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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of the effects of advertising from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Effects of Advertisements

People are annoyed or entertained by advertising but they are not affected by advertisements when making shopping decisions.

To what extent you agree or disagree?

Many believe that advertising does not influence actual buying decisions. In my opinion, though this may be true in the majority of instances, advertising is nonetheless extremely effective.

Those who feel that advertising serves little useful purpose can point to the most typical response from consumers. Whether they are on the internet, on television, or in real life, most individuals endeavor to skip or ignore ads. There are only isolated cases when a shopper will see an ad and as a direct result make a purchase. For example, YouTube advertisements have included a feature to “skip ads” that has become an automatic response from nearly every viewer. Even when forced to watch ads, such as in the cinema before a film starts, consumers are unlikely to remember the products or services and there is a strong chance they will take out their phones to completely shut out distracting commercials.

Nonetheless, advertisements have a limited yet powerful efficacy. The strongest evidence for this comes from the enduring health of the advertising industry. This flourishing is because advertisements only need to yield results occasionally in order to be successful. For example, a fast food company such as McDonald’s or KFC might run an advertisement with the profitable expectation of only converting 1% of viewers, accepting the 99% failure rate as part of the business. Moreover, the 1% who make an immediate purchase are only one piece of the overall strategy. Advertising raises brand awareness and may lead to later consumption and even have a subliminal effect that is difficult to trace.

In conclusion, advertising is not designed to effective at all times but instead to slowly influence and achieve the occasional success. In the aggregate, it is worthwhile for corporations to advertise even if the most common outcome is to be ignored.

Analysis

1. Many believe that advertising does not influence actual buying decisions. 2. In my opinion, though this may be true in the majority of instances, advertising is nonetheless extremely effective.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Those who feel that advertising serves little useful purpose can point to the most typical response from consumers. 2. Whether they are on the internet, on television, or in real life, most individuals endeavor to skip or ignore ads. 3. There are only isolated cases when a shopper will see an ad and as a direct result make a purchase. 4. For example, YouTube advertisements have included a feature to “skip ads” that has become an automatic response from nearly every viewer. 5. Even when forced to watch ads, such as in the cinema before a film starts, consumers are unlikely to remember the products or services and there is a strong chance they will take out their phones to completely shut out distracting commercials.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. You can have some long sentences like this to really argue your point.

1. Nonetheless, advertisements have a limited yet powerful efficacy. 2. The strongest evidence for this comes from the enduring health of the advertising industry. 3. This flourishing is because advertisements only need to yield results occasionally in order to be successful. 4. For example, a fast food company such as McDonald’s or KFC might run an advertisement with the profitable expectation of only converting 1% of viewers, accepting the 99% failure rate as part of the business. 5. Moreover, the 1% who make an immediate purchase are only one piece of the overall strategy. 6. Advertising raises brand awareness and may lead to later consumption and even have a subliminal effect that is difficult to trace.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. This paragraph can be slightly longer since you agree with it.

1. In conclusion, advertising is not designed to effective at all times but instead to slowly influence and achieve the occasional success. 2. In the aggregate, it is worthwhile for corporations to advertise even if the most common outcome is to be ignored.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Many believe that advertising does not influence actual buying decisions. In my opinion, though this may be true in the majority of instances, advertising is nonetheless extremely effective.

Those who feel that advertising serves little useful purpose can point to the most typical response from consumers. Whether they are on the internet, on television, or in real life, most individuals endeavor to skip or ignore ads. There are only isolated cases when a shopper will see an ad and as a direct result make a purchase. For example, YouTube advertisements have included a feature to “skip ads” that has become an automatic response from nearly every viewer. Even when forced to watch ads, such as in the cinema before a film starts, consumers are unlikely to remember the products or services and there is a strong chance they will take out their phones to completely shut out distracting commercials.

Nonetheless, advertisements have a limited yet powerful efficacy. The strongest evidence for this comes from the enduring health of the advertising industry. This flourishing is because advertisements only need to yield results occasionally in order to be successful. For example, a fast food company such as McDonald’s or KFC might run an advertisement with the profitable expectation of only converting 1% of viewers, accepting the 99% failure rate as part of the business. Moreover, the 1% who make an immediate purchase are only one piece of the overall strategy. Advertising raises brand awareness and may lead to later consumption and even have a subliminal effect that is difficult to trace.

In conclusion, advertising is not designed to effective at all times but instead to slowly influence and achieve the occasional success. In the aggregate, it is worthwhile for corporations to advertise even if the most common outcome is to be ignored.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

advertising commercials, banner ads, pop-ups, etc.

influence impact, affect

actual real

buying decisions consumer choices

though this may be true in the majority of instances this might be the case most of the time

nonetheless regardless of

extremely effective very impactful

serves little useful purpose doesn’t have much impact

most typical response most common action

consumers people who buy things

endeavor try hard

skip go past

ignore not pay attention to

isolated cases individual situations

shopper buyer

as a direct result the clear effect

purchase buying something

included also has

feature an element of a product

automatic response without thinking action

nearly every viewer almost everyone watching

forced made to

unlikely probably not going to happen

services such as delivery, taxis, online streaming, etc.

