The Washington Post

Make your own ads

Positive television advertisement by President Barack Obama. (YouTube/SCREENSHOT FROM YOUTUBE)

So, are positive ads or negative ads more effective? One way to figure that out is to make your own. Pick a product — a toy, an electronic device, a type of food — and make two advertisements about that product. You can make ads that might appear in the newspaper, on the radio, on TV or on the Internet.

First, make a positive ad. Think about things that make you like the product. For example, if you’re making an ad for a soup, you can talk about how delicious and creamy it is, how it makes you feel toasty and warm on a cold winter day, and how eating it is a family tradition. The whole idea is to create positive feelings about the product so that people will want to buy it.

Next, make a negative ad. You’ll want to choose a product that is a competitor for your soup. You might point out that the competing soup costs more or isn’t as good for you. Here, the idea is to create negative feelings so that people won’t want to eat the competing soup, but will want your soup instead.

Now, show the ads to people and ask them which is more likely to make them buy your soup: the positive ad or the negative one? After all, the whole idea behind advertising — whether you are selling soup or a presidential candidate — is to get people to buy what you are selling.

KidsPost would love to see your ads. Send them to and put “ads” in the subject line. We need your full name, age, home town and a note from your parent or guardian giving you permission to send the ad to us. We may publish them in a future KidsPost and let readers decide what kind of advertising works best.

This ad for Republican candidate Mitt Romney shows the former Massachusetts governor smiling and holding hands with his wife. (The Washington Post)
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