, feel obligated to try and bridge this gap between reality and fantasy. I feel that the debunking of the myths of advertising is but one way of providing this information for my students.

The first part of the unit will ask students to do research on the history of advertising in the United States. They will take a close look at how advertising began in our country and what media were used. Students will have an opportunity to compare advertisements. Students will learn how and why particular advertising was geared to groups based on gender, age, race, ethnicity and other factors and why.

Not only do students to know the history of advertising, they need to know the vocabulary as well. For example, what exactly is “graphic design” or “graphic art?”. Students will learn that graphic design is the process and art of combining text and graphics and communicating an effective message in the design of logos, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, and any other type of visual communication. The students will also learn about some of the key contributors to the field. Paul Rand, for example, is one of the most influential figures in American graphic design. He explored the formal vocabulary of the European avant garde art movements and developed a unique and distinctly American graphic style which was characterized by simplicity, wit and a rational approach to problem solving. He developed logos for ABC (American Broadcasting Corporation), IBM (International Business Machines), and UPS (United Parcel Service), among others. (Meggs 337-339)

Grace Conlon in her article entitled “Logos, A History,” states that “the word ‘logo’ comes from ancient Greek and translates to ‘word’ or ‘speech’, while other cultures – the Babylonian, Assyrian, Mayan, Chinese, Egyptian also used pictographs (pictures) to communicate words and ideas.” (Conlon 1) In our culture today, logos can be a combination of pictures and words or letters. Young people just have to see a large, yellow “M” surrounded by a red archway to know that it stands for McDonalds.

Students will need to know terms like “typography” which is the study of and process of using typefaces; how to select, size, arrange, and use them. In this section we will show students the various fonts or typefaces that are used on the computer and find out who designed them. We will go back in history and talk about Claude Garamond and the fact that the typefaces he produced between 1530 and 1545, which were considered exceptional during that time—are still used today. Students will learn that frequently used typefaces such as Caslon Classico and Caslon 540 are based on designs by 18th century typeographer William Caslon, whose typeface was used for the Declaration of Independence of the USA in 1776. They will learn about some of our modern-day typographers, such as Matthew Carter, whose work is used by millions of people every day—including fonts such as Verdana, which was designed for Microsoft.

Students will delve into the kinds of advertising that are currently used. They include brand name slogans, hero endorsements, peer approval, status appeal, quality claims, and informative techniques, etc. Students will get an up close look at these techniques. Since many teenagers are visual learners, students will have an opportunity to evaluate advertisements—in particular television commercials. “As a television viewer in today’s world, people are influenced by the commercials played and the products displayed in them. The only problem is that most teenagers don’t recognize the bait these commercial programs use to lure a viewer into buying a particular product or merchandise. Even when they do take recognition of what’s going on, it doesn’t always take effect on this particular age group.”(Louisville 1)

Students will learn about the potentially harmful effects of advertising. For example, they will learn about products like tobacco and alcohol that, once a staple of advertising to teens, are now forbidden to be marketed to this group. Also, students will learn how advertising has played a role in serious social problems in our society—such as obesity and depression. The problem of obesity has been chronicled in the movie Supersize Me, in which an individual eats only fast food. This led to substantial weight gain serious health problems for him. It has been documented that TV watching may also contribute to obesity by increasing sedentary behavior, increasing snacking while watching television, and exposing children to advertisements for unhealthful food and beverages. In addition to harmful effects on individuals, some advertising may negatively impact society as a whole, including the political process (Kumanyika and Grier 10).

The next section of the unit will have students learning about product/service logos and how companies develop specific logos—how a company’s logo evolved and in some cases changed based upon the target audience. Logos are an important part of any company’s name recognition, and students need to know how important this appeal can be. In fact, students are very aware of logos. Teenagers are more apt to wear clothing with a particular logo than any other age group. Their taste in what they wear is directly influenced by what is “hot” at the moment and a particular company’s logo has a great deal to do with their decisions to buy a company’s product. Students will learn about how design and typography can make a logo appealing. Later in the unit, they will be asked to make up a logo for their fictional advertising agency.

