Do you like online advertising? What’s your favourite online ad? Do you stop watching things because of ads? Is there much advertising in your country? What advertising do you have in your country?
  • Repetitive (adj.) - involving doing or saying the same thing several times, especially in a way that is boring.
  • Pop-up (noun) - an advertisement that is shown in a new window in front of the window that you are looking at on a website.
  • Icon (noun) - a small picture or symbol on a computer screen that you point to and click on (= press) with a mouse to give the computer an instruction.
  • Marketing (noun) - a job that involves encouraging people to buy a product or service.
  • Propaganda (noun) - information, ideas, opinions, or images, often only giving one part of an argument, that are broadcast, published, or in some other way spread with the intention of influencing people's opinions.
  • Eye-catching (adj.) - very attractive or noticeable.
  • Slot (noun) - an amount of time that is officially allowed for a single event in a planned order of activities or events.
  • Insert (noun) - something that is made to go inside or into something else, for example, a sheet of paper with advertising in a magazine, newspaper, or book.
  • Billboard (noun) - a very large board on which advertisements are shown, especially at the side of a road.
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Questions and Answers
M: Do you like online advertising?

R: Not much really. Mostly because it's pretty boring and repetitive. And you can see it everywhere all the time. Especially with pop-up adverts. That also interrupts my viewing experience and distracts me when I'm trying to work.

M: What's your favourite online ad?

R: I quite like this one for flowers that's always on between YouTube clips. I'm not a big fan of watching that kind of thing in general. But if I'm going to do so then it should be something calming like that one.

M: Do you stop watching things because of ads?

R: Yeah, I basically stop doing so right after they start, so I don't die of boredom. I have to stop watching the thing, and then click an icon to clear them. I really don't like it. It's all marketing propaganda, and I can't be bothered with it.

M: Is there much advertising in your country?

R: Oh, far too much if you ask me. You can see it everywhere, from ads on the street to the ones on TV. Usually, I ignore both kinds and all the others. I don't find them particularly eye-catching, to be honest with you.

M: What advertising do you have in your country?

R: Oh, different kinds really, including slots on TV and inserts on the internet and newspapers. And on billboards in the street, now I think about it.
M: Hey, thank you, Rory, for your answers! Advertising, dear listener. Such a, like, a typical IELTS speaking part one topic. So Rory, tell us what's going on with like, advertising adverts, ads, commercials?

R: So broadly speaking, all of these things are the same. Commercials are something that's quite common in American English, but it's still correct for IELTS and ads or adverts or advertising is more common in British English. But we're all talking about the same thing, which is companies advertising or showing off their products in order to get people to buy them.

M: And when I say commercials or adverts or ads I mean, all sorts of advertisements, right? On TV, on the radio or on billboards. So like any kind.

R: Anything that tries to persuade you to do or to buy something is advertising.

M: Yeah. What's the difference between advertising and advertisements?

R: That's a good question, actually. As far as I'm aware, advertisement is the known that describes the individual things and advertising is just the concept as a whole. Is that right?

M: Yes, absolutely. So when you mean individual ads, adverts or commercials, you can also say advertisements. But advertisements, this is a very long word. So usually people say ads, adverts, but advertising is this industry. Like biology, marketing, and advertising. Okay, dear listener? Yeah, and advertising is good. And also the examiner asks a question, like, Is there too much advertising in your country? Meaning, like, do you have too many adverts?

R: And the answer is always yes if you're someone like me because I hate advertising. I mean, unless I'm doing it ironically for things that I make and sell but I don't like it in general.

M: And we say that advertising is pretty boring. But if you say advertisements or adverts, oh, boring. And repetitive. Like advertising is repetitive. It repeats again and again when you watch your favourite film.

R: Yeah. Especially if you're like me and I have a very narrow set of things that I watch on YouTube. So the algorithm only selects these very specific adverts for these specific products. And so I just end up seeing the same advert again and again and again, and it's very repetitive and monotonous and tedious. And I don't like it.

M: Yeah, so repetitive, monotonous, all the same. And tedious. Tedious? The same as boring, dull. And also, advertising interrupts my viewing experience. So it's kind of like, stops my viewing experience, whether you watch it on TV or YouTube.

R: You could just say it interrupts what I'm watching though. I was just trying to be fancy.

M: Yeah. And what do you call these adverts? These annoying little adverts when they like... On the screen.

