Minds On

Pathos, ethos, and logos

When we want to convince someone of something we need to appeal to their emotions (pathos), get them to trust us (ethos), and make them think it is a logical decision to buy the product or service (logos).

Effective advertising

Making an advertisement effective is necessary if you want to get people to buy your product or service. Companies use the concepts of pathos, ethos, and logos to help them create their advertisements.

Effective Advertisements:

  • have a very simple, easy to understand message
  • grab the audience’s attention and are memorable
  • tell the audience how the product/service would help them
  • stand out and are unique

Look at the following ad and answer the following questions:

  1. Do you think the advertisement is effective?
  2. Does it grab your attention?
  3. Who is the audience for this advertisement?
Heinz's ad for Ketchup

Heinz's ad for Ketchup


Task 1: Advertisement planner

You are going to create your own advertisement. The first step is to pick a product or service that you want to create an advertisement for. You will need to decide who your target audience is. You will want to keep this in mind as you design your advertisement.

Consider the following questions as you create your advertisement:

  • What makes an effective advertisement?
  • What elements should your advertisement include?

Review the following success criteria before starting your advertisement.

Success Criteria: My Advertisement…

  • contains information about the product or service
  • attracts the interest of the audience by using different conventions and techniques (e.g., colours, bold font, relevant images, a catchy tune, a logo, and/or slogan, etc.)
  • includes words and/or phrases that will captivate the audience
  • persuades the audience to buy the product or service

Use the Advertisement Planner in your notebook or use the following fillable and printable document to organize your ideas. Be sure to identify and explain which conventions and techniques (e.g., visual and/or audio cues) you decide to use in your advertisement.

Advertisement Planner

What is the subject of your advertisement?

Who is your target audience?

What persuasive techniques will you use?

What conventions (design, layout, etc.) will you use?

Press the ‘Activity’ button to access Advertisement Planner. 

Task 2: Create your advertisement

Next up, use your plan to create your advertisement. As we’ve learned, advertising comes in many forms (e.g., print, digital, audio, and video). What medium will you use? Be creative!


Task 1: Self-Assessment

Use the following questions to reflect on the advertisement you have created. You may use a method of your choice to record your responses:

  1. Why did you choose to create an advertisement for this product or service?
  2. Who is your target audience?
  3. What techniques and conventions did you use?
  4. Explain how listening, reading, and writing helped you make sense of and produce this advertisement?
  5. What are three things that make your advertisement effective?
  6. What is one change that would make your advertisement more effective?

Student Success

Task 2: Think-Pair-Share

If possible, swap your advertisements with a partner and answer the following questions using their advertisement. Once you have recorded your responses to the questions, share them with each other.

  1. What product or service is the advertisement for?
  2. Who is the target audience? What techniques and conventions were used to appeal to the target audience?
  3. Name three things that make this an effective advertisement.
  4. What is something that would make this advertisement more effective?

Note to teachers: See your teacher guide for collaboration tools, ideas and suggestions.

Task 3: Ineffective ads

Now that you are experts in creating effective advertisements, you are going to do some research. Find an example of an ineffective advertisement. Use the following questions to guide your reflections:

  1. What is the purpose of the advertisement?
  2. Who is the target audience? Is it unclear who this advertisement is intended for?
  3. Why is the ad ineffective? Explain your thinking.
  4. If you could recreate this advertisement, what would you change?


As you read through these descriptions, which sentence best describes how you are feeling about your understanding of this learning activity? Press the button that is beside this sentence.

I feel...

Now, record your ideas using a voice recorder, speech-to-text, or writing tool.