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What advertisements do you dislike? Do ads influence your choice? Is there too much advertising now in our life? Why do companies advertise their products? Is advertising important? Is it good that celebrities advertise things?
Vocabulary
  • Borderline (adj.) - between two different conditions, with the possibility of belonging to either one of them.
  • Edgy (adj.) - unusual in a way that is fashionable or exciting.
  • Offbeat (adj.) - unusual and strange and therefore surprising or noticeable.
  • Supplement (noun) - something that is added to something else in order to improve it or complete it; something extra.
  • Utopian (adj.) - relating to or aiming for a perfect society in which everyone works well with each other and is happy.
  • Catchy (adj.) - (especially of a tune or song) pleasing and easy to remember.
  • Store-brand (noun.) - a product that has the name of the store where you buy it, rather than the name of the company that made it.
  • Snazzy (adj.) - modern and stylish in a way that attracts attention.
  • To cease (verb) - to stop something.
Questions and answers
M: Rory, what advertisements do you dislike?

R: All of them, really. Who wants to watch ads when they could be watching your favourite shows or, I don't know, whatever media is they're consuming? It's maybe easier to talk about the ones I like such as the Iron Brew adverts, which usually have some sort of borderline offensive humour going on that's always edgy, or darkly funny, or offbeat. Most ads are not like that, though, which is why I don't like them.

M: Do ads influence your choice of products?

R: I think once or twice I bought something because it was supported by someone I followed on social media. I have a few shirts as a result of doing something like that. Otherwise not really, no. If anything, they negatively influence it to make me not want something. Take those miracle supplement ads, for example. Everyone knows the sports people in them are taking steroids or something else to make them cheat. Why would I want to buy something from someone being dishonest when I can work hard and take pleasure from that instead?

M: Is there too much advertising in our life?

R: Honestly, any advertising is too much advertising. I think you should just let people look and find by themselves using whatever search criteria they come up with. Although, I'm probably being a bit utopian about that since I'm quite independently minded and many people are not. And there are some genuinely quite nice adverts. I like the Stellaris 5th anniversary trailer, that's got good music.

M: Why do companies advertise their products?

R: Well, in short, to make money, and in more detail to make more money than they otherwise would as, well, they otherwise would if they just let people look for things by themselves. I mean, if the branded beans have a catchy tune and an advert compared to the store-branded beans, then people are more likely to be influenced to go and buy the snazzier version, even though it's just about exactly the same product.

M: Is advertising important?

R: Well, it depends on what we're talking about. Advertising executives would probably say so, yes. Since it's, well, their whole business to create these things. And they're also sporting industries and graphic design which benefit too. But it's not like they would cease to exist without advertising. And it's important for consumers to make an informed choice. Maybe, although given how dishonest they are these days, I highly doubt it.

M: Is it good that celebrities advertise products?
R: Well, absolutely not. Unless it's their area of speciality or connected to something they're involved in. I'll listen to a movie star talk about their recent movie because that's what they were playing a part in. But I'm not taking life advice from them. What on earth do they know about how to live well? Enough of them seem to have catastrophically bad lifestyle outcomes, that it seems like the opposite advice would be better to follow now.

M: Thank you, Rory, for your answers!

R: Hopefully they were good advertising for us!
Discussion
M: First of all, what, how do we say it? Advertisements, advertisements, advertisements?

R: Well, in America, I'm pretty sure it's advertisement. But there's also ads, advertising.

M: Yeah. So these like video clips, advertisements or ads. So advertisements, adverts, ads. Right? Can I also say commercials? Like to paraphrase?

R: Yeah, although that's like an Americanism. I think they usually say commercials.

M: Right. But if I talk about the whole industry, that means advertising. And is it advertising or advertising? Or both?

R: I didn't really hear a difference there. But then maybe my earphones aren't so great.

M: Maybe your ears aren't so great.

R: That's a very rude thing to say. I have to go to the doctor on Friday to talk about my ears.

M: Oh, really?

R: Yes. Really.

M: No, we do need your ears.

R: N, you don't. You need my voice.

M: Rory, we do need your ears. No, because you listen to me, you respond. And then, you know, we do need your face. We do need you all in kind of intact.

R: Oh, that joke was wasted on you.

M: About the ears?

R: Did you not, did you not hear that?

M: No.

R: That you said it's important for you to listen to me. And then I was like, what? Sorry.

M: Ha-ha-ha.

R: I'm in trouble now.

M: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. So, advertising or advertising. Advertising, advertising?

R: Advertising?
M: Advertising. Yeah. Advertisements are important. Advertising is important because it's an industry, right? Advertising. And also we can say, for example, advertising executives. So what did you mean by these advertising executives?

