IELTS Speaking: Advertisment


Look at the Speaking topic question below:

Describe an advertisement that made you want to buy something.
You should say:
    where you saw or heard it
    what was in the advertisement
    how you saw or heard about it
and explain why this advertisement made you want to buy this thing

The following sample and comment are given by an Australian IELTS instructor that I work with.

One minute notes:
ad for a game when I was a kid, old bearded guy, cute asian girl, game looked smart, kind of like backgammon, just a game but looked difficult, liked games anyway, liked spy/detective movies, parets liked that sstuff, ad looks very daggy now, did buy the product, didn’t pay it often,


Here is his scripts:

When I was a small boy I saw an ad for a board game, I honestly can’t remember the name of the game but it was a sort of small variation on backgammon…- you have a number of counters, you try to move them from one end of the board to another, and there’s different rules about, when you pile them up, if you have two black counters you can’t move a white counter on to them- you know that kind of thing…

..anyway, I remember the advertising for the game made it look very intelligent and clever and a bit suspenseful. .My main memory of it is an older man with a slightly greying beard and a very nice suit, sitting down, looking elegant. Next to him there was an attractive asian woman in a white dress….looking a bit enigmatic., you know, like she knew some kind of secret……and they were playing this board game…and the whole thing looked a bit like something from a Bond movie.

……I’m a sucker for that kind of thing…….when I was young people were crazy about James Bond..and spy stories in general. .My parents loved that sort of stuff..they took us out to see all the Bond movies and we often watched spy stories on tv. .I suppose the atmosphere of the ad …really appealed to me. As I say, it made the product look very interesting and intelligent. You know, I think at some level. I felt like I would be a cool intelligent person if I could play that game……I did actually play it and….it’s just a mini version of backgammon, it’s pretty easy, nothing too complicated, but it got me in.


His comments: point 3 ‘how you saw or heard about it’ seems pretty much the same as point one and I think someone has mis-remembered it. I can’t think of a good substitute just now, but you should not worry that 1 and 3 seem the same. In the actual test, you should at least try to say something about each one and you should ask the examiner at the beginning of the one minute note taking time if you don’t understand.
Good idioms in this one include:
it got me in = it was successful, I liked it, it was easy to watch. Can also use this for books or movies
I’m a sucker for that kind of thing – it’s bad to be a sucker (a gullible person, easily fooled) but if you are a sucker for something, it just means you like it a lot. You can be a sucker for a good looking person, a good action movie, a discount etc
enigmatic – I explain it just after using it, so I’m earning my money! An enigma is a problem you can’t solve or a mystery. People think the Mona Lisa’s smile is enigmatic. She looks like she knows a secret.
At some level – Not consciously believing something….this means, I didn’t consciously think ‘if I buy this board game, I will be as interesting as characters from a Bond film’, but at the unconscious level, I probably did. If you ask men if they really believe that deodorant will make them more attractive to women, they’d probably say ‘no’, but advertisements that suggest this are very successful, so perhaps at some level, that’s what they believe.

Notice I didn’t say anything about where I saw it. I’m not worried about this and you shouldn’t be either because I made an honest attempt to answer the question. Maybe I saw it on tv.
Notice also that I ‘go general’. I don’t just talk about this one ad, but also talk about society in general – the ad suggested a spy movie, spy films were all the rage at that time, my parents were into Bond films. If the topic seems limited, think about the context – your family, your friends, people your age, your country.

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