Use Admongo in the classroom to teach kids about advertising.
Identify ads and understand their messages
Behind every ad there is someone who wants you to take a specific action. Companies often advertise their products and services to influence you to do, think, or buy something. It's important to know who the messenger is, what they want you to do, and why they want you to do it. Visit Admongo.gov to learn more.
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. Why is it important to teach your students about advertising?
Advertising literacy helps kids become more thoughtful consumers. It involves key critical thinking skills your students can apply to other subject areas: helping them think critically when it comes to literature or the news, for example. It’s also fun and different; a new way to bring learning to life by teaching kids how to use these skills in the real world.
The first step in helping kids think critically about advertising is to help them learn to identify what ads are, and where they might find them. Today, ads are just about everywhere, and in virtually every form. Kids often think of ads, like TV commercials, as informing them about new products or features. This is one of advertising’s jobs, and it certainly helps people know what’s in the marketplace.
But kids often don’t understand that advertising is not just about telling them what’s new. It’s also about grabbing their attention, and persuading them to do, think, or buy something.
Kids may be unaware of all the places ads appear: displays in stores, sweepstakes, event sponsorships, celebrity testimonials, online games tied to a product, even certain text messages? Yes, they’re all ads. The tools in this program can help you help your students learn to recognize ads, the messages those ads are sending, and the purpose of the ads.
Admongo uses a three-question approach to help kids think critically about advertising. The three questions are: who is responsible for this ad? What is the ad really saying? And what does the ad want me to do or think? We’ll give you examples of how you can help your kids address each of these questions. Let’s start with the first question: who’s responsible for this ad? To help your students learn how to answer this question, encourage them to study an ad to see if they can figure out who is behind it. Logos are often a good starting point for figuring this out. The NBT logo here suggests that this ad was created by NBT, a clothing company, and the ad is meant to try and sell them clothes. You can help them understand that ads come from a specific perspective: in this case, one that reflects NBT’s point of view, and that advertisers choose every element in an ad to fit their perspective. The point here is to help kids develop their own point of view, separate from the advertiser’s. So when your kids are looking at an ad, encourage them to ask themselves questions – questions like: Do I know this advertiser? What’s its reputation? And what’s the advertiser’s perspective?
As kids explore the sample ads in level 1 of Admongo.gov, they learn that ads have a specific point of view, and that they can develop their own. 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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