Advertising Appeal



A 3rd and 4th Grade WebQuest
Identifying Advertising Techniques
Designed by Kelly Smith


Introduction Task Process Resources Evaluation Conclusion

Teacher Resources


Kids everywhere need your help!  Everyday kids buy products they may not need or that are not healthy.  Why would kids, like yourself, buy such items?  It sounds so silly, but they do it because of advertising.  Advertisements convince people to buy products by using many secret tricks.  It is up to you to discover what these mystery tricks are and create an informative handout making others aware of what advertisers are really up to.  I hope you're up to the challenge!  Good luck!!!     



For this task, students will collect and analyze information about various advertising strategies.  Then students will create an informative handout or flyer to tell consumers about advertising tricks that companies use in order to make their products look appealing to buyers. 


Process and Resources

Step 1

Within your group, you will need the following roles:  GRAPHIC ARTIST and WORD WIZARD
Decide who will take on each role.

       The GRAPHIC ARTIST will look at all visual aspects of advertisements.  Below is a partial list of
        advertising features for which this person will be looking: 


  • visual design - What do you see?  How does viewing the commercial or looking at an advertisement make you think/feel?

  • layout - How are words and pictures arranged on a package?

  • colors - Are there any prominent colors in the advertisement?  Why were those colors used? 
    Color Meaning

  • scale - How large are products or important words shown?

  • artwork - Is artwork used?  How does it help sell the product?

  • emphasis - What do you see first?  What is the most important part of the advertisement?

    The WORD WIZARD will look at all wording used in the advertisements.  Below is a partial list of advertising features for which this person will be looking:


  • slogans

  • catchy jingles - simple songs often set to music

  • repetition - using the same word(s) over and over again for emphasis

  • facts and figures

  • implied messages - Is the advertisement sending you a message?  Everyone uses this product!  You're not cool if you don't buy this!  Eating this product will make you fast and strong!

  • misleading or omitted words

Step 2

Does advertising affect you?  You might not think it does, but it probably has more control over you than you think.  Click on the following link and see how many advertising slogans you recognize.  Print out the page and see which products do they represent? 

Do You Know These Slogans?

Step 3

Now find out how advertisers get you to remember their product and convince consumers to buy them.  The following links will teach you about different advertising techniques.  Print the pages after you open them to help you with the rest of the activities.

Food Advertising Strategies
You've Gotta Have a Gimmick

Step 4

Now that you know a little about some advertising tricks.  Look at the following products or commercials and record what advertising technique(s) is/are being used.  Click on the advertising worksheet below, print out one copy for your group, and record your responses.

Uncovering Advertising Strategies

Step 5

Now you are going to use what you have learned about advertising techniques to become consumer advocates of public awareness.  Your task is to create a handout or flyer that will inform others about misleading marketing strategies.  The GRAPHIC ARTIST will write about 2 visual advertising strategies used to sell products.  The WORD WIZARD will write about 2 wording strategies used to sell products.  Therefore, your flyer/handout should tell readers about a total of 4 advertising techniques.  For each technique you mention you should explain the technique, tell why it works, and give an example.  You may hand design and draw your handout/flyer or create it using a computer program, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, Printshop, etc.

As a group, you and your partner must decide how you will organize your flyer/handout.  Consider the following questions:

  • What will the title of your flyer/handout be?

  • How will you make it visually appealing?  Pictures?  Unique fonts?  Colors?

  • How will you lay out your information on the page?  Will you use paragraphs?  Heading?  Bulleted Lists?  Columns?




The following rubric will be used to evaluate both your group's flyer or handout about misleading marketing and your individual performance within your group.







Content Covers topic in-depth with details and examples. Subject knowledge is excellent. Includes essential knowledge about the topic. Subject knowledge appears to be good. Includes essential information about the topic but there are 1-2 factual errors. Content is minimal OR there are several factual errors.
Organization Content is well organized using headings or bulleted lists to group related material. Uses headings or bulleted lists to organize, but the overall organization of topics appears flawed. Content is logically organized for the most part. There was no clear or logical organizational structure, just lots of facts.
Attractiveness Makes excellent use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance the presentation. Makes good use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance to presentation. Makes use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. but occasionally these detract from the presentation content. Use of font, color, graphics, effects etc. but these often distract from the presentation content.
Mechanics No misspellings or grammatical errors. Three or fewer misspellings and/or mechanical errors. Four to six misspellings and/or grammatical errors. More than 6 errors in spelling or grammar.
Focus on the task Consistently stays focused on the task and what needs to be done. Very self-directed. Focuses on the task and what needs to be done most of the time. Other group members can count on this person. Focuses on the task and what needs to be done some of the time. Other group members must sometimes nag, prod, and remind to keep this person on-task. Rarely focuses on the task and what needs to be done. Lets others do the work.
Contributions Routinely provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. A definite leader who contributes a lot of effort. Usually provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. A strong group member who tries hard! Sometimes provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. A satisfactory group member who does what is required. Rarely provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. May refuse to participate.

Printable Rubric


Now that you have completed this WebQuest, you should have a greater understanding of the advertising strategies companies use in order to persuade consumers to buy their products.  Because you understand these strategies you can begin to understand what is driving your desires to buy certain items.  You should start to ask healthful questions, such as, "Do I really want or need this?" , "Is this product as good as it seems?", or "Is this product good for me?"  Once you start thinking about what you buy and why, you are a super informed consumer.  Congratulations!

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