Evaluating Advertisements - A Newsletter for Parents of Fifth Grade Children (page 2)
What Do You Think?Darcy is looking through her favorite magazine. She says to Mom, "This ad shows lots of really cool t-shirts. Can I order some? It says I get two for the price of one." Mom takes the magazine and says, "Darcy, let me take a look at the ad."
(See end of newsletter for a possible answer.)
By the end of a day you've been bombarded with advertising from all directions. You are exposed to these messages via TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, handouts, billboards, signs, displays, posters, and flyers in the mail.
The companies, organizations, and people who advertise spend lots of money to research their potential customers. They know how to produce ads that encourage you to buy their product or service.
Adults are able to look at or listen to ads, seek other information, and make decisions. But, children need help in learning to evaluate ads. Teach them to be skeptical.
There are good ads and bad ads. Good ads help you make better decisions. A good ad will tell you facts you need to know like:
- How much a product or service costs
- Description of the product
- Where to buy the product or service
- Other relevant information
Advertisers work hard to make their ads appealing. Talk with your child about the techniques used to make ads appealing and share some real examples.
Promise of rewards—implication you will gain something (friends, attention, sex appeal, etc.) if you just use the product or service
Slogans—catchy phrases or music jingles you can't get out of your mind
Repetition—same ad repeated over and over
Involvement—coupons or getting you to write in for something
Free—the promise of something free if you try a product or service
Target audience—sports fans, animal lovers, nature buffs, specific age groups
Testimonials—somebody famous promotes a product or service
Playing the Commercial Game
We tend to associate certain products with brand names. We recognize the brands because we've been exposed to advertising. Have your child write down the name of the first brand she thinks of for each item in the list below. Talk about the ads and why he or she remembers them.
|facial tissue||toilet tissue|
|soap||fast food restaurant|
"Darcy," asks Mom, "how much does each t-shirt cost and do you need two?" Darcy answers, "I really want a purple t-shirt." Mom suggests, "Then let's check this price and the price of a t-shirt at your favorite store. We also should see what the shirts are made of and then you can decide if this is a good deal or not."
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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