Genre of Advertisements


Discuss with a partner: 

Activity 1 

In pairs or small groups, read Adverts A and B. Take turns describing each text, and then discuss with your partner: 

Activity 2

How is genre created? 

Through 1) discourse structure and 2) register features

First let's look at discourse structure: the elements of the text structured in a predictable order. 

Look again at Advert A. Try labelling the different sections.

As an example, Advert A already has the headline labelled. Compare to see if you have the same answers. Discuss: What is the purpose of each section?


Why is the text designed and presented in this way? What does the author hope to achieve? How will the audience react? 

An advert is usually designed to grab the audience's attention, to persuade them to purchase/remember a product, and to give clear information.

Activity 3 

Genre is also created through register features: the distinctive language used in the text. 

In pairs, look at your Advert A again. Discuss these questions: 

1. What kind of tone does this text create?

2. How does it attempt to persuade the audience?  

The titles are written as a noun phrase without any determiners.

Even though this advert is from a building society and advertising for mortgages, the text does not aim for a serious tone. In fact, the tone is light and friendly. The text is written in a conversational way, which the company hopes will persuade the audience to choose their services. 

Look again at the text. What features of language can you see that contribute to this friendly and approachable tone? 

Share the language features you've found with a partner. Discuss: 

In the next activity, you will see some language features. As a whole class, match the technical term to the appropriate example. How do all these features help create a friendly tone? 



Activity 4

Look again at Advert A. Notice the underlined words: what word classes do they belong to?

What do these words have in common? What kind of messages do they send? Where do they change in the text? Why do you think this is? 

The underlined words are nouns, adjectives and adverbs. These contribute to the tone by describing emotional states.

These words are negative at the start of the text (problem), but turn positive later (solution).


Write two paragraphs: one analysing the discourse and presentation features, and the other analysing the register and language features. Select evidence and analyse how these features contribtue to the intended effect on the reader, bearing in mind the purpose of the advert. 


Activity 5

Now, look at Advert B. Discuss with your partner/group: 

Here's a list of discourse and register features we saw in Advert A. Does Advert B also contain the same features? Label/underline all the ones you can find. 

Discourse: TitleIllustration, Body CopyLogoBrand NameSlogan, and Contact Information

Presentation: Quotation Marks, Bold Text, Underlining, Bullet-points, Short Paragraphs

Register: Contractions, Imperatives, Personal Pronouns, Puns, Alliteration, Fronted Coordinated Conjuncitons, Positive & Negative Vocabulary

Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a bowl with the mixer at medium speed, beat the cheese and sweetener until it is very smooth for 3 minutes.

Look at these phrases from Advert B. What do they have in common? What makes them unusual?

All these phrases are not full sentences. We can call them minor sentences or fragments. We can tell this because they are missing a Subject or Main Verb

Why do you think the advert uses this kind of phrase? 

Adverts use fragments because they save space and help create an informal tone like spoken language.

Rewrite these three fragments as full sentences by adding a Subject or Main Verb.

Here's one way you could rewrite each phrase: 

There are many more minor sentences in Advert B, and at least one in Advert A. 

How many can you find? For each one you spot, try rewriting it as a full sentence. 

Activity 6

Now, try writing your own advert:


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