Students will learn how graphics, color, layout, and digital imaging influence how a product or service will be launched. Students will have an opportunity to analyze various print advertisements and determine their appeal—why some ads work and others don’t. They will learn what appeals to teenagers as opposed to other demographic groups. Students will have an opportunity to use software programs, such as Print Shop, Publisher, and Adobe Photoshop to develop their own print advertisements. After this process, students will be grouped in mock advertising agencies, each of which will be asked to develop a company logo. Students will then be asked to launch an advertising campaign for a certain product or service based upon what they have learned so far in the unit.

Advertising is a multibillion dollar industry that continues to grow. All of my students come from an urban environment and are consistently bombarded with advertising images, whether by TV, radio, billboards, posters, internet, etc. They need to be better informed about how and why they are being targeted and why it is essential for them to “choose” rather than be “chosen.” Through the use of real-world experiences and hands-on activities in this unit, students will gain a better understanding of the role that advertising plays in our everyday decisions to purchase goods and services.


By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Define advertising and trace its history. Students will take a pretest on Advertising to assess their prior knowledge. They will be able to understand what advertising is, why it is so pervasive in our society, and what forms advertising takes. Students will also take a look at how advertising began, noting the differences between advertising then and now.
  2. Compare different advertising mediums and advertising classifications (hero endorsements, etc.)– Students will be able to look at different mediums of advertising such as television, print ads, billboards, internet, etc. and discuss why they are effective or not. They will be able to categorize ads based on information, status, peer approval, hero endorsement, sex appeal, entertainment, intelligence, independence. Students will determine which medium is the most effective and compare the costs of using each form of media. They will also classify various advertisements based on specified criteria.
  3.  Identify the hidden messages inherent in advertising – Students will learn what hidden message advertising is and how subtle techniques are used to motivate us to buy goods and services. Students will look for these hidden messages in different forms of advertising and be able to articulate them in a discussion format.
  4. Understand the rudiments of design, i.e. how color, shape, size, help to create an effective logo. Students will look at some famous graphic artists who have designed logos for companies.
  5. Identify company logos with their slogans – Given various company logos and accompanying slogans, students will be able to match logos with their slogans. Students will also do research to determine why and how companies come up with these logos and slogans and how they may have changed over time.
  6. Design a company logo and develop a slogan – Students will design a company logo for themselves and develop a company slogan. Using computers and graphic software,
    students will individually design a logo after looking at various types of logos and slogans.
  7. Note the role of gender, age, race, ethnicity, etc. in advertising. Students will have an opportunity to view ads (print, web, television, etc) and determine the demographic that is being targeted. Students will be required to bring in ads and then determine the group being targeted.
  8. Determine what makes an ad deceptive – Students will look at ads and determine whether they have a positive or a negative message and just what that message convey.
  9. Develop a simple ad using graphic software – Using computers and graphic software, students will design a simple print advertisement geared for teenagers.
  10. Using digital cameras, students will have an opportunity to take pictures and import them into their advertisements and presentations. They will also have an opportunity to determine how those images can be used in an advertisement.
  11. Work cooperatively in groups in mock advertising agencies – Students will play the role of ad agency team members in developing an ad campaign for a fictional product. A shadowing experience will be provided in which students visit an actual ad agency and interview one of the employees or executives. Students will bring back the information to share with the rest of the class.
  12. Develop a PowerPoint sales pitch to sell a product – Using Microsoft PowerPoint in their ad agency groups, students will develop a presentation outlining their sales promotion for a certain product or service. The group will then make a final presentation incorporating what they have learned in this unit to sell their product or service.


Cooperative learning and technology will be used throughout the unit. Since students will have had at least a computer applications class, this unit will aid in integrating what they have already learned in those technology classes.

Students will be randomly selected to work in cooperative groups using Numbered Heads Together. In this approach, each student is assigned a number, ex. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, then again 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. All the 1s get together in a group; all the 2s, etc. This method allows students to work in heterogeneous groups. Members of the group will work together to solve a problem or work on a project. Students will share knowledge with other students through a variety of structures. This will include five essential elements: positive interdependence, face-to-face interactions, individual accountability, some structured activity, and team-building skills. By doing this, students
will be more than prepared to work on the final unit objective—working cooperatively in their own advertising agencies.

