Embedded Video: Using Commercials to Demonstrate Boolean Search Logic

When designing library research skills instruction, I attempt to incorporate popular culture into the sessions to increase student motivation and learning. I use various memes, presentation software, and videos.

After seeing a commercial on TV that utilized Boolean operator words (AND, OR, NOT), I found it on youtube. It is a commercial for the Ford Escape and highlights the difference between AND and OR when determining if something is “good”. It ends by saying “AND is better”.

I often have difficulty explaining Boolean search logic and why it is important to use when creating search strategy and nested searches using AND, OR, and NOT. This humorous take on Boolean logic, even though it is unintentional could be a fun way to improve instruction on this topic.

Additionally, after viewing it, I can ask students to critique the video and determine what is “wrong” with the commercial’s understanding of Boolean logic. For example, OR means that either keyword (either/or) can be in the document to end up on the results list. The commercial instead portrays OR as excluding one of the options rather than including either one.

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4 Responses to Embedded Video: Using Commercials to Demonstrate Boolean Search Logic

  1. jenniborg22 says:

    Great idea, Beth! What a fun way to teacher a topic. This helped me to understand what the Boolean logic means. Great use of the video!

  2. darlagrant says:

    HI Beth,
    I remember seeing this ad on tv and loved it! I am always drawn to media that highlights the importance of nuance in language: And vs. or is a great example. I think it’s wonderful that you snatched it up to teach Boolean search logic. It’s relevant, contemporary, and humorous. Great work!

  3. zunkertyler says:

    Great video and great use of technology to enhance a subject! I love drawing connections from pop culture and bringing them into my classroom. Excellent!

  4. bethtransue says:

    Thanks! I think this will be a fun way for students to see Boolean logic in action, and also help them understand this “incorrect” application (at least when applied to search)!

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