French TV commercials

French TV commercials

One of the fun time-fillers my students enjoy is watching French TV commercials. Some of them are pretty close to American/Canadian commercials but others are just…weird. Of course, the funny ones are the most enjoyable but there are quite a few good PSAs out there as well. I’m always looking for good sources for French TV commercials, and I ran across a great YouTube channel with a huge list of commercials. They keep them up to date, so no 1970’s car commercials featuring people with bell-bottoms.

Sometimes I let students watch the videos first, but sometimes I have them listen to the audio a few times before showing them the video. It can be tough to get the details from the audio alone, but being able to identify the product is enough to make them feel a sense of accomplishment sometimes. I sometimes use the audio for a listening quiz – I’ll play several commercials and have them match the ad with the product. The channel is called PubTélé.

Using French TV commercials with differentiation

If you are interested in going more in-depth with your use of French TV commercials in your classes, you might be interested in this free differentiated activity. There are different activities for your beginners, intermediate and advanced learners that will allow them to analyze any commercial you care to share with them. The simplest activity asks the questions in English, while the most advanced one has the questions in French.

You can keep it simple by having students just answer the questions about what is being sold, what do the main characters look like and whether or not they would buy the product – but you can also do the more difficult questions about which method is being used to sell the product (pathos, logos, ethos) and who the target market is. Students will not just have fun watching the commercials, but also thinking about how products are marketed to them on a daily basis.

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