Media Literacy Week: Marketing and Consumerism

November 1st, 2013 by Dan Allan

Media Literacy Week is an annual campaign held by MediaSmarts and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation to increase the media literacy of Canadians so they can better understand the nature, techniques and impacts of media messages and productions.

Media Literacy Week

The theme of this year’s Media Literacy Week, which runs from November 4th to 8th, is Marketing and Consumerism. The goal of the week is to encourage educators and parents to talk to children and teens about the marketing they encounter on a daily basis.  

Media Smarts has created a list of tips for talking to young people about advertising. It includes:

  • Starting young: Starting the discussion about advertising at an early age encourages active – not passive – consumption of commercial messages.
  • Explaining how advertising works: Discuss how the job of marketers is to play on human insecurities and implying that their products will improve our lives and bring us happiness.
  • Pointing out the tricks of the trade: Explain how advertisers use many methods to encourage us to buy their products. These include “pulling on our heartstrings,” using misleading words, making exaggerated claims about a product and using cartoon characters of celebrities to sell products.
  • Explaining how marketers target young people: Explain how marketers target image-conscious young people with messages about being “cool” and attractive.

Some of the same criteria could also be used when discussing and teaching about political advertising!

Are you interested in bringing Media Literacy Week into your classroom? Click here to access Media Smarts’ teacher resources. Media Smarts also partnered with Concerned Children’s Advertisers to create a six-part series of “Media Minutes” for elementary school students on media literacy.

A number of Media Literacy Week activities are taking place across Canada and online. Click here for a full list of events.

The Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS), Manitoba Education and the Manitoba Association of Computing Educators (ManACE) have “teamed up” for Media Literacy Week. Students can submit their photos and videos to their Instagram Challenge.

Check out some of our past Media Literacy Week blogs:

Posted in Media Literacy Week, Special Events |

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