Admongo: “Aducation” learning about advertising
What it is: Admongo is a website from the FTC all about advertising. The site aims to improve “advertisement literacy” by raising awareness of advertising and marketing messages, fostering critical thinking skills to help students analyze and interpret messages in advertising and demonstrate the benefits of being an informed consumer. These concepts are introduced in the form of a game. Students get an “aducation” by playing a game where they are introduced to the world of advertising. Students create a character, game name and password. As students play they collect advertisements, watch videos about the different kinds of advertisements and are asked to think about the advertisement and how it is used. Students are asked who the target audience of the advertisement is, who created the ad, what is the ad saying, what does the ad want them to do.
How to integrate Admongo into the classroom: Advertising is all around us, Admongo helps students identify the ads that they are surrounded by every day and prompts them to think deeply about the purpose and aim of advertising. Students at Anastasis are currently completing an inquiry block all about advertising. A look at advertising can introduce students to persuasive writing, the effect of different music, colors and mediums, critical thinking and problem solving.
I like to have students to consider both sides of advertising. First, what does it mean to be a consumer and how does advertising play into that? Second, how would you create an advertisement that reaches a target audience? Advertising asks students to carefully consider their audience, the objective, and the tools that they use to spread a message. You can also tie advertising to history by asking students to look at World War II posters. Students can analyze the purpose of the poster, the call to action, the colors used, the intended audience and the message being “sold”. Students will need to do some digging to find out why the posters were successful and what events were occurring that made the posters necessary. After students explore actual World War II posters, they can plan and create their own.
There are so many places to go with an advertising unit and Admongo is a great starting point. Students can go through the game independently on computers or use an interactive whiteboard/projector-connected computer to take turns navigating through the game. Stop and discuss each question that pops up as a class.
Tips: Be sure to check out the “Teacher” section for lesson plans, print materials and videos.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Admongo in your classroom!