I came across this discussion on advertising in a Science News article - Study on Effects of TV Ad Violence on Kids Has Super Bowl Implications
It discussed those famous Super Bowl ads and how their advertising messages are received by today’s youth. Many ads push emotional and judgment limits to capture audience; by definition advertising means “the activity of attracting public attention to a product or business, as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.” In Latin to advertise means to turn towards, direct one's attention to, attract.
This is not anything new. From the admen (yes, predominantly men) of the 60’s, back through time to snake oil and magic potion sellers, entrepreneurs have needed one thing to succeed, consumers. However, people like Marshall McLuhan had a prescient understanding of the media and its influences, and public awareness of campaigns against subliminal messaging still go on. We need these people on watch, and never more so than for The Cloud Generation. Our children are bombarded with messages in the Cyberworld, and they need help decoding and interpreting their impacts. In essence, we need to ask them - Is your Cybersense Tingling??
The Science News article suggests that what is needed is active mediation - where parents discuss media thoughtfully with their children. I would add into that discussion, teachers and community, and a pointed relevancy to the reality of youth culture. Ontario has a strong Media Literacy component to the curriculum, and much of the focus is on Media Awareness. Overall Expectations 1, 2 and 4 all relate to reflective interpretations of media, and prior to any constructions (e.g. digital stories, reflective writings, commenting) it is logical to have discussions about impact, audience, point of view. In fact, while Media Literacy is defined discreetly in our documents, it is just another component of Literacy. Media Awareness is as much a part of Reading, as is picking up a book.