Definition of commercial noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//kəˈmɜːʃl//
; NAmE NAmE//kəˈmɜːrʃl//
Radio broadcasting
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an advertisement on the radio or on television Synonymsadvertisementpublicity ad commercial promotion trailerThese are all words for a notice, picture or film/​movie telling people about a product, job or service.advertisement a notice, picture or film/​movie telling people about a product, job or service; an example of something that shows its good qualities; the act of advertising something and making it public:Put an advertisement in the local paper to sell your car. Dirty streets are no advertisement for a prosperous society.publicity [U] the business of attracting the attention of the public to somebody/​something such as a company, book, film/​movie, film/​movie star or product; the things that are done to attract attention:She works in publicity. There has been a lot of advance publicity for her new film.ad, advert (informal) a notice, picture or film/​movie telling people about a product, job or service:We put an ad in the local paper. an ad for a new chocolate barcommercial an advertisement on television or on the radio.promotion a set of advertisements for a particular product or service; activities done in order to increase the sales of a product or service:a special promotion of local products She works in sales and promotion.trailer (especially British English) a series of short scenes from a film/​movie or television programme, shown in advance to advertise it.Patterns (a/​an) advertisement/​publicity/​ad/​commercial/​promotion/​trailer for something a TV/​television/​radio/​cinema advertisement/​ad/​commercial/​promotion to run/​show a(n) advertisement/​ad/​commercial/​trailer CollocationsTelevisionWatching watch television/​TV/​a show/(British English) a programme/(North American English) a program/​a documentary/​a pilot/​a rerun/​a repeat see (especially British English) an ad/(especially North American English) a commercial/​the news/​the weather catch/​miss a show/​a programme/​a program/​an episode/​the news pick up/​reach for/​grab the remote (control) change/​switch channel surf (through)/ (especially North American English) flip through/ (especially British English) flick through the channels sit in front of/​switch on/​switch off/​turn on/​turn off the television/​the TV/​the TV set have/​install satellite (TV)/cable (TV)/a satellite dishShowing show a programme/​a documentary/​an ad/​a commercial screen a programme/​a documentary run an ad/​a commercial broadcast/ (especially North American English) air/​repeat a show/​a programme/​a documentary/​an episode/​a series go out/​air/​be recorded live attract/​draw (in)/pull (in) viewers be a hit with viewers/​audiences/​critics get (low/​high) ratingsAppearing be on/​appear on television/​TV/​a TV show take part in a phone-in/​a game show/​a quiz show/​a reality TV show host a show/​a programme/​series/​a game show/​a quiz show/​a talk show/(British English) a chat show be/​become/​work as a/​an (British English) TV presenter/​talk-show host/​sports commentator/​anchorman/(British English) newsreader read/​present the news appear/​perform live (on TV)Programme-making do/​film/​make a show/​a programme/​a documentary/​an episode/​a pilot/​a series/​an ad/​a commercial work on a soap (opera)/a pilot (episode)/a sitcom write/​produce a drama/​sitcom/​spin-off/​comedy series CultureadvertisingMost companies in Britain and the US have to work hard to promote and market (= draw attention to and make people want) their goods in order to sell them. Political parties, charities and other organizations also use advertising. Many pages in newspapers and magazines are filled with advertisements (also called ads or, in Britain, adverts), companies advertise on the Internet and there are also advertisements, usually called commercials, on radio and television. Especially in the US, supermarkets and other stores produce leaflets, often made up of several pages, showing pictures of items that are special offers that week.Advertisements in newspapers and magazines are expensive and only the largest companies can afford to advertise their products in this way. Many organizations, however, use newspapers to advertise jobs and these are generally grouped together in the jobs section. Small companies advertise in the classified ads columns, where each advertisement consists of a few lines of text only. Shops and businesses, and individuals wanting to buy or sell used household goods, advertise in local papers.The wealthiest companies buy advertising time on television. Famous actors or singers sometimes endorse a particular product by appearing in advertisements for it. Some advertising slogans (= short phrases mentioning a product) are known by everyone, e.g. ‘Have a break – have a Kit Kat.’ Some advertisements are like very brief episodes of a story. Tobacco advertising is now banned on radio and television in Britain and the US. Advertisers have no influence over the people who make programmes, even if they help pay for the programmes through sponsorship. There is, however, an increasing amount of product placement, where firms pay for their products to be shown in films or television programmes. In the US some commercials are national, others are shown only in a particular area. Some products are sold on smaller channels by an infomercial, a commercial that lasts half an hour or more and tries to look like an entertainment programme.Other ways of advertising include displaying large posters on hoardings or billboards (= large signs) by the side of roads. Flyers (= small posters) advertising local events, for example, are given to people in the street. Restaurants advertise in theatre programmes, and shops advertise in their own magazines or on their shopping trolleys (AmE carts). Many companies advertise on the Internet.The biggest US ad agencies have offices in New York on Madison Avenue, so Madison Avenue has come to mean the advertising industry. In Britain, the advertising industry is controlled by the Advertising Standards Authority. All advertisements must be ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’. In the US the Federal Communications Commission makes rules about advertising. Television and radio stations are required to do some public service announcements (= commercials that give information to the community) free of charge.There are many forms of advertising on the Internet. Just as firms send junk mail to people who have not asked for it, emails are used to advertise products and services. Unwanted emails are called spam. On Internet pages advertisers use banner ads (= advertisements across the top or bottom of a page), pop-ups (= pages that open in front of the page you are looking at) and links to their own websites to attract customers. Advertisements are also sent to mobile/​cell phones.Many people are against advertising, partly because it adds to the cost of a product. People also say that the influence of advertising is too great, and that children, especially, want every product they see advertised. On the other hand, many people buy American newspapers on Sundays because they advertise special offers and contain coupons (= pieces of paper enabling people to buy products at a reduced price). See related entries: Radio broadcastingExtra examples She ended up doing commercials, which ironically revived her acting career. She’s in a commercial for cars. The commercial features a moody young man. The commercial features a teenage girl with spots. The company has made commercials for leading sportswear manufacturers. The film was so full of commercial breaks it was impossible to enjoy. a commercial break
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: commercial