Activity Overview

The beauty industry spends a lot of money producing and advertising their products. They make sure every aspect of how they sell their product is thoughtful and purposeful. They do this by using several different techniques that may not be so obvious to the consumer. When students are bombarded with these carefully constructed media messages, they are defenseless to read between the lines. After introducing the different strategies used in the media, have the students create three different scenes that use two different strategies in each.

Presentation of a Problem

This technique is the beauty industry's bread and butter. They will mention a social norm that most people experience, state it as an issue, and state their product will help. Making the consumer feel poorly about themselves is the objective of these companies. The next step is for the consumers to correct the problem: buying their product. We feel better when are correcting a problem, even when there was never a problem in the first place.


Advertisements may have several teens using the product to show that this is what other people buy and you should too.

“everyone has this”, “kid approved”, “you’re missing out”

Celebrities to Advertise

Companies may use influential people to sell a product. Consumers may already resonate and trust what these individuals say or do. This gains easy customers for companies.


"Photoshopping" is when individual pictures are edited to emulate a unobtainable body frame to sell a product. The beauty industry is a main perpetrator of this tactic to sell the message, "our product will help you look like this".

Time-Sensitive Deals

Even if you will not use two or never intended to buy more, companies are trying to make an exclusive offer to you with minimal loss for them.

“buy now and get the second half off”


The ad states or shows information or messages again and again that you’ll replay in your mind.


Companies may use cartoons or animals to represent them and this makes the consumer relate to a living thing and not just a business. We are more prone to purchase something if we can empathize with it.

Example: Tony the Tiger

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of media strategies by creating your own ads!

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Create three advertisements for imaginary products.
  3. Choose two or more strategies discussed in class to be depicted in each of your cells.
  4. Use school appropriate scenes, content, and text to convey those strategies.
  5. In the description box, explain which strategies this ad uses and how they are used.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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