R: Oh, pop-ups. I hate them.

M: Right. Pop-ups or pop-up advertising or pop-up ads. Usually, on like, what? On YouTube? Yeah? So whatever you are reading.

R: Well, they're everywhere now. To be honest, I think we even have one on our website. Or we did at one point.
M: Yeah, so pop-up ads. They just pop up. Like... Just appear. For IELTS purposes, dear listener, you should have your favourite online ad. Okay? Maybe like Nike, or Guinness, or I don't know. Google? Do they have any advertising? Google?

R: I've not seen any advertising for Google. But I imagine there is.

M: Amazon. Amazon. Amazon is actually pretty good. You know? Like...

R: Really?

M: Yeah, yeah. Like gameplay in terms of like advertising industry. So Amazon is just like...

R: How much are they paying you to advertise?

M: No. Nothing. You see? I'm already advertising Amazon. So, dear listener, yeah. So what is an ad that you like? Online. Alright? Maybe you don't like it, but you can say just you like it. Rory mentioned some flowers. Well, I wonder what they are. And you can say that I'm not a big fan of watching online ads. Yeah? Or I find online ads annoying. Or you can say I don't have my favourite online ads, because I hate them. I really dislike them. And then you can say that, like, if I do watch them, if I do watch online ads, they should be calming. You can say that I basically stop watching a film when ads start, so I don't die of boredom. So die of boredom. So it's too boring, I can die. And usually, we watch things on YouTube. And you can say that like, you should click on the icon to clear it. Clear it? Just to remove the ad from YouTube. You click on the icon.

R: Unless you have an ad blocker, in which case it does this automatically, which is very nice. But most of the time you have to stop and then clear whatever it is, stop watching it, and then go back to what it is you're watching.

M: Yeah. An interesting trend is that video ads, video advertisements are becoming shorter, because usually people like to close them after 10 seconds. Like on TV. So kind of like I've read some statistics, you know? So yeah, like 10 seconds, that's it. You know? Like, close it. Or, for example, some people like to mute them. Because lots of visual ads have sound. So they have their sound on and then you're watching a film. And then... It just like, pops up and it's very loud. So it's very annoying. So now the trend is that the ads don't have any sound. You know? What do you call such ads?

R: Muted? Or just silent ads. Usually, ads have some kind of sound, but maybe that's muted automatically.

M: You can say that there is far too much advertising in my country. So far too much? Like too much. A lot. So we use just far to intensify. Like, oh, like really too much. For example, Rory, is there much fast food in your country?

R: Oh, yeah, far too much. Like we have all kinds of fast food here. I'm trying to think of something we don't have. But we have it all and people are not well, because of this.

M: Right. And then you can say that, okay, different kinds of advertisements. ads on the street. Okay? We have ads, and adverts on the street. Like street advertising. Adverts on TV. And you can say I ignore everything like you ignore adverts. All kinds of adverts. But maybe, dear listener, you kind of enjoy adverts. I don't know. And what's the adjective that we should use about ads?

R: Annoying.

M: Yeah. Annoying. What else? A positive one.

R: Well, I used it in a negative way, but eye-catching is something that makes you focus on it when you see it. But I said they're not particularly eye-catching, which means this does not happen. It just... I just see it and out of the corner of my eye, or I glance at it or have a small look and I understand, oh, it's advertising. I'm not interested.
M: Yeah, I glance at it, you just like, you look at it for a very short period of time. Like, oh. Okay, ads, okay. I'm not looking at it. And usually, we say that effective adverts should be eye-catching. Okay? So they catch your eye, they grab your attention, but you can say like, they are not eye-catching. Or you can say, oh, I really love ads, I don't know, on billboards, on big billboards. Because they are really eye-catching. What else can we say with this eye-catching? Because it's like a very topic-specific vocabulary.

R: Well, just for advertising, I don't know. I think clothes can be eye-catching, or a piece of jewellery can be eye-catching.

M: And about adverts?

R: Well, don't ask me, I hate adverts, I'm like a market researcher's worst nightmare. It's funny actually. Because I get paid to fill out or complete market research surveys. And every time I have to do this, I always say this advert is boring because people know it's an advert. And they can tell that you're just trying to sell them another thing. So you need to not do that. And I do it every time. And this poor market research person who has to filter these results, whoever they are has to read my comments over and over again.

