Understand who the advertiser is and why they want you to take a specific action.
Young people identify the messages within ads.
Ads contain messages asking you to do something — like buy a product or service. Admongo shows you how to identify those messages and think critically about the action the ad wants you to take.
Welcome to Admongo.gov, the free site that uses advertising and a three-question approach to help students broaden and apply their critical thinking skills.
In this video, we’re going to discuss the third question kids should integrate into their thinking: “What does this ad want me to do or think?”
Advertising wants to convince and persuade. So when kids look at an ad, encourage them to ask themselves what the purpose of the ad is: Does it want them to act a certain way? Does it want them to reach certain conclusions?
You also can help kids learn to recognize calls to action. These are the parts of an ad that tell you what to do. They can be overt, like “text a keyword to this number.” Or they can be implied: like showing a price – say, “just $22.99” – without directly saying, “go buy this.”
Once students have come up with answers to the three questions – who’s responsible for the ad, what is the ad actually saying, and what does it want me to do – Admongo encourages them to think a bit further – to look at a product critically and objectively, to figure out if the reality of a product is different from the hype of the advertising. Sometimes there’s a difference, sometimes not.
To follow up, suggest that they continue exploring and analyzing before they buy. They can think about how one product compares to similar products in terms of quality and appearance. They can compare prices. They can talk to friends to see if the product lives up to its claims. They can check out trustworthy evaluations or recommendations, and they can consider whether buying the product will fit into their budget, or keep them from buying something else.
Level 4 of Admongo.gov, and lessons in the Resource Kit give kids a chance to synthesize what they’ve learned and apply it to constructing and deconstructing ads. These tools will help them as they consider the world beyond advertising as well: analyzing the messages in books, on TV programs, and in the news. In short, they’ll learn how to evaluate what’s being communicated, decide what to believe, and consider how to respond.
Check out Admongo.gov, the other videos, and additional resources from the FTC to learn more about teaching ad literacy skills to your students.
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