Social Studies/Language Arts Activity
In this activity students will analyze the "hidden" messages of
advertisements targeted to their age group.
WHAT YOU NEED
videotaped advertisements targeted at early
magazines and newspapers that can be cut up
Ad Attack! analysis charts
art supplies (optional)
WHAT TO DO
1.Show the videotape and ask the class:
What was your
favorite commercial? Why?
Which product seemed the most desirable based on the ad? Why?
What advertising techniques did you recognize? (These may
include celebrity endorsement, promises of being part
of the crowd, improving looks, improving athletic performance,
increasing sex appeal, etc.)
2.Lead a discussion about the young people portrayed in
How do they look?
What do they do? How do they dress? What do
they care about? Where do they live?
Are these realistic portrayals of kids this age? Why or why
How does it make you feel if your life isn't like theirs?
3.Have students look through magazines and newspapers for
advertisements that feature young and older
teens. Divide the class into groups and distribute the ads among
them. Have each group take several ads and analyze
them, using the Ad Attack chart. Tell students to staple each ad to
its analysis chart.
4.Bring students together as a class to discuss their findings.
summation, point out that while advertisers don't
deliberately try to undermine the self-confidence of young teens,
the image they present of what adolescent life is like is
often unrealistic. It might help to remember the purpose of such
advertising and to resist allowing these images to lower
Students can use the Ad Attack charts to review
commercials at home.
Students may create advertisements that more realistically portray
what kids their age are like.