M: And then the final question is about like, what kinds of advertisements do you have in your country? I think it's like all over the world we have the same ads. And Rory said like, different kinds, kinds of adverts. Slots on TV. So adverts have slots on TV. So special time.

R: Yeah. It's like a time slot.

M: Yeah. And we call it broadcast advertising. Dear listener, if you want to use a specific term. Broadcast advertising. On TV or on the radio. And the advert is broadcast on TV. So it's kind of, it's shown on TV.

R: Oh, is it passive voice?

M: Oh, yeah.

R: Oh, my...

M: Yeah, but we just call it like broadcast advertising. And then ads on the internet. So online advertising. And Rory, which word did you use? Like insert.

R: Yeah, inserts. But that's... If it's on the internet, or in a magazine, these are just things that are added to advertise something really. It could be a flyer in a magazine or a tiny segment of a web page.

M: So pretty much adverts online. Okay? Newspapers. Newspapers, we can say print advertising. So everything which is in like magazines, newspapers. And also on billboards, so we call it outdoor advertising, dear listener. So billboards, and advertisements, are seen in public places. And also, like, on the sides of buses, inside the cars, taxis, like trains. So outdoor advertising, dear listener. And billboards. Yeah. This is the word to mention. Like ads on billboards in the street. Okay, dear listener? Then, if you want to be super educated, dear listener, we have social media advertising. We have emails, okay? Rory, do you get emails?

R: I do. And most people find them annoying. And they send them to their spam folder, which is an email folder for filtering your email. But I like having them. Because whenever I'm at the gym, and I need something to distract me, from whatever I'm doing, I clear my emails from these companies. I don't read the emails, I just clear them. So it's kind of useful in that sense. It's a useful distraction.

M: Therapeutic. So this type of advertising is called direct mail advertising. So the examiner asks you like, what advertising do you have in your country, and you say, well, social media advertising, broadcast advertising, print and direct mail advertising. Do you see how kind of cool you sound? Also, you can mention brochures and flyers. What are they?
R: They're basically pieces of paper with the advertising on them.

M: Yeah.

R: It doesn't sound very sexy or exciting, but that's what they are.

M: Also, mobile advertising, dear listener. Like on mobile phones. And podcast advertising. Okay?

R: Maybe. You would never catch us advertising on this podcast.

M: Yeah, like we never any companies.

R: We've never done that. No, no.

M: Like McDonald's. McDonald's, do keep in touch, please. We can kind of advertise. Nike, also, if you're listening. Google, yeah, we're just ready to advertise. Yeah, Amazon, also, like, come on, let's be partners. And also, the trend, Rory, today in advertising is organic social media advertising.

R: Oh, my God, I don't even know what that is. Or where to begin explaining that? What is that?

M: No. Because you were saying that ads are annoying. And once you recognize it's an advert, it's kind of, oh, no, I'm not reading, I'm not watching. But now they have this organic way. It's like organic food. They kind of, write an article, and indirectly, Rory, they kind of advertise their stuff. And you don't even notice that it's advertising. Okay? And it's really cool. It's kind of like. They also, I think there's this thing, which is called natural advertising. Really cool stuff.

R: As long as it's not annoying, then it's fine. Actually, that's a terrible principle to live by. But for the moment, we're talking about advertising, which I hate, so it shouldn't be annoying.

M: Yeah. Also, dear listener. This is useful for your speaking part three if they ask you about advertising and stuff like that. You can also say that in-game ads are super popular. So ads, are used on mobile gaming apps. So because billions of people play games on their mobile phones, and there are lots of ads there. Alright? And actually, people who play games on their phones, do watch these ads. So kind of like in-game display ads they are called.

R: I don't think they have a choice. You have to watch the advert. It's awful.

M: What are like banner ads?

R: I have no idea. Are they like the inserts that you have... Ads that appear at the top of a web page or something.

M: Yeah. Like inside a game on your mobile phone, dear listener. Okay?

R: I don't know. I don't play mobile games on my mobile.

M: Ah, no? Okay. Alright. And also there are ads at stopping points in the game. So kind of there's a break and then... Like pop-up ads or some ads. There you go, dear listener. Now you know everything about the trends in advertising. You're welcome.

R: Yes, you don't need to consult anyone else about this.

M: Thank you very much for listening! We are sending you hugs, love and joy! Bye!

R: Bye!
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