:6: Providing an Interesting Audience for the Future

An interesting government website, admongo.gov, is aiming to educate kids about the goals and effects of advertising agencies. Specifically, it looks to reveal who is responsible for ads, what ads really say and what ads try to get people to do.

Personally, I think it is a very responsible move by the government to take steps towards educating youngsters about what ads are and what they aim to do. On the other hand, I’m rather skeptical at how successful it can be. I have experience working with kids and unfortunately advertising agencies have quite the advantage over children and their ability to decide for themselves what they really want.

As a kid, I remember going with my mom to the grocery store and trying to pick out a cereal. Of course, I would usually pick out the cereal with the coolest superhero on the box rather than what I thought I might enjoy eating. Inevitably, the box with Spider-Man would be purchased and throughout the week I’d barely even touch the cereal inside.

So next time my mom would remind me of how I didn’t really care for the Spider-Man cereal, but it simply wouldn’t register for me. Deep down, I knew what I had done last time, but still felt like the cereal with Spider-Man would bring me much more satisfaction than any of the other cereals because…well, its Spider-Man!

My point is that kids are constantly redefining what is important to them and unfortunately for parents, saving money doesn’t even occur to them.

With billboards, magazines, newspapers, television, internet and even street ads, the younger generation is growing up in a world with far more commercialism that any adult today can imagine.

I applaud the effort by the government for making this interactive game for kids to learn about the world of advertising, but the task in “aducating” them goes much further. Parents and teachers need to be involved as well. They need to point out that ads are just a means for companies to sell their product so they can continue to compete and make money.

But, more importantly, kids need to be taught that ads are not always truthful and that purchasing a product is an investment with an expected return.

Should this produce a new generation of intelligent consumers, however, ad agencies will probably have more difficulty selling products in the future.



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