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Dec 6, 2011

Do you ever watch the programs (programmes) on television that show the funniest international advertisements? They generally come out about Christmas time, and provide an hour of side-splitting* entertainment. Advertising is to be scrutinized*. Even my children will comment on whether or not an advertisement is any good. Some are very clever, some are downright* annoying, and some are confusing. I've found that as my children's critical thinking develops, so do their comments about anything in the media. "That advertisement sucks," one of them will say. Obviously 'sucks' is slang for something being awful or of very poor quality. I will ask why it 'sucks', and the answer will be something like, "It's not convincing," or "there's no point to it," or perhaps even, "they're trying to be funny, but they're not." I suppose the whole point of advertising is to catch the attention of the public, and to convince us to buy something. So, everyone should be a critic, and we should use our own brains to decide how good an advertisement is, and if the product is really worth buying. Sometimes the simplest advertisements are the best. I remember a series of Australian beer commercials for Foster's, that were really funny. They were very basic, showing how rugged* Australia is, and then indicating that Foster's beer is also rugged. The commercials used exaggeration to get their message across, and they did a good job. The other day I came across an unusual form of advertising: a large pretzel hanging in a tree. It sounds a little strange, doesn't it? It was outside a bakery, in the town of Leavenworth. Several pretzels were hanging on several trees along the street, and they had obviously come from the bakery which displayed pretzels. I thought that this was a genius idea. I went inside and asked a lady who was arranging cakes if there was a story or tradition around# the pretzel hanging in the tree. "Oh no," she said, "it's just for advertising." It had certainly sparked by interest. Infact, whether they intended it or not, that bakery had established  its own tradition  through advertising.

Related vocabulary and expressions: side-splitting, to scrutinize, downright, rugged (a story/ tradition around  on Facebook at Anna Fromacupofenglish)

1. The comedy night at the local club was side-splittingly funny. When I got home, my stomach and my sides hurt from laughing.

2. My neighbors scrutinize everything that I do: how I park my car, when I mow the lawn, even how often I walk the dog.

3. She is downright lazy! She sits around, watching tv, and expects everyone else to work!

4. The men who live in this area are rugged; they are tough, hard working, and basic.