Prior to teaching this unit, however, I might have students work individually on two or three assignments that are similar to those presented in here, such as developing a flyer, making up a simple PowerPoint presentation, etc. During the actual curriculum unit, I would have students work in groups on the same assignments so that they would achieve collaboration and consensus on the assignment. This will allow students to see and understand how working together will make a task easier, allow for different ideas and focus and provide a vehicle to learn from others. The assignments would include those which are regularly given for this particular class.

The first part of the unit deals with assessing students’ prior knowledge and reviews the history of advertising in the United States. Activating prior knowledge will help learners connect to concepts about to be taught by using activities that relate to or determine the level of their existing knowledge. Students will taken an internet pretest on advertising. This is a good jumping off point prior to our going into the history of advertising in the United States. After assessing their prior knowledge, students will view a video on the history of advertising in the United States. It is important for them to understand that advertising has been around almost since the beginning of time and that it is not some new phenomenon. An historical perspective will lay the ground work for developing students’ own advertisements.

Students will be asked to view various television commercials to determine what category they fall into. Once the different types have been reviewed by the teacher, the teacher will speak for ten minutes and then have the students share and reflect for two minutes. This activity utilizes the 10+2 method. Students will also bring in print advertisements and maintain a clip file for ads they have collected in each category.

Another section of the unit deals with product/service logos and slogans and how they are developed. Using the internet and conducting online research, students will match products with their logos/slogans and determine how and why these logos/slogans were chosen. Using the “think-pair-share” technique, students will reflect on the information that they researched, then pair with a partner to discuss their findings.

The unit actually has students working on the computer and using graphic software. Students will be asked to integrate prior knowledge of graphic design software into the creation of items for a unified ad campaign. However, if students have not had this prior experience, teachers may take some time to have students search the internet for “mini” lessons on desktop publishing—such as making up flyers, posters, etc. Digital imaging is important in ads—including photographs of people or objects. In this section, students will learn about digital images and how to change their size, proportion, and color. Students will also learn the many facets of color. At this point, students will be asked to bring in print ads—those with color and those without. They will be asked to
judge the effectiveness of the color in a particular situation. Students will also learn about the importance of layouts: placement, emphasis, repetition, white space.

Students will be exposed to what is considered “deceptive and/or negative advertising.” After reviewing a video on negative advertising, students will be able to understand the impact that such an ad may have on specific groups. Students will be asked to find such ads and bring them to class for discussion and dissection. The teacher will use an indirect instruction approach for this area of the unit. Here the teacher will shift from the lecturer/director and will act more as a facilitator or resource person. The teacher can at this point introduce some statistics on what impact these ads have had.

The last section of the unit will give students an opportunity to integrate what they have learned in the prior sections. At this point, students will be divided into mock advertising agencies. Students will have an opportunity to pick their groups. The teacher will use a simulation approach In this area, students are given a “real world” problem to solve collaboratively. Once students have chosen their groups, they will be given the task of coming up with a company name, logo, and slogan for their advertising agency. After this is done, the teacher will then give each group a product or service aimed at teenagers for which they will have to come up with an advertising campaign. This campaign will include a print ad and a television commercial. Students will make their oral presentations using PowerPoint to “sell” their product or service to a panel of “clients.” Each member of the group will be given a specific section to present.

Classroom Activities

Lesson Plan #1 

Title: The History of Advertising

Grade Level/Subject Area: 9th through 12th grades

Timeframe: Two to three class periods

Lesson Description: The purpose of this lesson is to provide students with information about what advertising is and what they need to know. It also gives them an historical perspective about advertising in the United States and how it has changed dramatically over the decades.

Performance Objectives – Students will be able to

  1. take an online assessment of prior advertising knowledge. – Students will be able to
  2. travel back in history to find out the origins of advertising in the United States.

Standards 9.2.12 Historical and Cultural Contexts (see appendix for details)

Assessment – Analyze results of a brief online advertising quiz in groups—teacher led class discussion – Journal writing on what students learned about their knowledge of advertising and what they learned about the history of advertising in our country. There will be a teacher-led discussion for all students after the written assignment has been completed.

