The Pitch: Introducing Advertising

The following lesson activities provide for a stimulating introduction to advertising. The lesson begins by asking students to consider the pervasive role of advertising in the contemporary social world. Throughout the activities, students are encouraged to think carefully about the symbiotic relationship between the intended audience and the advertising medium. The lesson culminates in a peer-assessed oral activity in which students pitch an advertising idea to their classmates.

The sequence of activities is self-explanatory. The lesson is effective for developing confidence and oral skills relevant to the Individual Oral (IO), as an introduction to advertisements used as part of a non-literary body of work, or in introducing advertising/persuasive texts in developing skills and understandings for Paper 1.

Starter: Why Should I Care About Advertising?

Students work in pairs to complete the statistical information on the influence of advertising on young people. This can precipitate a discussion on the importance of media literacy in the 21st century.

Starter: What is a Pitch?

Students watch the following (arguably hilarious) pitches for 'invading New Zealand' (sic!) from the Australian television show 'The Gruen Transfer'. Students should be encouraged to consider the the relationship between the medium (television) and the intended, mainly Australian, audience. There are two pitches: Why are they successful? Which of the pitches is most successful? Why?

Planning the Ad

Give the students the (first) handout that explains the rules for planning an ad. The four sets of cards should be cut up in advance of the lesson and randomly distributed, with each group of students receiving one card from each of the four discrete sets. Students are given 15-minutes to plan an ad.

Planning and Presenting the Pitch

Give students the handout which explains the rules for planning and presenting a pitch. You may also give students the assessment criteria for peer assessment. Alternatively, you can encourage students to develop their own grading criteria for the activity.

Plenary

A plenary discussion can emerge from the self-assessed pitch. Aim, perhaps, to foreground the notions of intended audience and medium. You can ask students to reflect on the potential impact of changing the intended audience and/or medium.

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