Monday, November 30, 2009

Advertisements and Literacy

My kids love this “game”, may be yours would too. Yes! its advertisements. It started with my 7 yrs old listening to his father’s company’s advert on radio and he immediately took a paper and pen and wrote the same advertisement. Later he went a step ahead and made few adverts of various merchandises. I liked this idea and hence i asked him to write an advert for the donuts i was making. We brainstormed appropriate words, adjectives and so on. I challenged him to make it more attractive for the would-be-buyer, and at the same time nothing but the truth should be used.

Later we listened to various adverts and decided which was more successful, i.e. which grabbed our attention, portrayed a fair picture of the commodity and was clearly enunciated.

A good time to tell Islamic perspective of advertisement, and stories of salaf who were honest in their trades.

For older children, (and in the case of geeks like mine, for younger ones too) they can design a poster for a particular ‘commodity’ using graphics soft wares or hand drawing/ paintings for younger children. what factors should they take into account? the audience being addressed, the market being hit etc. They should be encouraged to use visual statistics of attracting the eye etc. Also challenge them to create adverts which are suitable according to shariah, ie no human/ animal pictures, no using of obscene language. and above all no lies to be told yet the poster should be able to attract the eye and giving essential info about the product.

I like to maintain a game like atmosphere throughout. This can be achieved by you being a client and they being an “Islamic Advert Agency”.

For those of you who don’t have an Islamic radio channel in their countries, here is a link to Radio Islam, a South African local radio channel which can be listened live via audio streaming on the net.


  1. Asalaamu alaikum

    It must be very challenging to produce an advertisement following the islamic rules. I studied advertising when I was a christian and then converted after I graduated and was never hired due to my hijab. It was probably for the best though considering all the haram involved in the advertising world.

  2. Walaikumussalam

    I agree. I also studied graphics for print media for a while but then left because i could never see myself as getting any work because of the trend in advertisement industry these days, where the sole trend is using women as objects. and being a muslim and a woman i couldnt agree to it.
    The object of this activity is just to encourage literacy and not actually preparing kids for a career in advertisement (which as you say is not suitable for muslims)
    jazakillah for your feedback

  3. You could always design a dawah advertisement :)that's what I use my skills for..I was intending to be a copywriter.

  4. :) yes i do that! i have recently designed a flyer for Muslim Prison Board here in SA. But that is service industry and not commercial.


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