NCERT Class 7 Civics Understanding Advertising

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Understanding Advertising

Today we are surrounded by advertisements or ads as we call them. We watch these on television, listen to them on radio, see them on the streets and in newspapers and magazines. Even taxis and rickshaws carry advertisements on them. When we go to cinemas, we see advertisements before the film begins and on the Internet, they often pop-up when we go into different websites. What do advertisements do? How do they attract our attention? Read more to find out…

Advertisements draw our attention to various products and describe them positively so that we become interested in buying them. In this chapter, we will focus on the two advertisements that you see above to understand what advertising does and how it works.

Building brands and brand values Have you ever heard of the word brand? Advertising is all about building brands. At a very basic level, ‘branding’ means stamping a product with a particular name or sign. This is done in order to differentiate it from other products in the market. So, let us look again at the advertisements above. Why do you think the manufacturers of the soap and the daal gave their products a specific name? Daals or pulses are usually sold loose in the market. We usually know daals by their different types like masoor ki daal, urad ki daal, etc. These names are not brand names. When a company takes masoor ki daal and puts it into a packet, it will need to give the daal a special name. It needs to do this so that we don’t confuse the daal in that particular packet with the daal that is sold loose. They decide on a name like ‘Top Taste Daal’. This naming of the product is called ‘branding’.

Similarly, in the case of the soap, there are many soaps in the market today. In bigger towns and cities, we no longer just say soap but rather refer to them using the different names of companies that make them. Given the many soaps in the market, the company will have to give the soap a different and special name. By doing this they create another brand of soap.

Just naming the product may not make us buy it. The manufacturers that made the soap and the daal still have to convince us that their soap and daal are better than the others available in the market. This is where advertising comes in. It plays a crucial role in trying to convince us to buy the product that is advertised.

The task of creating a brand does not stop at giving the product a special name. For example, just when ‘Top Taste Daal’ begins to be sold, another company decides to also sell daals in a packet and calls this ‘Best Taste Daal’. So, now there are two branded daals in the market. Both the companies are keen that you buy their daals.

The consumer is confused because you really cannot tell the difference between ‘Top Taste Daal’ and ‘Best Taste Daal’. The manufacturer has to give the consumer a reason to prefer a particular brand of daal. Just naming a daal does not help sell it. So, advertisers begin claiming certain special values for their brand. In this way, they try to differentiate it from other similar products. Look below at how the two daals try and do this.

From the advertisements, you can now see that the two daals are saying different things. ‘Top Taste Daal’ is appealing to our social tradition of treating guests extremely well. ‘Best Taste Daal’ is appealing to our concern for our children’s health and that they eat things that are good for them. Values such as treating our guests well and making sure our children get nutritious food are used by brands to create brand values. These brand values are conveyed through the use of visuals and words to give us an overall image that appeals to us.

Brand values and social values

Advertisements are an important part of our social and cultural life today. We watch advertisements, discuss them and often judge people according to the brand products they use. Given that advertisements are such a powerful source of influence in our lives, we need to be able to understand the ways in which they work.


1. What do you understand by the word brand? List two reasons why building brands is central to advertising?

2. Choose two of your favourite print advertisements. Now, look at each of these and answer the following questions:

a. What visuals and text is being used in these advertisements to attract my attention?

b. What values are being promoted in these advertisements?

c. Who is this advertisement speaking to and who is it leaving out?

d. If you could not afford the brand that is being advertised how would you feel?

3. Can you explain two ways in which you think advertising affects issues of equality in a democracy? 

4. Making an advertisement requires a lot of creativity. Let us imagine a situation in which a manufacturer has just made a new watch. She says that she wants to sell this watch to school children. She comes to your class and asks you all to create a brand name as well as an advertisement for the watch. Divide the class into small groups and each group create an advertisement for this watch. Share it with the class.

Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 7 Civics Understanding Advertising

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