IELTS Speaking Practice Test 15 Topic: Advertisements

Speaking Part 1

1Are there many advertisements in your country?

Definitely, there are. They appear all over the place from the streets to social media with a high density. For example, there is a multitude of colourful flyers stuck on the street walls in Sydney.

2Why do you think there are so many advertisements now?

I guess it’s due to the benefits of the companies. First, advertisements are the easiest way to reach customers to attract their attention to a particular brand or product. From that attractive information, customers will be able to choose an appropriate one. Second, it also plays a crucial role in the marketing strategy that the company apply to attract customers.

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3What are the various places where we see advertisements?

Advertising is here, there, and everywhere. It gets to people through different types of communication such as flyers and banners on the streets or printed ones on newspaper, magazines or electronic ones on social media. It could be written, verbal or a short movie.

4How do you feel about advertisements?

Sometimes, I find it a little bit disappointing because the quality products are usually overrated. However, there are other beneficial advertisements in supermarkets which has informative contents for customers such as on which days there will be promotions or which new products will be launched.

Speaking Part 2

Here is an audio of the sample answers given below. Please listen to it for more clarity on the Speaking Test.

Describe an unforgettable advertisement that you saw or heard

You should say

  • where you saw or heard it
  • what kind of advertisement it was
  • what the contents of the advertisement were and explain why this advertisement is so unforgettable

Sample Answer

While waiting for my boyfriend to pick me up for work , I was watching advertisements on the TV in the lobby. That night I saw an advertisement that has forever stuck in my mind. It was a commercial for Nike shoes with Michael Jordan. In it he said, “I’ve missed more than nine thousand shots in my career. I’ve lost almost three hundred games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot but missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” I couldn’t get that commercial out of my mind, not because I thought buying Nike shoes would make me as successful as Michael Jordan, but because of his unflinching determination and perseverance. Life is full of challenges and difficulties that test our level of commitment. I believe having determination divides the winners from the losers. Successful people are not ones who have never failed, but those who kept trying. As simple as this may sound, it is the one ingredient that separates the winners from the losers. The one skill that winners acquire is an understanding that growth is only possible if you have the courage to change what you have been doing, if it is not achieving the result you desire. Sometimes success is learning how to fall and recognizing that from that fall you will learn to grow. And growth is what a fulfilling life is all about.

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Vocabulary for Cue card

  • Unflinching: notto show face of fear
    Eg: Her unflinching courage had to be appreciated
  • Determination: positive emotional feeling
    Eg: One should have the determination to win
  • Perseverance: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition
    Eg: His perseverance made him successful
  • Commitment: dedicated
    Eg: His commitment towards the club is heart-touching
  • Acquire: gain
    Eg: I acquired some knowledge on Solar System

Speaking Part 3

1 How do advertisements attract attention?

It all depends on what group of people the advertisement is aimed for. Young people look if it’s cool, hip, or fashionable; whereas older people tend to be more practical-minded, so those in charge of advertising need to have a clear idea of who they will be targeting with their advertisement, and plan accordingly. If the advertisement is geared to the younger generation, then showing how the product can help kids be more attractive, confident, or successful is good. Catchy music also helps attract attention and helps listeners remember it. If you’re trying to reach the older generation with your advertisement, explaining how the product will give them better health, or help them relax, or be happier may appeal to them.

2Do young and old people have the same attitudes towards advertisements?

Definitely not. Every individual has his own unique attitude towards advertisements and the advantages and disadvantages that advertising brings. Both old and young people are inclined to believe and think that advertisements tend to be misleading, dishonest, phony, shallow, and at times annoying, especially when they’re not well made or dorky. On the other hand, if done well, they can be very creative, humorous, artistic, and enjoyable to watch .Those, however, are the exception, rather than the norm.

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3Do you think advertisements are a good or bad influence on children?

Looking at today’s children, I would have to say advertisements have predominately had a negative influence on their lives and character. Ads create a discontentment with what children have and a desire to own more and to be like everyone else. Advertisements usually tend to be unrealistic and give a false impression of how the children should be or what will happen when they buy the product.

4Do you think advertisements actually influence people to buy things? And How?

When seen a lot. advertisements make products more familiar and ingrained in people’s mind, so when they want to buy something, they will take a brand that they recognize. In China, people want to be like the West and so they buy what they see on TV that the Western people have. They think that if they have this Western product, they will be as cool as this person, which is totally bizarre to my mind.

5Does the Chinese government control advertisements in any way?

Of course. All TV media is controlled in some way by the government, so advertisements must be as well. The government prevents advertisements from having inappropriate content or content that is not in line with government policy. That is common in every country. I’m sure that if the advertisement is within normal bounds, then the government wouldn’t have much to say about it.

6Do you think there should be controls on advertising?

Yes, I do. Some things should not be advertised, such as cigarettes, which are harmful to people’s health. Most people are aware of their existence, so they don’t need to be promoted more. Children especially should not be shown advertisements that make harmful things look cool or interesting. Advertisements that have age-inappropriate content should also be banned.

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7Do you think that advertisements for products that harm the health, such as cigarettes, should be allowed?

Now you are getting into freedom of choice and whether it would be better to just prohibit something from being advertised to get people to stop using the product, but unfortunately this just doesn’t work, as prohibition in the States found out. The best thing would be for the products just to not be manufactured, but this doesn’t work either because then they would be produced illegally, becoming more dangerous.

8Can you think of any example of false advertising?

The biggest example that comes to my mind is McDonald’s advertisements. Every time I go to McDonald’s, I see pictures of happy, thin people with big smiles and perfect teeth holding hamburgers and cartons of French fries that are at least three times bigger than the real products. This advertisement clearly ignores three glaring facts. For one, if you eat at McDonalds a lot, you will not look like the people in the advertisement. Two, the hamburger and French fries are nowhere near the size pictured. Three, if you stand smiling holding a burger, nobody will think you are cool.

9What kinds of products are most often, most easily promoted by false advertising?

Well, most products are really promoted by false advertising. I hate to sound so cynical but I have a friend in the advertising business, and a lot of so-called experts advertising their product know absolutely nothing about it. In the field of beauty care products, this happens a lot. The poor women sitting at home with nothing to do except watch TV me are so susceptible to this kind of advertising.

Vocabulary for Speaking Part 3

  • Fashionable: stylish
    Eg: She is very fashionable
  • Annoying: disturbing
    Eg: Her dog is very annoying
  • Inappropriate: not proper
    Eg: Cheating is inappropriate
  • Cynical: believing that people are motivated purely by self-interest
    Eg: She is a Cynical woman.

Here’s another cue card for your practice!:

Describe an advertisement that influenced you to buy a product. You should say:

  • What the product was
  • Where you came across the advertisement, and
  • How did it influence you to buy

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