Advertising Discussion Questions for the ESL Classroom

Published on May 4, 2024 | Updated on July 11, 2024

In the contemporary world, advertising has become an inseparable part of our daily lives. From the television screen to social media feeds, billboards on our commute, and even the subtle branding on our favorite products, advertisements surround us at every turn.

Advertising shapes our preferences, influence our decisions, and reflect the values of our society.

  • How much do you think advertising influence our lives?
  • Do you find advertisement annoying?
  • Do you skip ads if you have the chance?
  • Do you pay for premium services to avoid seeing ads?

In this post, you will find lots of great questions so you can have an insightful conversations with your classmates.

General Questions about Advertising

These are some general questions about advertising

Memorable Ads:

  • What makes an ad memorable?
  • Can you remember an advertising campaign that caught your attention?
  • What kinds of ads do you like and why?

Humorous Ads:

  • What is the funniest advertisement you have seen? Describe it.
  • What is the funniest commercial that you have seen? Describe it.

Advertisement Effectiveness:

  • Do you find advertising persuasive?
  • What are some effective adverts you have seen lately?
  • What are some ineffective adverts you have seen lately?
  • What gets you interested in an advertisement?
  • What makes a good ad?

Celebrity Endorsements:

  • What do you think of celebrity endorsements?
  • Which celebrities advertise which products?
  • Do favorite or annoying celebrities make you want or not want to buy a product?

Advertisement-Free Zones:

  • Should there be advertisement-free zones?

Types and Methods of Advertising:

These are some general questions about the different advertising types and methods

Types of Advertising:

  • What are the different types of advertising? (Eg. TV)
  • What are the different methods of advertising?
  • Can you name three different ways of advertising? (For example, different media)

Advertisement Forms:

  • What forms of advertising are there?
  • How would you advertise something you wanted to sell?

Advertising Channels:

  • Do you think the Internet and cable/satellite TV have become more important than national TV for advertising products?

Ethical Considerations:

These are some questions about the ethical considerations of advertising

Advertising to Specific Demographics:

  • Should advertisers be allowed to advertise to children?
  • Should alcohol or tobacco companies be allowed to advertise? Why or why not?
  • Do you think it’s ok to show ads aimed at children on television? Why/ why not?

Government Regulation:

  • Do you think the government has the right to ban advertising for junk food and soda during children’s TV programs? What do you think about this? Why do you think they made this decision?
  • Do political parties in (country) use TV advertising? If so, should they?

Economic and Cultural Impact

This section explores the economic and cultural impacto of advertising

Consumer Behavior:

  • Do you buy products because of advertising?
  • Why do you buy one product over another?
  • Do you think ads influence the choices you make when you buy clothes?
  • Do you often buy a particular brand when you buy clothes?

Impact on Society:

  • What are the harmful and the beneficial effects of advertising?
  • Do you think that ads create a desire for more and more material possessions?

Media and Technology:

Media Saturation:

  • Do you think there are too many ads in television? Why/why not?
  • Do you think there are too many ads in magazines? Why/why not?
  • Do you think there are too many ads in newspapers? Why/why not?

Changes Over Time:

  • What differences can you notice between commercials from 10 or 15 years ago and commercials today?

Personal Preferences and Habits:

Brand Preferences:

  • Do people use coupons where you live?
  • What is the most advertised product in your country?
  • What brand is the ketchup/toothpaste you or your parents buy?

Advertisement Engagement:

  • When you watch TV, how much attention do you pay to the advertisements?
  • Which advertisements do you like most and which least? Why?

Manuel Campos

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English