This page focuses on essential advertising vocabulary you should study in preparation for your IELTS exam. We have also prepared practice exercises at the bottom of the page, which will help you learn how to use these words correctly. Advertising is a common topic in both IELTS speaking and writing task 2, so you must learn all the basic vocabulary to be able to talk and write on this topic.

This lesson contains a lot of vocabulary. Take your time to learn the words and practice your pronunciation.

Main Types of Advertisements:

  • TV Commercial – Promotion of products and services using colour, action, sound and sight. There are memorable and accessible to a large market. They are good to show how something works and can be persuasive.
  • Newspaper Advertisements – These adverts can either be national or local. They are placed in particular sections in the newspaper.
  • Magazine ads – These are aimed at a specific market and interest group. The ads are colourful and eye-catching but can be more expensive than newspaper ads.
  • Billboards – These are often signs on the road or at sports stadiums. Large billboards can give a message with impact but with limited information.

Advertisement vocab 1


Other Types of Advertisements:

Advertisement vocab 2

More Types of Advertising:

Advertisement vocab 3



Practice Exercises with Advertising Vocabulary

Use the vocabulary above to complete the sentences. Words may be used more than once.

  1. I think I prefer …………….. because they are really good fun to watch and often have a catchy tune or song to go with them.
  2. Last night, I was just sitting down to my favourite series on TV when the phone rang. It was another …………. I find them really annoying.
  3. Personally, I think that …………………… in movies is the most effective because you aren’t even aware that you are being targeted by a company while you’re watching.
  4. I think ………………… are a great way to advertise because they are so entertaining but I guess they must be very costly to put on, particularly at peak viewing time.
  5. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to work online and getting bothered by ………………
  6. I hardly ever pay attention to adverts in the ………………….. because they aren’t usually very attractive but whenever I flick through a ……………., I’m constantly drawn towards their beautiful, glossy ads.
  7. I find telesales quite ……………….. because they call your home to sell you something. I think it’s an invasion of privacy.


  • eye-catching = appealing, attractive
  • subtle = not obvious
  • flick through a magazine = look at the pages quickly
  • to target an audience = to aim for a group of people
  • catchy tune = an appealing melody
  • peak viewing time = a time when the majority of people are watching
  • glossy = shiny
  • specific market  = particular group of people
  • specific interest group = particular group of people with the same interests
  • persuasive = it convinces us to do something or think something
  • memorable = it stays in our minds for a long time
  • intrusive = causing annoyance, uninvited
  • invasion of privacy = when your privacy has been invaded (entered) without permission
  • up-to-date = current
  • customer database = list or record of customers




  1. TV commercials
  2. cold call
  3. covert advertising
  4. TV commercials
  5. pop-ups
  6. newspaper / magazine
  7. intrusive