R: Well, they're people that are, I suppose in charge of advertising departments. So an executive is like a higher level, an if it'd advertising executive than they're the higher level employees that organize all the advertising.

M: And when you say that, I dislike ads, you can say I can't stand them. I hate all advertisements. All adverts. And then Rory said that, well, I like some of them. Right? So, and Iron Brew. That's really Scottish, right?

R: Well, allegedly, it's really Scottish. But you can get it in England. Like people say it's hard to find, it's not. it shouldn't be hard to find.

M: And then we can like some ads because of their borderline offensive humour. So humour, offensive humour, about what, Rory? What's offensive humour?

R: Well, I think the... Well, we probably shouldn't dwell on this too much because it's gonna get cancelled. But like offensive humour is usually about some kind of subject that people find quite taboo. Or it's like extremely offbeat. For example, in one of the Iron Brew adverts there's, they're singing about Iron Brew. And then the woman in the video, the mother says, I love Iron Brew, even though I used to be a man. So it's like, totally irrelevant to enjoying Iron Brew. But she just like breaks into this solo number, while all the other members of the family look at her like, what did you just say?

M: Yeah, and if you say that something is offbeat. It's one word. It means that something is different from the ordinary, something like unusual. But still, it's positive, right? Offbeat?

R: It means that something's irregular, that could be positive or negative, depending on how, how you like your comedy.

M: For example, we can say, oh, he's got an offbeat sense of humour, right? Or, I like the ads with an offbeat sense of humour. So extraordinary, something unusual. So yeah. And Rory said like, some ads have borderline offensive humour, offbeat humour. And then you said that edgy. You also said edgy. Edgy humour, yeah?

R: Yeah. But edgy just means like, close to, well, it's just like close to being offensive or getting you in trouble with the wider public who might be more sensitive than you are.

M: So can I say that, well, usually I hate advertisements, but some adverts which are edgy and offbeat are quite okay for me.

R: Oh, well, they're not okay for you, you can find them funny or find them entertaining, you have to explain why you like them.

M: So I find edgy adverts funny or entertaining. So edgy adverts, right? Adverts can negatively influence our choices, right? So Rory follows somebody on social media. He goes there and buys their products, you, dear listener, viewer, our favourite person, watch us, listen to us and then you go and buy what, Rory?

R: If you're so inclined, you could buy our premium episodes for part two and part three, you will find the links for those in the description below. Now that I've completely sold myself out.

M: Yeah, so Rory has just sold himself. Okay. Yeah. So some ads, not our ads, some ads can negatively influence our choice or could have a negative effect, a negative influence on our choice. And then Rory made an example about miracle supplement. What did you mean by miracle supplement ads?

R: Well, you see them on, well, maybe you don't see them on your social media feeds. But you can see them on Instagram, you have like these absolutely massive guys who are advertising these... They could be pills or powders that people take. And apparently, they make you look great. But that's, they're called... Like they're called supplements for a reason. It's like something that you add on to something but they sell it like it's the main thing. So that should be your first clue that something's not correct. But that requires people to have a grasp of, well, a good grasp of language. So that's what they are. It could be... To be honest, they do it for everything and it's all absolute nonsense.

M: Yeah, you can say that I don't like advertisement, because they are dishonest. And people cheat. And they lie. And they are all a bunch of lies.
R: I mean, for example, it's like some of them are like, oh, you should take this powder, and it will make you look good. But these people are clearly taking performance-enhancing drugs. Like no one, no one naturally looks like that. No one with that amount of veins, for example, or that number of veins is living a normal life.

M: Take this water, and it will make you into a band nine person. You just drink it, and you get a band nine for everything. Something like that.

R: Well, even we've never said if you listen to our podcast, you're gonna get a band nine. That's really misleading.

M: Yeah? We've never said that? Hmm... Maybe we should.

R: We've said that we're helping. That's different. It takes hard work.

M: Sorry. Yeah.

R: Sorry.

M: Yeah.

R: Life is difficult.

M: Yeah. But again, on a bright side, many of our listeners do get higher scores. Especially for speaking and listening. Right?

R: And people get to have fun along the way.

M: Yep. Any advertising is too much advertising. So yeah, Rory doesn't like it. And Rory, you've used a very interesting grammar structure here.

R: Have I?

M: Yes, you did. You said, I'm probably being a bit utopian about it. Because blah, blah, blah. Why did you say that I'm probably being utopian? Utopian, like utopia. Right? So imaginary kind of something, right? Which doesn't exist. Utopia - utopian. So I'm probably being. Why not I'm?

