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Funny Advertising: 4 Best Language School Commercials


Jimmy finally understood the passive voice as shown on TV.

This was supposed to be a light-hearted, not-so-serious post just before the next week (expect GREAT things then!). But then I thought: these commercials are more than just pure fun. There’s something more to them. And as I watched each of them in turn, it dawned on me.

These adverts are designed to make you aware of a need. The needs are different, but they play into one thing: motivation. Find out which of these adverts speaks to you, and you’ll discover something important about your motivation. Watch these funny language school ads, and you’ll know what I mean…

1. The need to do your job well: Berlitz

This one used to be people’s favourite at several schools I’ve worked for. It’s short, hilarious and extremely witty. If this one is your favourite, you probably want to learn languages in order to perform your tasks well and to communicate at work (although you may just appreciate its humour):


2. The need to differ: Bonjour Paris

There are several things I like about this commercial: it’s understated, yet cheeky; it’s well-written and visually appealing (to say the least). But the best thing is the motivation behind it. There has always been a bit of rivalry between the French and the English when it comes to language; this ad uses that fact to make a bold statement: learning French is actually good, because you’re not learning English . Don’t know about you, but it works for me 🙂

NOTE: Play this ad on Youtube / fullscreen to get to the subtitles. All will be clear then.

3. The need to remain cool: Soesman language training (WARNING: NSFW, strong language)

A brilliant piece of guerrilla advertising (eat your stuffed heart out, Chuck Testa): the ad must have cost peanuts to make, but it packs a mean punch. From a theoretical point of view: if this ad strikes home, you probably want to learn a language to remain professional and avoid ridicule. Either that, or you’re keen to know what your kids’ lyrics actually mean. Enjoy this ad responsibly: contains explicit lyrics!

4. The need to have a good time: EF Summer

Cute and very picturesque. I’m not going to spoil this one for you (even though I’m tempted to share some stories of what summer schools in London really tend to look like…) – just watch and enjoy. If this one feels best for you – congratulations! Your motivation probably stems from a desire to get closer to people (more of that here).

EF – Live The Language – London from Albin Holmqvist on Vimeo.

Folks, if there’s anything I’m missing here, let me know. Also: which was your favourite?

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