Lesson 2: Ad Targeting and Techniques

This lesson allows students to learn how (and why!) advertisers choose certain techniques to reach a certain target audience.

Students will understand techniques used in advertising.

Worksheet 2, magazines or newspapers, Bonus Activity 2


1. Tell students that most ads are directed to a target audience—a group of people that advertisers think will buy or use the product. Advertisers create their ads to persuade the target audience to do, buy, or think something. They also put their ads where the target audience is likely to see them. Ask students to think about some products that might be targeted to them (e.g., video games, cereal). Ask them to think about other target audiences, such as their parents, and some products thatmight be targeted to them (e.g., cars, banks).

2. Tell students that advertisers use specific techniques to reach their target. Once students understand these techniques and how they’re used, they can decide for themselves what they think about the product.

3. Distribute Worksheet 2. As a class, read the definition of each technique aloud.

4. Further students’ understanding by having them identify the techniques in these examples:

  • A movie star talks about his favorite food (endorsement)
  • An ad connects lipstick with a beautiful model (association)
  • A n ad for a fast-food restaurant shows a close-up of a burger (sense appeal)
  • An ad asks you to go online to learn more (call to action)
  • An ad for an exercise product promises “amazing results” (hype)
  • An announcer repeats a product slogan (repetition)

5. Ask students to complete Part 2 of the worksheet.



6. Distribute copies of Bonus Activity 2. Assign students to complete the activity as homework.

Online Extension:

7. Access Lesson 2A: Ad-genda. Use this lesson to help your students understand how to decode ads and what advertisers are saying.