Technology: Computers, internet access, printers Internet site – Practical Money Skills 43

Materials: Computers, journal books, lcd projector or overhead/transparencies Video – Sell & Spin – A History of Advertising – The History Channel


  1. Students, working individually, will take a brief online quiz on advertising. ( This quiz will enable students to assess their prior knowledge about advertising
  2. Students will view and discuss a video on the History of Advertising
  3. The teacher will have students pair off (using numbered heads together approach) and discuss what they learned after watching the video.
  4. Students will write in their journals what they have learned about advertising—at least two paragraphs
  5. Teacher will solicit various students to share their writings


Lesson Plan #2

Title: Kinds and Media of Advertising

Grade Level/Subject Area: 9th through 12th grade

Timeframe: Two to four class periods

Lesson Description: The purpose of this lesson is to show students the various media that advertising takes. They will be exposed to television, print (magazines and newspapers), billboards, and internet advertising. Students will also learn about various categories of advertising such as, hero endorsement, status appeal, information, intelligence, unfinished comparison,
Comment [EE1]: Lesson is well thought out and presented succinctly.
etc. It is also important that students learn about deceptive advertising, and how it may dupe us into buying products. Negative political ads will also be reviewed to make students aware of why this form is used in political campaigns. Finally the cost of advertising will be reviewed so students are aware just how much money goes into production of the right advertising for a product or service.

Performance Objectives – After viewing various types of advertising, students will be able to determine the type of advertising they are seeing based on the criteria given – Students will be able to spot deceptive advertising and negative ads in political arenas – With the use of the internet, students will be able to determine the cost factor of certain advertising mediums – television, print, internet, etc.

Standards 9.1.12 Production, Performance and Exhibition of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts (see appendix for details

Assessment – Working in collaboratively, students will categorize various print advertisements . Technology Computers, internet access, lcd projector

Materials Newspapers, magazines, videoclips of television commercials

Procedures/Activities The teacher will review the types and kinds of advertising. This is in preparation for a later exercise. The teacher will also review what is meant by deceptive advertising and the nature of political ads and how they sometimes go negative in order to get their point across concerning the opposing candidate
Commercials: Students are asked to videotape commercials and bring them to class for discussion. Students will view commercials and then answer the following questions: a. What did you like about the commercials? b. What didn’t you like about the commercials? c. How would you change the commercial to make it more appealing to you? d. Who is the target audience? e. Would this commercial make you want to purchase this product? Why or why not?
After students have written their answers in their journals, the teacher will have the students share what they wrote.
Print Ads: Teacher will review the various types of advertising techniques – information, status, peer approval, hero endorsement, sex appeal, entertainment, intelligence, independence ( – Lesson 10) Students will bring in print advertisements (newspaper and magazine) and working in pairs, will categorize each advertisement. Each pair will present their results to the class. Using a powerpoint format, the teacher will show various advertisements and ask students what category they feel they belong in.
TV/Internet Ads: Students play the game Ad Detective at And determine which part of the material is the “ad” and what product is being advertised
Deceptive Advertising Students will bring in print ads that they think are deceptive, misleading, or fraudulent. Students will tape the ads they have collected around the classroom. Teacher will direct a discussion on what deception is used in each ad ( – Lesson 10) Using a guided approach, the teacher will illustrate that this type of advertising whets our appetite to purchase goods and services that we probably do not need or really want.
Political Ads In this exercise, students will “Dissect An Ad” by watching political ads on the 1996 Presidential election. Students will do the exercise at In groups, students will answer the questions on the website after viewing the ads. Some questions include: is the ad negative or positive, what production effects were used, who is the target audience, etc.

Cost Factor Using the internet, students will research cost of newspaper ads, magazine ads, and tv commercials. Class discussion on cost factor and which medium will get the best results—consumers purchasing certain products or services. Also student led discussion on which medium would be most appealing to teenagers and why. Teacher acts as facilitator and asks open-ended questions.


Lesson Plan #3

Title: Using Graphics, Lettering, and Digital Images to Create Logos and Advertisements

Grade Level/Subject Area: 9th through 12th Grade

Timeframe: Four class periods

Lesson Description The purpose of this section of the unit is to have students understand the importance of logos to product identification. Students will learn about the terms such as logo, topography, font, typeface, graphic design, etc. Students will learn about famous topographers, graphic designers and logo artists.

