MEDIA LITERACY 101: VI. Media Have Commercial Interests
Have a conversation about advertising techniques. Watch a TV program or look at the Web with your students or children. Have them talk about "who's bringing me this program, Web site, or blog, and why?" When you see commercials or banner ads, have them discuss the claims that are made and whether those claims seem reasonable or exaggerated. Invite them to look for the ways advertisers make products appealing. What "construction tools" are used? If it's a product that is readily available, suggest that they test the claims and see if they are accurate.
Watch these commercials with your children or students and have them look at how much product information is presented and how much is really about lifestyle or attitude. Look for the techniques the advertiser uses to make the product look good.
Supersoaker Nerf Ad (30 seconds)
PopTarts Ad (30 seconds)
Have children examine these Web sites and notice what each company is doing to market their product(s). Is the website trying to tell you something or sell you something?
Related Tools & Resources
There are no neutral or value-free media messages.
An online primer for parents and teachers on the key concepts of media literacy.
The new definition of media literacy now includes the ability to access, understand, analyze, evaluate and create media messages.
Why Media Literacy is Vital in Today's World
All media is all carefully put together, or "constructed," to achieve a specific result.