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Analysing Advertisements


What to do

Get into groups of 2 or 3 and give each group an advertisement (printed from the internet or from a magazine/newspaper), a large blank sheet of paper, a marker pen, glue and a set of questions. Each group should glue their advertisement onto the paper and spend 15 minutes discussing the questions, noting their responses on the paper to create a poster.

Questions to consider are:

  • What is being advertised?
  • What is the product used for?
  • What technique does the advert use to persuade people to buy this product? • Who is it aimed at?
  • How are men/women presented in the advert?
  • What does the advert assume about the people it is aimed at?
  • How realistic are the images being portrayed?
  • Which magazine do think it is from, and why?
  • Any other comments?

After 15 minutes, display the posters around the room and allow 5 minutes for each group to look at all the others.

Group Discussion

  • What do you notice most about the adverts?
  • Are there any general points to be made about the adverts aimed at men and women?
  • What do the adverts suggest about men and women? • What images do they put across?
  • Are these images realistic?
  • What effect to these images have on people?
  • What problems might arise from presenting men and women in this way? • Why are the images used?


This activity focused on the theme of gender, but you could use the same process to focus on other issues – consumerism, the environment, war etc.

Resources Required

Advertisements aimed at either men or women (take note of the magazines they came from), flip-chart paper, marker pens, glue.


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