Creativity will be emphasized in this lesson. Through the use of various kinds of graphic software, lettering and digital images, students are asked to work in cooperative groups to design advertisements using the logo they created for a product.

Performance Objectives Students will learn about the history of logos and graphic design and how the elements of – design create an effective ad. – Students will be able to match popular logos with their slogans – Working in cooperative groups, students will be able to create a logo for a fictional product on a posterboard and use graphics software to design a print advertisement.

Standards 3.6.12 Technology Education (see appendix for details)

Assessment Working cooperatively in pairs, students will present their logos to the class and students, using a rubric, will critique the logos

Technology Computers, internet access, printer, lcd projector, graphic software

Materials Posterboard, colored markers, pencils, paper

Activity 1

  1. The teacher will have students read an article entitled “Logos, a History”.
  2. Names of famous topographers, graphic, and logo designers will be placed in a basket
  3. Students will choose a name from the basket
  4. Students will go on the internet to find what this person is famous for
  5. Students will answer the following questions a. What is this person famous for
    b. What is this person’s background c. How did this person’s work change the society during his/her time d. What information did you learn from researching this individual
  6. Students will make a brief oral presentation to the class

Activity 2

  1. Students are given a famous slogan for a product.
  2. Students then search the internet to find the logo and the graphic artist who designed the logo
  3. Students orally share their findings with the class

Activity 3

  1. Working in cooperative groups, students will develop a logo for a fictional product along with a slogan using posterboard, markers, etc.
  2. Working in cooperative groups, students will develop a logo and slogan for the same fictional product using graphic software on the computer

Activity 4

  1. Students create individual ads from
  2. Students print out their ads and share them with the class

Activity 5

  1. Students are given digital cameras to take pictures for an ad depicting some type of product
  2. Students must take pictures of their peers holding the product in some manner
  3. Working in collaborative groups, students will choose one of the digital images and design a print advertisement for the image and product
  4. Students will display the ads around the classroom
  5. Students along with the teacher will critique each digital ad


Lesson Plan #4

Title: Advertising Agency Presentation

Grade Level/Subject Area: 9th through 12th grade

Timeframe: Three Class Periods

Lesson Description Here is where everything comes together. The teacher at this point will plan a shadowing/field trip experience to advertising agencies so that students will get a first hand view of what it takes to run an agency and also how advertising campaigns are developed. After students are given their product/service, they will be requested to work in teams to create an advertising campaign for that service or product. The teacher will guide students in using whatever medium they feel will be best to advertise their product/service. PowerPoint presentations will be made from each group.

Performance Objectives – Students will develop specific questions to ask on their field trip to an advertising agency and discuss results in class – Students will be able to work collaboratively in teams of 3 or 4 – Students will make a Powerpoint presentation to an impartial panel to see which group met all of the criteria and which was most creative

Standards 1.6.11 Speaking and Listening (see appendix for details)

Assessment – Using a Presentation rubric, the impartial panel will determine which group makes the best product/service presentation based upon the prescribed criteria

Technology Computers, internet access, printer, Microsoft PowerPoint

Materials Large paper, posterboard, colored markers, magazines, newspapers, etc.


  1. The field trip will be developed by the instructor. If a field experience is unavailable, teacher will invite representative(s) from an advertising agency to class to talk about what his/her agency does and also how they develop advertising campaigns for clients.

Questions for field trip/shadowing experience

a. What kind of campaigns have you developed?

b. What is your most famous campaign?

c. What processes do you use when developing a campaign?

d. How many people are involved in this process?

e. How do you come up with ideas?

f. What kind of technology do you use in your campaigns?

Students will also develop specific questions based on reading materials they have gleaned from the internet on the agencies they will be visiting.

  1. The teacher will ask students to voluntarily form groups of 4
  2. The teacher will give each group a fictional product/service or students will be able to make up their own product/service with the approval of the teacher
  3. Students are expected to come up with an advertising campaign to promote that product or service
  4. Students will use Microsoft Powerpoint to make their presentations on their advertising campaigns

Annotated Bibliography

Aaseng, Nathan. Better Mousetraps. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, 1990. Short book that describes product improvements that led to success.

