Advertising and Decision-making - A Newsletter for Parents of Third Grade Children
What Do You Think?
Wesley and Mom are at the local store shopping for some new spring clothes. Wesley says, "I want those tennis shoes right there. I saw a commercial for those on TV last night and they looked really cool."
(See end of newsletter for a possible answer.)
Have you ever
- purchased a dress hoping you would look like the model in the magazine ad
- selected a meal because the picture on the menu looked good
- looked at a new car after watching commercials on TV
- rushed out to buy new shampoo because the newspaper ad says it will make you look years younger
If so, you, like the rest of the world are reacting to advertisements. In today's competitive business atmosphere advertising is a multi-million dollar industry.
Advertising Drives Decisions
As a parent teaching your child money management skills, it's important you recognize the influence advertising has on a person's purchasing decisions.
Children in the third grade are already beginning to be aware of the power of "stuff." They want what their friends have or what advertisements tell them they should have.
Because third grade students are most likely to be exposed to advertising through TV, you need to be tuned in to what they're seeing.
Ads during children's programming primarily focus on toys and snack foods. The ads shown at other times hype everything from shampoo to cars.
While your child may recognize the purpose of an ad is to get you to buy the product, he or she may not understand how the ads appeal to a person's emotions.
Talk to your child about ads using some of these emotional appeals:
- to be one of the crowd
- to be attractive to other people
- to be happy
- to be successful
- to be safe and secure
- to be healthy
- to be liked by other people
Deciding What to Buy
Advertisements will always be a part of the shopping world. But, children can learn to use ads in making shopping decisions rather than be swayed by them. Fill out this chart with your child, using a product seen on TV. Help the child do some comparison shopping of similar products to make the best decision. You may want to try this chart with a snack food.
Mom answers, "Yes, I saw the ad too. They did look nice. What about them did you like?" "Well," says Wesley, "the basketball star wearing them is one of my favorites." Mom says, "I know you like him, but what about the shoes—the color, style, material? Let's go look at those shoes and a couple of other pair that are similar."
Prepared by Donna K. Donald, family life field specialist, and Vicki W. Sickels, former family support program associate, and edited by Laura Sternweis, communication specialist, Iowa State University Extension
...and justice for all The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Many materials can be made available in alternative formats for ADA clients. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Stanley R. Johnson, director, Cooperative Extension Service, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa.
This newsletter is published for families with first grade children by Iowa State University Extension. For more information about parenting education, contact your local county extension office or access the Iowa State University Extension to Families website, www.extension.iastate.edu/families.
Reprinted with the permission of the Iowa State University Extension. © 2008 Iowa State University Extension.
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