Answered By: Chris Sheetz
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2017     Views: 1762

How you cite always depends upon the style you are directed to use. Here are recommended ways to cite an advertisement using APA and MLA styles.

For APA style 

Print Ad:

Name of Company. (Year, Month). Title of image [Advertisement]. Title of Magazinevolume(issue), page number.

Internet Ad:

Name of Company. (Year). Title of image [Advertisement]. Retrieved from

Commercials: (fall under section 7.07 Audiovisual Media of APA Manual (p. 209-210):

  • "List the primary contributors in the author position..."  So, the author would be the company name.
  • If it was broadcast on television, you should include the city it was broadcast in and the network that showed it.

Follow the examples below:

Company Name. (Year).  Title of commercial [Television commercial].  City of Broadcast: Network.

If you viewed the commercial online, add a "Retrieved from" statement at the end with the url.  Example:

Volkswagen. (2012).  The dog strikes back: 2012 Volkswagen game day commercial [Television commercial].  
Retrieved from

For MLA Style:

There is no specific example of citing an advertisement in the MLA8 handbook. There is now one standard, universal format that researchers can use to create their citations. You will create a citation by following MLA's list of core elements which are assembled in a specific order. The MLA core elements are:

  1. Author.
  2. Title of Source.
  3. Title of Container,
  4. Other Contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication Date,
  9. Location.

‚ÄčTemplate for the Work Cited Entry:

MLA 8 citation template

Easybib can help you create a citation for an advertisement.  Choose All 59 Options - Advertisement - MLA8 or APA style and fill in the form. It is a good idea to check the citation created against the elements above. 

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