Business Studies Activity: The Marketing Mix

This is for use in KS 3 Business Studies

Why do this unit?

This unit looks at one of the most important and ubiquitous aspects of business life: advertising. Its aim is to get pupils thinking about advertising in an analytical way.

What does this unit do?

Students analyse an advertisement from 1886, identifying techniques used to attract customers, then look at more contemporary examples.


Interactive whiteboard or data projector, PCs for pupils, printer.



A teacher-led brainstorming session lists everywhere the students have seen or heard an advert that day since getting up. Likely answers include cereal boxes, newspaper and magazine adverts, billboards and bus signage, radio and TV etc.

What products do students remember being advertised? What has made those adverts and products memorable?

Main activities

Students are given a printed copy of the advert for the
Columbia bicycle from 1886 from the Risks and Rewards site:

Columbia bicycle advert

They are asked to annotate the advert, identifying the
information in the advert and the techniques used to attract customers.

Students share their findings, which should include the following: product name and positioning, references to different models, slogan, logo, price, manufacturer’s name and locations and information on where to buy.

They are then asked to analyse the source and identify why the advert would not appeal to today’s customers. Likely answers should include the lack of an image of the product, the lack of movement or people in the advert and the plain colour scheme.


Students are tasked to find a modern advert in a newspaper or magazine and annotate and analyse it in the same way. They then compare the methods that the 2 adverts have used.