R: Well, I'm in trouble now, because I've used present continuous. No, actually, to be honest with you. There's, there's a very good purpose behind that. Because we're using Present Continuous to describe a temporary situation. And what I'm saying is, this is my belief now, but it's probably going to change because it's a bit idealistic about the world, so I should probably change it.

M: Yeah. So for example, you usually say, okay, I'm beautiful, I'm smart, I'm gorgeous, I'm amazing. I'm Marie. I'm Rory. But if you say I'm being silly, it's just right now.

R: Yeah. Not forever.

M: And this is like a temporary situation. Not forever. Like, I'm smart. Right? But in this situation, oh, I'm being silly, at the moment, right? So and this is a very high-level use of the present continuous. And also, for example, when Rory is being stupid, or silly, and I go like, Rory, you're being silly. Like, stop it. Right? You are telling me nonsense. You're telling me gibberish. Gibberish. Right? So just keep telling me smart things. Right? So just for this particular moment.
R: I would like to point out I wasn't being stupid with that explanation of Present Continuous. That was a good one.

M: It was a good one. Or for example, we can also say, oh, you're being too kind. But actually, the person is not kind at all, usually. And you say, oh, you are being far too kind now, right? But usually, they're evil. And some adverts are genuinely nice. So genuinely, if something is genuinely nice, it's like, like, really nice. Truly.

R: I shouldn't have said nice, though. Like, that's a bit bland.

M: Yeah, but you did use a lot of adjectives. We used edgy, and offensive, and offbeat. And also, you've used utopian. You also used a nice adjective snazzy.

R: Yes. Snazzy is like nice, but it means it's interesting, it's sparkly. It's like, ooh, it's shiny and new.

M: Give us examples.

R: It's like a fun combination of something that's fashionable and interesting. And it attracts your attention. So for example, usually... Well, look at the example I gave with the beans. Usually, people buy beans that have nice covers because they're interesting.

M: Yeah, or, for example, people can design some, you know, snazzy graphics. Snazzy graphics. Or...

R: It's to do with getting attention. So actually, it's perfect for, for talking about advertising, because advertising is all about getting attention.

M: Yeah, it should be eye-catching. Can I say like snazzy adverts? Snazzy advertising, snazzy commercials?

R: It's usually the products that are snazzy, as opposed to the advertising. But it could still count. I mean, it's still a good adjective to use because like I say, it fits the context.

M: Can my clothes be snazzy?

R: Yes.

M: Snazzy clothes?

R: Well, they frequently are in your case.

M: The shoes, it's the shoes.

R: I say this as I'm wearing black shirt number 327.
M: Yeah. Then we can talk about the importance of advertisements for consumers, for customers, consumers, and also for advertising executives. Right? So for the managers, for advertising people. Rory doesn't take any advice from celebrities.

R: Sorry, I went on a little bit of a rant there. But really, when you think about it, what on earth does an actor know about whatever product that is they're trying to sell unless they made it themselves?

R: I'm not taking any advice from them. Celebrities advertise some products. And what's the word? What's the very precise word to say that celebrities, famous people advertise different products? It's...

R: Oh, I didn't say it. Endorsement.

M: Endorsement. Ah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

R: So you could say like, I'm not paying any attention to celebrity endorsements. And that would be absolutely fine.

M: Yeah.

R: I didn't say that, though. However, I was caught up in being outraged about how much I dislike celebrities. So that's okay.

M: And then Rory is kind of getting emotional. And then like, what on earth do they know about life? How to live life well, you know. And that's fine. You can kind of ask questions, you can answer them, you can get emotional, you can get annoyed by the questions like, you know, celebrities advertising things, telling me what to do, what to drink? No. I'm not taking advice from them.

R: That's a good one for intonation as well. And it's still connected to asking questions. It's not a question tag. It's just what on earth do they know about? And then you could talk about whatever the topic is. And what do they know about how to live well? I ask you. Write in the comments, seriously. Has as a celebrity come up with any piece of life advice while they were advertising a product that you would want to follow?

M: I like Messi. Messi, yeah. But he advertises, you know, crisps and Pepsi.

R: Yeah, that's what, that's what we need. An obesity crisis.

M: And he doesn't say anything. He's just there. You know, he just eats these crisps and drinks, you know? And he's nice. Messi. Messi. Messi. Yes, Messi, if you want to sponsor our podcast, you can go ahead and write to us. Okay? Argentina, football. Right, dear listener, thank you very much! Again, it's a comeback of a topic. So do listen to our audio episode we recorded last year. In May. May. Yeah, May 2021. And yeah, stay in touch. Thank you so much! Bye!

R: We'll see you next week. Bye-bye!
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