Conditioning and Commercials/Advertising

It’s no secret that psychology is often used to sell products and services to the unsuspecting consumer. This activity will help you synthesize some of the learning concepts learned throughout the course by analyzing how advertisements use learning principles like classical conditioning to influence buyers.

For example, a commercial for tires might portray a mother and baby driving on a dark, rainy night (fearful stimulus), implying that fear can be avoided by choosing the proper brand of tire. Another advertisement might depict a sexy model approaching a man drinking a particular brand of beer, suggesting that a man can attract a voluptuous woman (pleasant stimulus) by drinking the right kind of alcohol.

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In a module focused on the influence of media, it’s only appropriate that this week you must create a multimedia presentation that incorporates media as the topic! For this activity you will need your own recordings of (or online access to) videos of at least two video (television or internet) commercials. Youtube is the easiest place to locate these, but of course there are other sources. You will create a short multimedia presentation that clearly and concisely demonstrates to the audience how the two commercials you’ve chosen use learning principles to sell product or services.

The major purpose of these final assignments in each module is to integrate the information you have learned throughout the current module and the course thus far, and to practice effective and professional communication of your ideas in various formats.

The reason you are creating a multimedia presentation is because, as you already know, communication through only written information is not the only skill needed in today’s world. Being capable of communicating your ideas in multiple ways using professional writing and presentation skills is critical for job and career success. Creating these multimedia presentations will help you improve your technical and communication skills, which will be used in any career you pursue.

Successful completion of this activity meets Module Outcome 5.

This activity aligns with the career competencies of oral communication, critical thinking, and digital technology.


Identify two specific commercials that speak to you and, in your presentation, analyze the pairing of emotion-provoking stimuli (possible classical conditioning) with products.

Your task…

Put together a multimedia presentation that will engage your audience and clearly teach them about how learning principles are used within commercials to influence buyers. Your multimedia presentation will utilize images, writing, and video and/or audio.

Your presentation can be completed in Powerpoint, Prezi, Powtoons, or another platform approved by your instructor.

Be engaging and professional!

For maximum points, your presentation must include the following components:

– Voiceover/video by you, presenting the information.

– Analysis of two separate advertisements, and the learning principles at work.

– Graphics/images and writing to support your presentation.

– Links to or embedded advertisements/commercials (the two you have chosen to analyze).

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