The Federal Trade Commission has announced a new advertising literacy campaign to help older children understand the ads they see and become smarter consumers.
The campaign is targeted to "tweens" aged 8 to 12, and includes a game-based website at Admongo.gov, a curriculum tied to national standards of learning in language arts and social studies that teachers can use to "ad-ucate" students, a library of fictional ads that can be used as teaching tools, and activities for parents and kids to do together. All these materials are free and in the public domain.
The online game at Admongo.gov allows kids to create an avatar and features four levels of play to help them think critically about advertising. In "The Atrium," they identify the ads that are around them. In the "Assemblimator," they learn how to take apart an ad, evaluate its claims, and figure out how ads try to persuade people. In the "Planadtarium," they find out how ads are targeted, and in "The Adgitator," they build and target their own ads. Throughout the game, players learn to ask the three critical questions about ads, no matter where they see them: Who is responsible for the ad? What is it actually saying? What does it want me to do?
Source: Federal Trade Commission Office of Public Affairs, www.ftc.gov/opa/