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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of whether or not consumers today really need advertising from the real IELTS exam.

I wrote about this same topic a year ago so this time I decided to have the opposite opinion. That’s a really good exercise to practice – try writing an essay about an old topic but have a new opinion about it!

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.com/howtodoielts to receive my exclusive IELTS Ebooks!

Dave

IELTS Essay: Customer Needs

If a product is good and meets customer needs, then people will buy it and advertising is unnecessary.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some are of the belief that advertising is largely superfluous as most consumers are aware of their own needs. In my opinion, this is true despite the fact that advertising can occasionally serve informative purposes.

The stated aim of the majority of advertisements is to raise awareness among a potential audience. This applies to commercials, billboards, and online advertising. A good example would be the short commercials that play before videos on YouTube. These ads are designed to showcase an item or service that, based on advanced audience targeting, would appeal to a particular consumer or demographic. Since an individual has been targeted, it is likely that the advertisement will be relevant and, if the ad is well-designed, informative. For instance, this might be an advertisement for a smartphone targeted at a photography enthusiast that includes details about hardware specifications and picture quality.

However, the internet now allows individuals to research products more objectively on a case by case basis. When a particular person is interested in purchasing a new phone, because they lost an old one or they desire a more modern one, then they can compare prices online, read customer reviews, and consult a variety of blogs and sites like Consumer Report, which is well known for its unbiased appraisals. There are, admittedly, situations when individuals will uncover new products they might not have been aware of before through ads. However, this is more likely to occur organically in daily life if a person sees someone else, for example, with a useful smart watch. The advent of social media and sharing of personal information online also means that individuals have another media outlet aside from advertising that promotes new products and services.

In conclusion, advertising is no longer needed in modern society as there are other ways to research and discover products. This does not imply that advertising is ineffective, merely that in a perfect world it could be eliminated.

Analysis

1. Some are of the belief that advertising is largely superfluous as most consumers are aware of their own needs. 2. In my opinion, this is true despite the fact that advertising can occasionally serve informative purposes.

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

1. The stated aim of the majority of advertisements is to raise awareness among a potential audience. 2. This applies to commercials, billboards, and online advertising. 3. A good example would be the short commercials that play before videos on YouTube. 4. These ads are designed to showcase an item or service that, based on advanced audience targeting, would appeal to a particular consumer or demographic. 5. Since an individual has been targeted, it is likely that the advertisement will be relevant and, if the ad is well-designed, informative. 6. For instance, this might be an advertisement for a smartphone targeted at a photography enthusiast that includes details about hardware specifications and picture quality.

  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. Stay focused on the same main idea.
  6. Finish by adding extra detail.

1. However, the internet now allows individuals to research products more objectively on a case by case basis. 2. When a particular person is interested in purchasing a new phone, because they lost an old one or they desire a more modern one, then they can compare prices online, read customer reviews, and consult a variety of blogs and sites like Consumer Report, which is well known for its unbiased appraisals. 3. There are, admittedly, situations when individuals will uncover new products they might not have been aware of before through ads. 4. However, this is more likely to occur organically in daily life if a person sees someone else, for example, with a useful smart watch. 5. The advent of social media and sharing of personal information online also means that individuals have another media outlet aside from advertising that promotes new products and services.

  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!

1. In conclusion, advertising is no longer needed in modern society as there are other ways to research and discover products. 2. This does not imply that advertising is ineffective, merely that in a perfect world it could be eliminated.

  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.

Some are of the belief that advertising is largely superfluous as most consumers are aware of their own needs. In my opinion, this is true despite the fact that advertising can occasionally serve informative purposes.

The stated aim of the majority of advertisements is to raise awareness among a potential audience. This applies to commercials, billboards, and online advertising. A good example would be the short commercials that play before videos on YouTube. These ads are designed to showcase an item or service that, based on advanced audience targeting, would appeal to a particular consumer or demographic. Since an individual has been targeted, it is likely that the advertisement will be relevant and, if the ad is well-designed, informative. For instance, this might be an advertisement for a smartphone targeted at a photography enthusiast that includes details about hardware specifications and picture quality.

However, the internet now allows individuals to research products more objectively on a case by case basis. When a particular person is interested in purchasing a new phone, because they lost an old one or they desire a more modern one, then they can compare prices online, read customer reviews, and consult a variety of blogs and sites like Consumer Report, which is well known for its unbiased appraisals. There are, admittedly, situations when individuals will uncover new products they might not have been aware of before through ads. However, this is more likely to occur organically in daily life if a person sees someone else, for example, with a useful smart watch. The advent of social media and sharing of personal information online also means that individuals have another media outlet aside from advertising that promotes new products and services.

In conclusion, advertising is no longer needed in modern society as there are other ways to research and discover products. This does not imply that advertising is ineffective, merely that in a perfect world it could be eliminated.

