Advertising Terms & Definitions for Middle School

By Kellie Hayden

Need some help understanding the terminology used in class, or are you working on an advertising project? This list of advertising terms should help.

Are you working on an advertising project for a class project? Be sure to know these terms. This is not a full, comprehensive list of advertising terms, but it hits on most of the important terms for middle and high school students.

Advertising Terms and Definitions

Avante Garde – The advertiser suggest that the product will put the consumer ahead of the crowd by having the product first.

Bait and Switch--When an advertiser attracts the attention of the consumer with a low-priced product or service but is then encourages the consumer to buy a higher-priced one.

Bandwagon -- When a consumer is attracted to a cause, agrees to join an organization or club, or purchase an item because its popularity. The consumer is persuaded to “follow the crowd" rather than to use “evidence" to justify a choice.

Bias--An inclination of temperament or an outlook. A personal and sometimes unreasonable judgment that consumers have already made about a topic, product or person.

Card Stacking – When an advertiser stresses only the positive qualities and does not tell any of the negative ones. The consumer is given only one side of the story about a product.

Emotional Word Repetition -- When a consumer is conditioned to remember or persuaded to buy a product or service by repeating, again and again in different tones, the name of the product or service.

Facts and Figures – When an advertiser uses statistical evidence and facts to prove that a product is better than another product.

Glittering Generalities – When a consumer is persuaded by specially chosen words that can have many different positive meanings. The advertiser implies that using their fabulous product will make the consumer’s life wonderful.

Jingle--A light, rhythmical verse or short song used by advertisers.

Magic Ingredients – When an advertiser implies that a scientific or miraculous discovery makes the product outstanding.

Patriotism – When an advertiser implies that buying the product will show a love of country.

Persuasive Techniques--A strategy or method that a person, group or company uses to persuade the consumer to agree with the author or speaker’s point of view.

Plain Folks – When an advertiser implies that the product is a great value for everyday, “plain folks."

Propaganda--The spreading of ideas, information or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause or a person.

Simple Solutions – When an advertiser implies that the product will help the consumer to avoid complex problems, or the one product will fix several problems.

Slogan--Catchword or motto used by an advertiser.

Snob Appeal – When an advertiser implies that the product will make the consumer part of the rich, famous or elite group.

Stereotyping--A standardized mental picture that is held in by members of a group that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudice attitude or uncritical judgment.

Target or Intended Audience--The age group and gender that the author wants to persuade.

Testimonial – When an advertiser connects a famous or respectable person with a product through the use of quotations or endorsements from that famous or respectable person.

Transfer -- When a consumer is persuaded to buy a product or service because it is associated with something attractive or respectable.

Weasel Words -- When an advertiser uses words to imply meaning or facts without actually making a guarantee.

Wit and Humor – When the consumer is attracted to a product because the advertisement makes them laugh, or it is entertaining.