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Marketing-themed activities

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Looking for a marketing-themed filler or more substantial activity? These could be just the ticket.

Marketing a new product

Focus: Discussion; creativity development; marketing

Level: Intermediate — Advanced

1. Ask the class to brainstorm ten common objects. List these on the blackboard.

2. Tell the class to forget this list for a moment and to brainstorm a new list of 10 materials that objects can be made of/from (wood, glass, etc). Write these on the blackboard.

3. Ask everyone to speculate on the most unlikely combinations of materials and objects.

4. Discuss and vote on the strangest combination.

5. Form groups of 3 to 5 students and ask each group to prepare a 15-second radio advertisement for the product voted the strangest. Set a 10 to 15 minute time limit.

6. Each group presents their radio advertisement to the class.

A new logo

Focus: Descriptions

Level: Mid-intermediate and above

Students bring examples of their company/school logo, letterheads and other material that identifies the corporate image. They introduce their company/school and how the features, services and philosophy of the company are reflected in the materials.

The Logo Factory (www.thelogofactory.com) has a large collection of logos created for different companies. Encourage students to look at some in groups and predict what companies might have these logos. Allow them time to look at the descriptions of the logos that interest them by clicking on the logo and going to the corresponding page.

Bearing in mind what they have just seen, ask them to cast a more critical eye over their company/school logo and discuss in groups what they think they might be able to do with it.

Brand associations

Focus: Exploring brands and brand images

Level: Elementary — Advanced

Write a well-known brand on the blackboard (eg Toyota) and ask students to brainstorm the feelings, ideas and images that they associate with it. Encourage them to do this as quickly as they can without much thinking.

Explore with students where these associations come from. How much are they to do with the company’s advertising?

Repeat for another, contrasting brand.


Focus: Demonstrating presentations

Level: Elementary — Advanced

1. Choose one of the following topics for a very short presentation of 2 to 3 minutes that you will give to the students.

My country/city My current/previous job

Sales presentations of an article in the room

2. Give the presentation to the students, following the standard structure. The presentation does not have to be particularly good, or funny. The idea is to show them that that you’re willing to try and so encourage them to, and to show them the standard presentation structure.

Introduction 2 or 3 points

Conclusion/summary Inviting questions

3. Students prepare and give their own mini-presentations in future lessons.

Ad adjectives

Focus: Matching adjectives to advertisements

Level: Intermediate — Post-intermediate

Cut out 10 or more advertisements with large headings or slogans containing an adjective. Blank out the adjective from each and display the advertisements around the classroom — numbering each for reference purposes. Refer your students to the advertisements and explain that you have deleted one word — an adjective — from each advertisement. Tell your students to read the advertisements carefully and to make a note of suitable adjectives to fill each empty space. When your students are ready, ask them to compare their answers with a partner. Check the answers of the whole class and discuss the acceptability of the alternative answers they have thought of. Depending on the advertisements, an answer may be wrong in the sense that it does not collocate with, for example, a particular noun in the advertisement. In this case, elicit possible collocations.

Favorite jobs

Focus: Ranking jobs from most popular to least popular

Level: Pre-intermediate — Post-intermediate

Compile a sheet of job advertisements covering a variety of jobs. Make a copy of this sheet for each student.

1. Begin the lesson by discussing the topic of jobs with students. Use prompt-questions to elicit their questions, eg Which jobs do you think are interesting/difficult/well-paid?

2. Give students a copy of the job advertisement sheet and allow them a few moments to read this quickly.

3. Ask your students to consider the jobs carefully and rank them from the job they would most like to do to the one they would least like to do. They should write their results as a list.

4. Form groups of three or four students and ask them to compare their lists and explain the reasons for their choices.

5. With the whole class, find out the three most popular jobs.

Adapted from:

The Standby Book: Activities for the Language Classroom

The Internet and the Language Classroom

Five-Minute Activities for Business English

Using Newspapers in the Classroom
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