The Influence of Advertising – Understanding Techniques

In this lesson students recognize how and when advertising techniques can influence buying decisions.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Understand and identify basic advertising techniques and appeals
  • Understand and identify deceptive or questionable advertising techniques
  • Give examples of commonly seen misleading advertisements, and identify the deceptive or questionable appeals and techniques used in each
  • Discriminate between facts and unsupported claims in print advertisements and in television commercials


Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

In today’s modern world, advertising seems to be everywhere we look; online, television, billboards, magazines, newspapers, on buses, grocery carts, even cell phones.

In addition, some forms of advertising can be subliminal, such as the strategically-placed soda can in a movie. We can’t help but be influenced and manipulated as consumers. In this lesson, students will become aware of the various techniques and appeals used to influence consumer behavior.

Warnings must also be sounded. Unethical selling techniques such as “bait and switch,” as well as common deceptive promotions like “get rich quick schemes” are discussed here. This is followed by information on program-length commercials, also called “infomercials.”

Finally, students are asked to develop guidelines for viewing and evaluating advertising. This skill will prepare them to make rational decisions in our very complex and evolving marketplace.


Teacher’s Guide

Teacher’s Guide


Presentation Slides

Presentation PDF

Presentation PowerPoint


Student Activities:

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For additional related lessons, explore our main category pages:

Categories Spending Money,

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