strong chance lots of likelihood

completely shut out distracting commercials ignore 100% annoying ads

limited not wide and complete

powerful efficacy real effect

strongest evidence greatest support

comes from results from

enduring health continue to work

industry field or area

flourishing doing really well

yield results are successful

occasionally sometimes

run an advertisement play or make a commercial, ad

profitable expectation think they will make money from it

converting making successful acquisitions

accepting being content with

failure rate as part of not being successful as a piece of

moreover also

immediate purchase buying right away

piece part

overall strategy whole aim

raises brand awareness make people know more about your company/product

subliminal effect unconscious impact

trace follow back

at all times never stopping

slowly influence impact lightly

achieve affect

in the aggregate altogether

worthwhile worth the time

even if despite

most common outcome likely result

ignored not paid attention to

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈædvətaɪzɪŋ 
ˈɪnflʊəns 
ˈækʧʊəl 
ˈbaɪɪŋ dɪˈsɪʒənz
ðəʊ ðɪs meɪ biː truː ɪn ðə məˈʤɒrɪti ɒv ˈɪnstənsɪz
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs 
ɪksˈtriːmli ɪˈfɛktɪv
sɜːvz ˈlɪtl ˈjuːsfʊl ˈpɜːpəs 
məʊst ˈtɪpɪk(ə)l rɪsˈpɒns 
kənˈsjuːməz
ɪnˈdɛvə 
skɪp 
ɪgˈnɔː 
ˈaɪsəleɪtɪd ˈkeɪsɪz 
ˈʃɒpə 
æz ə dɪˈrɛkt rɪˈzʌlt 
ˈpɜːʧəs
ɪnˈkluːdɪd 
ˈfiːʧə 
ˌɔːtəˈmætɪk rɪsˈpɒns 
ˈnɪəli ˈɛvri ˈvjuːə
fɔːst 
ʌnˈlaɪkli 
ˈsɜːvɪsɪz 
strɒŋ ʧɑːns 
kəmˈpliːtli ʃʌt aʊt dɪsˈtræktɪŋ kəˈmɜːʃəlz
ˈlɪmɪtɪd 
ˈpaʊəfʊl ˈɛfɪkəsi
ˈstrɒŋgɪst ˈɛvɪdəns 
kʌmz frɒm 
ɪnˈdjʊərɪŋ hɛlθ 
ˈɪndəstri
ˈflʌrɪʃɪŋ 
jiːld rɪˈzʌlts 
əˈkeɪʒnəli 
rʌn ən ədˈvɜːtɪsmənt 
ˈprɒfɪtəbl ˌɛkspɛkˈteɪʃən 
kənˈvɜːtɪŋ 
əkˈsɛptɪŋ 
ˈfeɪljə reɪt æz pɑːt ɒv 
mɔːˈrəʊvə
ɪˈmiːdiət ˈpɜːʧəs 
piːs 
ˈəʊvərɔːl ˈstrætɪʤi
ˈreɪzɪz brænd əˈweənəs 
sʌbˈlɪmɪnl ɪˈfɛkt 
treɪs
æt ɔːl taɪmz 
ˈsləʊli ˈɪnflʊəns 
əˈʧiːv 
ɪn ði ˈægrɪgɪt
ˈwɜːθˈwaɪl 
ˈiːvən ɪf 
məʊst ˈkɒmən ˈaʊtkʌm 
ɪgˈnɔːd

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Many believe that a_____________g does not i_______________________________s. In my opinion, t__________________________________________________s, advertising is n______________s e_____________________e.

Those who feel that advertising s_________________________e can point to the m_____________________e from c______________s. Whether they are on the internet, on television, or in real life, most individuals e____________r to s_____p or i__________e ads. There are only i______________s when a s____________r will see an ad and a___________________t make a p___________e. For example, YouTube advertisements have i___________d a f__________e to “skip ads” that has become an a______________________e from n____________________r. Even when f________d to watch ads, such as in the cinema before a film starts, consumers are u___________y to remember the products or s_________s and there is a s_______________e they will take out their phones to c____________________________________________s.

Nonetheless, advertisements have a l__________d yet p_________________y. The s_____________________e for this c____________m the e_________________h of the advertising i___________y. This f_______________g is because advertisements only need to y_____________s o___________y in order to be successful. For example, a fast food company such as McDonald’s or KFC might r_______________________t with the p______________________n of only c____________g 1% of viewers, a__________g the 99% f____________e a_____________f the business. M____________r, the 1% who make an i_____________________e are only one p______e of the o________________y. Advertising r____________________s and may lead to later consumption and even have a s___________________t that is difficult to t________e.

In conclusion, advertising is not designed to effective a_____________s but instead to s_______________e and a__________e the occasional success. I_____________________e, it is w_______________e for corporations to advertise e________f the m________________________e is to be i_________d.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Shopping

  1. Do people in your country shop at malls or street markets?
  2. Is online shopping common?
  3. Is it better to shop alone or with friends?
  4. Why is online shopping becoming more popular?
  5. Is shopping a waste of time?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Some believe that people will purchase a product based on their needs and advertising is not needed.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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