Adding To Our Ad Resistance

With just a few more days for shopping and delivery of goodies for our or our kids Christmas stockings, the ad season is in full swing. Any firm who has your e-mail address is probably bombarding you with information of special offers. Of course, adults like you or me are entirely resistant to such blandishments and only buy things that are essential to our plan, don’t we? But what about our kids? Have we built up their resistance?

By the time our kids are 5 years old we are supposed the have taught them to be Advertising Literate. Haven’t done this yet? Well best make a start with Brett Berk’s Ad Literacy 101 today (1). New Year’s may be to late; your wallet may have become anorexic.

But note that like any course, just taking 101 is not sufficient. Rozendaal et al in the current issue of Media Psychology explain that we need to go much further to help our kids resist the compelling adverts that they are exposed to (2). They point out that our children’s cognitive development isn’t yet at a sufficient stage to act as a defense against the blandishment of the ad agencies.

Two further trainings are required. The first is Ad Literacy Performance mentoring so that our kids actually know what to do with the Ad Literacy information. The second is termed Attitudinal Ad Literacy which means that we have to instill a somewhat cynical attitude so that our kids will, with the minimum of will power, raise their defenses and become somewhat immune until cooler heads prevail – like when they get to 21 and have their own paycheck.

This seems to set out the curriculum for our preschoolers in these days of little or no supervision over exposure levels.

  2. E. Rozendaal et al, Media Psychology, 14, 333, (2011).

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