Bleg: commercials and things for English class

So the Language Lab at my school is back in working order and I have figured out how to get my school-issue laptop display to output s-video-style, tunnel through the beast and appear on the students' individual monitors. Now I am trying to think of something fun to show them for the first lesson of the year.

My first thought is: commercials. They're short, they're focused, they're usually available online. I did a commercial lesson once and it went over OK. But that tape is gone now, and I haven't watched TV in an English-speaking country for years, so I'm not sure what to replace it with. Can anyone give me any suggestions? The criteria are:

  1. Not too raunchy (sorry, northern Europe)
  2. Fairly expository visuals (talking heads are bad; hero shots of the product are good)
  3. Contains at least some English (no Nike all-picture spots designed to be shown worldwide)...
  4. ... But that English shouldn't be too fast or too difficult to understand
I've already raked through the various 80s download archives and found a few useable things, but now I'm looking for more modern stuff that Google doesn't find because it's buried within individual company homepages.

Any suggestions?

Popularity factor: 8


Have you checked out any of the Alfac commercials with the duck? There's plenty out there, they're not high speed and they've got plenty of body language in the humor.

Also for speaking at a reasonable pace, there's an HP (Or Sprint) commercial that's basically about this guy Stan building a wireless server, done by voice over. Nothing funny, but should be fairly easy to follow by its illustrative qualities.

Other than that, I don't know... I don't watch much TV.


Check out Müller's ads:




My mom made me a videotape of American TV commericals to use in class. They aren't too great, but if you can't find anything better let me know and I'll see if I can send you a copy.
My JTE loved the lesson, but I got pretty sick of watching the same commercials over and over 18-plus times in all my classes, so I never want to do the lesson again.
I did it as a listening comprehension exercise where the students competed in groups to hear the most keywords, which I wrote on cards and distributed among the groups.


How about that classic Life cereal commercial? A kid and his picky little brother Mikey. You know: http://www.tvacres.com/admascots_mikey.htm


Thanks, those are all good suggestions (though I am having trouble downloading some of 'em.) I wish AFLAC was really a word, that's exactly the kind of repetition and visual-ness I was after... (although AFLAC is in Japan too, complete with duck commercials, so maybe it wouldn't be much of a challenge.)


It's not a commercial, but I just remembered it and I think it's perfect: Christopher Walken in the cowbell skit.You should also totally bring a cowbell to class.

More cowbell!


I think the "New York Miracle" spots (never heard before? Just google it) are good examples. If you're interested, ask me for the archives.


You could show them the 'Mr Sparkle' commercial to illustrate a lesson about stereotyping - kinda irrelevant… but interesting! :) Lu.

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