IELTS Model Essay: Advertising

IELTS Essay Advertising

Here is another IELTS model essay, this time from an IELTS essay question from Cambridge IELTS Book 15:

Some people say that advertising is extremely successful at persuading us to buy things. Other people think that advertising is so common that we no longer pay attention to it.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

(Cambridge IELTS Academic Book 15 Test 3)

My Model Essay

We have become increasingly surrounded by advertisements, with those seen on traditional TV channels and billboards now supplemented by paid advertising on social media, websites and within apps. But how effective is advertising at getting us to make purchases?

There are certainly strong arguments for the effectiveness of advertising. Firstly, adverts related to special offers can be quite successful, especially if they are time-limited. For example, Black Friday offers for tech products often lead to people making expensive purchases they probably otherwise would not make, in part because they need to complete the purchase before a deadline. Secondly, targeted advertising on social media often gets good results as it is based on people’s browsing habits and interests. Many companies spend a lot of money on Facebook sponsored posts because of this.

However, without targeting or special offers, a lot of advertising may be much less effective since people will see it as irrelevant or unimportant, meaning they will simply ignore it. Certainly on social media feeds, there are now so many adverts that many users just scroll past them unless they are very carefully crafted so as to immediately grab their attention. The situation is even worse on traditional TV channels, where frequent commercial breaks tend to be used as an excuse to check your phone or make a cup of tea.

Overall, I feel that when people are given a strong incentive to buy, and when it is carefully crafted and targeted, advertising can be effective. But otherwise its effect on our buying decisions is limited because its sheer volume turns it into mere background noise.

(267 words)


About the author

Charlie is a former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 100,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.