While advertising something, one should consider the target audience’s susceptibility. Some people are easier to persuade, as they cannot perceive the techniques used to gain a new consumer. Gaps in advertising literacy can be traced to schools where children may not have opportunities to improve it, and its level is low by default (Nelson 180). Although it can benefit various manufacturers and sellers, including those in the medical field, the use of dishonest means and the consumer’s insufficient financial means necessitate being advertisement literate. This paper will discuss what schools do to increase students’ literacy in persuasive techniques and advertising.
In general, students study persuasive messages while discussing media, so they receive a basic understanding of how they work. However, the course’s effectiveness for developing advertising literacy, in particular, is debatable, and its focus on preventing harmful effects may not reveal the operational aspects (Nelson 169). A short specialized course combining any topic from the curriculum with advertising literacy and focusing on the development aspects of advertising may substantially one’s level of understanding (Nelson 173). As a result, children will be able to ask themselves clarifying questions and identify such aspects as the intent, persuasive tactics, and the bias (Nelson 177). It can be implemented as early as primary school and become a legitimate part of the curriculum if proven to successful (Nelson 173). Thus, while education focuses on developing media literacy, a specialization in advertising might be necessary to better understand the employed mechanics.
In conclusion, advertising literacy is essential for assessing whether the presented information is accurate and the product is worth buying. While it is developed at school, the focus tends to be on harmful effects, which are not often present. A more viable alternative is to teach students the process of advertising and persuasive tactics through interaction with other subjects and role-playing. As a result, their advertising literacy will improve, and they can be conscious consumers or future advertisers.
Nelson, Michelle R. “Developing Persuasion Knowledge by Teaching Advertising Literacy in Primary School.” Journal of Advertising, vol. 45, no. 2, 2015, pp. 169-182. Taylor and Francis Online. Web.