Answers

largely superfluous mostly not needed

aware know about

needs desires

despite the fact regardless of the truth that

occasionally serve informative purposes sometimes can be useful

stated aim real purpose

raise awareness make people know about

potential audience possible customers

applies is relevant here

billboards big posters outside

short commercials short videos advertising products

designed sculpted

showcase showing off

service delivery services, food delivery, etc.

based on advanced audience targeting comes from online user habits, search history, etc.

particular consumer a given shopper

demographic group of people

it is likely that it will probably happen that

relevant related

well-designed made well

informative gives information

photography enthusiast person who loves taking photos

includes details has info about

hardware specifications how fast the phone is

picture quality how good the pictures are

research studies

objectively without bias

case by case basis in each situation

compare prices online look at similar prices

customer reviews what people reported about it

consult look into

blogs websites with personal articles

unbiased appraisals objective reviews

admittedly I would concede

uncover find

occur organically happen without being forced

useful smart watch watch that has many purposes

advent beginning of

sharing of personal information online posting to social media

media outlet ways of spreading information

aside from besides

promotes encourages

modern society our world today

imply means

ineffective doesn’t work

merely just

in a perfect world ideally

eliminated gotten rid of

Pronunciation

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

ˈlɑːʤli sju(ː)ˈpɜːflʊəs 
əˈweə 
niːdz
dɪsˈpaɪt ðə fækt 
əˈkeɪʒnəli sɜːv ɪnˈfɔːmətɪv ˈpɜːpəsɪz
ˈsteɪtɪd eɪm 
reɪz əˈweənəs 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈɔːdiəns 
əˈplaɪz 
ˈbɪlbɔːdz
ʃɔːt kəˈmɜːʃəlz 
dɪˈzaɪnd 
ˈʃəʊkeɪs 
ˈsɜːvɪs 
beɪst ɒn ədˈvɑːnst ˈɔːdiəns ˈtɑːgɪtɪŋ
pəˈtɪkjʊlə kənˈsjuːmə 
ˌdɛməˈgræfɪk
ɪt ɪz ˈlaɪkli ðæt 
ˈrɛlɪvənt 
wɛl-dɪˈzaɪnd
ɪnˈfɔːmətɪv
fəˈtɒgrəfi ɪnˈθjuːzɪæst 
ɪnˈkluːdz ˈdiːteɪlz 
ˈhɑːdweə ˌspɛsɪfɪˈkeɪʃənz 
ˈpɪkʧə ˈkwɒlɪti
rɪˈsɜːʧ 
əbˈʤɛktɪvli 
keɪs baɪ keɪs ˈbeɪsɪs
kəmˈpeə ˈpraɪsɪz ˈɒnˌlaɪn 
ˈkʌstəmə rɪˈvjuːz 
kənˈsʌlt 
blɒgz 
ʌnˈbaɪəst əˈpreɪzəlz
ədˈmɪtɪdli
ʌnˈkʌvə 
əˈkɜːr ɔːˈgænɪk(ə)li 
ˈjuːsfʊl smɑːt wɒʧ 
ˈædvənt 
ˈʃeərɪŋ ɒv ˈpɜːsnl ˌɪnfəˈmeɪʃən ˈɒnˌlaɪn 
ˈmiːdiə ˈaʊtlɛt 
əˈsaɪd frɒm 
prəˈməʊts 
ˈmɒdən səˈsaɪəti 
ɪmˈplaɪ 
ˌɪnɪˈfɛktɪv
ˈmɪəli 
ɪn ə ˈpɜːfɪkt wɜːld 
ɪˈlɪmɪneɪtɪd

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:

Some are of the belief that advertising is l__________________s as most consumers are a_______e of their own n_______s. In my opinion, this is true d_________________t that advertising can o______________________________________s.

The s_____________m of the majority of advertisements is to r____________________s among a p________________e. This a_______s to commercials, b___________s, and online advertising. A good example would be the s_____________________s that play before videos on YouTube. These ads are d__________d to s_____________e an item or s__________e that, b_______________________________g, would appeal to a p_____________________r or d______________c. Since an individual has been targeted, i_______________t the advertisement will be r____________t and, if the ad is w______________d, i_______________e. For instance, this might be an advertisement for a smartphone targeted at a p____________________t that i________________s about h____________________s and p______________y.

However, the internet now allows individuals to r__________h products more o_____________y on a c__________________s. When a particular person is interested in purchasing a new phone, because they lost an old one or they desire a more modern one, then they can c_____________________e, read c_________________s, and c_________t a variety of b_____s and sites like Consumer Report, which is well known for its u___________________s. There are, a______________y, situations when individuals will u_________r new products they might not have been aware of before through ads. However, this is more likely to o_________________y in daily life if a person sees someone else, for example, with a u__________________h. The a_________t of social media and s___________________________e also means that individuals have another m_____________t a__________m advertising that p___________s new products and services.

In conclusion, advertising is no longer needed in m___________y as there are other ways to research and discover products. This does not i_______y that advertising is i_________e, m_______y that i________________d it could be e_____________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:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/is-this-the-grossest-advertising-strategy-of-all-time/280242/

Speaking Practice

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

Talk about an advertisement you watched that convinced you to buy a product. Include

What it was

When you saw it

How it convinced you

And if you were happy with the purchase.

Writing Practice

Practice with the same basic topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Some feel that the effects of advertising are positive for individuals and businesses, while others think they are negative.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.


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