How to Educate on Advertising
Through the media, advertising aims to sell products and services, as well as transmit a certain way of seeing and interpreting reality. The goal of how to educate on advertising is for parents and teachers to help children and students develop a critical perspective of what the mass media, and specifically advertising, convey.
What does advertising consist of?
Advertising is a form of communication whose goal is to influence people to purchase and consume a product or service. In turn, these products and services represent different brands, and the brands develop advertising campaigns based on the analysis and research of potential consumers, developing what’s known as market research.
In this sense, advertising must be persuasive to be effective and get a person to buy a product or purchase a service. To do this, you must give some type of information or message related to an idea, opinion, or, also, a way of being or acting.
In this regard, advertising uses images, sounds, and music to produce an impact on those who see or hear it. It also uses certain discourses with direct and forceful content, generally in the form of a slogan. These are precisely advertising slogans that summarize or represent the central idea in an advertising context.
“In the world of advertising, there’s no such thing as a lie. There’s only expedient exaggeration.”
– Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) in North by Northwest by Alfred Hitchcock, 1959 –
How to educate on advertising: a critical eye
As we mentioned above, both at home and at school, teaching about advertising implies helping children and students develop a critical attitude towards it. Therefore, it’s important to teach them the following elements:
- Firstly, how to build an interrogative posture regarding advertising messages, asking themselves about their final goal. In general, advertising appeals to, uses, and emphasizes emotions to connect with people. However, the ultimate goal of an advertisement is none other than to sell a brand’s product or service.
- Secondly, the need to be aware that advertising uses persuasive methods to create needs to be able to sell. In other words, it makes you feel that you’ll only be well if you buy and have a certain product.
- Conceive advertising simply as a form of distraction and fun. They must understand that it can be seductive, exaggerated, original, and creative. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t condition them in any way and under any circumstances.
- Also, learn that advertising messages are generally associated with certain values and ways of thinking. Therefore, they seek to develop concrete attitudes in people.
- Finally, pay attention to the protagonists of the advertisements and their roles. In this regard, it’s important for children and students to identify the positive and pejorative aspects of advertising content that’s associated, for example, with gender roles, age groups, or social or cultural sectors.
Educate on advertising to improve society
To build and improve or transform our society, it’s essential to educate on advertising. In this sense, we must teach students to build an active attitude to interpret the millions of advertising messages that bombard them on a daily basis.
Educating on advertising allows children and students to adopt a critical perspective that denies values that exalt materialism and the superficial. In short, educating on advertising is the first step to achieve a more just, supportive, inclusive, and equal society.