“Advertisement” vs “Commercial”

(What Is The Difference?)

Advertisement vs Commercial - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

Today’s “Tid-Bits” comes to us from the “This” vs “That” section of the GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! Lexis Portal.  We’ve already gone over the the differences between Ad vs Advert vs Advertisement in a previous post.  Today we’ll tackle the topic of Advertisement vs Commercial.

As it states on The Lexis Portal, These two terms are virtually the same, and are quite often used inter-changeably.  However, this is only the case when we are talking about the Advertisements and Commercials which we see on TV, and which we hear on the Radio.

When it comes to the internet, and things like:  magazines, newspapers, fliers, and the posters we see around town, we only use the term“Advertisement”.

So What Is The Difference?

The root-word of, “Commercial” is “Commerce” – which is:  “the buying and selling of things”.  While, (to) “Advertise”, is merely:  “to draw attention to something”.  So, though all “Commercials” ARE “Advertising” “things”, an “Advertisement” can be used for other purposes than to simply try to sell you some… “thing”.

Advertisement vs Commercial - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

So, all “Commercials” are types of “Advertisements”, but not all “Advertisements” are “Commercials”…  A “Commercial” is a specific type of “Advertisement” which is seen on TV, or heard on the radio, and is specifically used to get you to buy something…  Used for the purpose of “Commerce”.

Advertisement vs Commercial - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

Advertisement vs Commercial…
The Breakdown

  • If it is in a magazine, newspaper, or flier – or if it is on the internet, it is an “Advertisement”
  • If it is on TV or the radio and is selling something, it is a “Commercial”
  • If it is on TV or the radio and it is simply providing information (and not selling a product or service) it is an “Advertisement”


  • The first two examples (0:00 – 1:40) are “Advertisements” (despite the title of the video) because they are not selling a product
  • The rest of the examples are “Commercials” because they are selling products or services


  • From 7:37 – 8:12? – No Idea…  but it’s funny 😀
  • From 9:13 – 9:32 – This is probably an “Advertisement” because there are Heineken bottles on the table, but really, it’s just annoying

Have An Excellent Day!





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1 Response

  1. July 10, 2016

    […] Basically all of these terms mean the same thing.  They are all a form of marketing and/or propaganda, which is used to either sell a product or to persuade people to a certain way of thinking.  (See Also:  “Advertisement” vs “Commercial”) […]

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