These are 60-90 minute conversation lessons that I taught or had planned to teach. Depending on the participants you might try them out as they are or want to change them. It's always helpful to view them from the participants' perspectives to try to avoid topics that won't suit certain people.
You can use most of the ideas with one person or more people if you adjust the plan accordingly.
Material (material for optional elements in brackets):
Advertisements from magazines, ideally but not necessarily English ones; (Song and Lyrics "Satisfaction"), a video showing commercials from the Sixties ( for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2AQdyB34so), (timer = on your mobile phone or a kitchen timer for more fun)
Read a few advertising lines from American magazines and make participants guess what product they are for:
"Cleaner gets you closer" (Pedigree Dentastix for dogs)
"Make Dinner, make Memories" (Palmolive)
"Sometimes the simplest things are the yummiest" (Kraft cheese slices)
"The road to your happy place is paved with raisins and flakes" (Kellogg's Raisin Bran)
"It doesn't matter what's against you when you know what's within you" (Zico coconut water)
"Love at first touch" (Pampers)
"Family happens here" (Disney World)
"The great Snack Rescue" (Babybel)
What is the last TV or radio commercial you can remember? Why do you think you remember it?
Do you ever pay attention to comercials?
Has a commercial ever influenced what you bought? What was that?
Are commercials more suitable for some products than for others?
Is there a product so great you would advertise it?
Ads/ group work:
Make pairs/ small groups and distribute ads from magazines.
Let them discuss the following questions:
How do these ads work? Do you find them convincing/ funny/...?
What is your favourite one and why?
Tell the others for every product if you would buy and and why/ why not.
Try to translate the texts so that they still sound good in German/ English.
Agree upon one product that you will then try to sell to the others,
collect reasons why they should buy it.
Every small group reports what ads they had and present a product to the others
to "sell" it, the others deciding if they'll buy it or not.
Do you remember commercials from the past? Which ones? How do you feel about them?
Tell participants to pay attention to what means are used and what we learn about society in them, then show them a few commercials from the sixties (f. ex. on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2AQdyB34so)
Participants tell the group what they found out and compare old and new commercials.
Homework (if necessary):
Write (or design) an advertisement!
Additional/ optional elements:
Rolling Stones Song "Satisfaction" about the over-commercialization and advertisement overlaod they attributed to the USA;
set a timer and let people collect or shout out as many positive adjectives as possible (you could do this in groups and count on the board if your group is competitive)
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