“Analyzing Commonly Used Advertising Techniques: Lesson Outline.” Media Workshop. Media Workshop. 28 Feb. 2006. <>. Delineates advertising techniques that are used. Bosman, Julie. What’s Cool Online? Teenagers Render Verdict. New York Times. 2005. New York Times. 28 Feb. 2006 < business/media>. How marketeers and advertising agencies target teenagers

Conlon, Grace. Logo Design – Logos, a History. 2003. Logoworks. 25 May 2006 <>. A brief history of logos from ancient civilizations to the present

Education World. US Educaton Standards. 20 May 2006 <>. US Education Standards. National Education

Evans, Poppy, and Mark A. Thomas. Exploring the Elements of Design. New York: Delmar Learning, 2004. Book details how design elements and design principles work together to create effective communication

“Fact Sheet.” Media Wise – Facts and Tips. Winter 2002. National Institute on Media and the Family. 28 Feb. 2006 <>. Statistics and facts on children and advertising

Foster, Chad. Teenagers Preparing for the Real World. Cincinnati: International Thomson Publishing, 1999. Book describes how students should prepare for the real world of work

Gustafson, Kristi L. It’s an Ad, Ad World for Today’s Tweens and Teens. Online posting. 21 Nov. 2004. 28 Feb. 2006<>. A day in the “ad” life of a typical teenager and the ads that are bombarding them

Katsaropoulous, Chris, and Skintik Catherine. Learning to Create a Web Page with Microsoft Office XP. New York: DDC Publishing, Inc., 2002. Text demonstrates how to make attractive web pages using Microsoft Office XP

Linn, Susan E. “Sellouts. The American Prospect 11.22 (Oct. 2000): 2. 11 May 2006 <>. The article describes how advertisers target children based on documented research

Mariotti, Steve. How to Start and Operate a Small Business. New York: The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, 2001.Text details how to own and operate a business. Chapters include advertising, marketing, publicity, etc.

“Media Focus: Analyzing and Producing Media.” Geneva. McDougal Littell, 2001. Guide to helping students become active viewers and producers of media

Meggs, Philip. A History of Graphic Design. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998. In depth history of graphic design

Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards This site lists the academic standards for the state of Pennsylvania

Public Broadcasting System. PBS Kids. PBS . 28 May 2006 < dontbuyit>. This site teaches young people about advertising and advertising techniques and methods

Public Broadcasting System. P.O.V. – Taking on the Kennedys – Dissect an Ad. 1996. The American Documentary, Inc. 20 May 2006 < pov1996/takingonthekennedys/dissect.html>. An exercise developed by the Center for Media Literacy to get the voter (or voter-to-be) thinking critically about 1996 Presidential election campaign ads.

“School Profile – West Philadelphia High School.” Demographic Information. School District of Philadelphia. 13 June 2006 <>. Demographic information on West Philadelphia High School

“Sell & Spin – A History of Advertising,” The History Channel Traces the development of promotion from ancient phrases etched in stone multimedia commercials in cyberspace. Discover how advertising’s most creative minds influence what we buy, how we feel about ourselves—in sixty seconds or less.

Richter, Allan. “Selling for the Holidays.” Vision Nov.-Dec. 2004: 4. 11 May 2006 <http:// ment_id=14>. Discusses the consumer habits of different generations Vranica, Suzanne. “The New Age of Advertising.” The Wall Street Journal -Classroom Edition [South Brunswick] Mar. 2006: 6-7. Ten trends that atransforming the advertising business

Appendix – Academic Standards for the State of Pennsylvania

Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities

9.1 Production, Performance and Exhibition of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts

A. Elements and Principles in each Art Form B. Demonstration of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts C. Vocabulary within each Art Form D. Styles in Production, Performance and Exhibition E. Themes in Art Forms F. Historical and Cultural Production, Performance and Exhibition G. Function and Analysis of Rehearsals and Practice Sessions H. Safety Issues in the Arts I. Community Performances and Exhibitions J. Technologies in the Arts K. Technologies in the Humanities

9.2 Historical and Cultural Contexts

A. Context of Works in the Arts B. Chronology of Works in the Arts C. Styles and Genre in the Arts D. Historical and Cultural Perspectives E. Historical and Cultural Impact on Works in the Arts F. Vocabulary for Historical and Cultural Context