When viewing commercials, I recommend taking notes on what language functions are being used, with as many examples as you can manage to jot down, as well as what role each commercial could serve in the classroom. Doing that upon first viewing the commercial can save you a great deal of time later as you try to select the best commercials to use for each task planned. Some commercials are great for reviewing vocabulary and can be used as a springboard for a language activity, while others are better-suited to explaining what an unfamiliar menu item is all about. And some just give kids an opportunity to practice picking what they can understand out of a mostly incomprehensible conversation. They all may have a place in your unit, but they must be used and applied purposefully for the best learning to occur.
For finding French-language commercials, I recommend the following sites, in order: http://www.culturepub.fr/, www.youtube.com, www.dailymotion.com, www.video.google.fr. (4) There are of course many other ways and means of locating useful commercials; these sites have worked well for me and I offer them as starting points.
Sometimes it can get overwhelming and frustrating to start your search and end up with lots of unwanted videos. Refining your search terms, or conversely, making them more broad, can help you pinpoint what you are looking for. I mostly used keyword searches comprised of the name of the establishment ("McDonald's", "Kentucky Fried Chicken", or "Quick restaurant") and "France" (for McDonald's and KFC) or "fast food" (for Quick.) (5) Adding in a particular year can help if you are looking for more current commercials. Alternately, try typing in a particular product name, and France. There will be a lot of misses along with your hits, so give yourself time to browse, and again, take notes! I make a document and copy and paste each commercial's URL along with a brief description and my notes. It may seem like extra work, but when you find yourself reviewing the same commercial several times because you forgot you already viewed it and didn't like it, you may reconsider!
I think commercials are a great way to hook interest at the beginning of a class; a clip can be played repeatedly so that as students enter class, they will (hopefully!) be intrigued by the commercial, which will cause them to settle in quickly and get to task. I prefer to have a Do-Now question already printed on a bi-weekly sheet created for that purpose, so students are prepared to engage with the task right away with full focus. Since the commercial will be repeating, students will be able to work at their own pace. To encourage those students who finish quickly to stay engaged, prompt students to jot down notes to every detail they see or hear. Then ask the class a more challenging question after the Do-Now is completed, so those who gave extra time or attention to the commercial will have an opportunity to stretch their wings a bit and show what they know.
Print advertisements and page printouts from the interactive websites can be used in daily practice as springboards for questioning and practicing relevant language skills. Depending on the ad, the questioning and responding might center around: color and type of clothing seen in the picture, the location of items in relation to each other, how one might describe the people in the picture, where they seem to be going, what they are doing, what time of day it is. Images can be used in many different ways, and so using the same image for different purposes across language lessons will provide the student with a richer understanding and appreciation of the content and discoveries to be made. In this way, the unit can help students recycle language structures, phrases, and vocabulary not immediately relevant to the unit itself, to keep students constantly thinking with, using, and recombining all their language knowledge. Again, the interactive websites are rich, and getting the most out of them will require that you identify your objective for each activity clearly, and then provide a guideline/questionnaire/scavenger hunt/checklist to help students navigate their way through the carefully chosen maze that you craft for them.