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Monday, September 04, 2006

Consumer Health - Media Literacy and Advertising

Advertising Appeals


Unit: Consumer Health

Topic: Advertising

Target Audience: College students

Objective: The students will identify common advertising techniques that are used to make advertisements appealing.

Introduction

In the health marketplace consumers should be wary of advertising and follow the principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). Intelligent health consumers must have the information and understanding that enables them to make wise decisions about health products and services and to avoid unwise decisions based on fraud, fallacies, and superstitions. In order to do this, students must evaluate more critically the advertising they encounter.

In the previous lesson the students will learn how to budget time and money effectively. In the next lesson, the students will identify consumer health resources, including where to complain or seek help when false advertising is encountered. The purpose of this lesson is to help the students evaluate advertisements for health products and services by identifying the various appeals these advertisements use to persuade people to make purchases.

Content

A. Advertising
1. Purpose is to persuade people to make purchases.
2. Uses insights from psychology and social sciences to manipulate consumer
behavior.
3. Designed to reach the subconscious mind where preferences can be determined by
factors that individuals may not be aware of..
4. Much of what people want is psychological rather than material.
5. Uses strategies based on motivation analysis.
6. Appeals
a. Bandwagon appeal - tries to convince you that everyone wants this product
and you should too.
b. Brand loyalty appeal - tells you that a specific brand is better than the rest.
c. False image appeal - tells you that you will be a certain way if you use
the product even though you really won’t.
d. Glittering generality - makes statements which greatly exaggerate the benefits
of a product.
e. Humor appeal - the use of a slogan, jingle, or cartoon to catch and keep your
attention.
f. Progress appeal - tells you that a product is a new and better product than one
you used to see advertised.
g. Reward appeal - tells you that you will receive a special prize or gift if you buy
the product.
h. Scientific evidence appeal - provides the results of survey of laboratory tests to
give you confidence in the product.
i. Snob appeal - tells you that you are worthy of this product because it’s best.
j. Testimony appeal - uses an endorsement by a well-known person who says a
product is the best one for you.

B. Intelligent Consumers
1. Need to be critical of advertisements
2. Must protect themselves by analyzing information that is provided
3. Must identify the appeals advertisements use
4. Must determine if advertisements are truthful or deceptive and misleading

Teaching-Learning Activity

A. Introduction [5 minutes]

1. Review the importance of money management.

2. Explain to the students that in the health marketplace, consumers must follow the
principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). This is because advertisements
use insights from psychology and social sciences to persuade people to make
purchases.
Explain to the students that campaign strategies use various advertising appeals to
manipulate consumer behavior and to be intelligent health consumers, we must
identify and evaluate such appeals.

B. Teaching Demonstration [20 minutes]

1. Distribute the handout about advertising appeals to the students (Appendix A).
Use the transparency of the handout as an instructional aide as you define the
advertising appeals (Appendix B). After defining the appeals, name 2 or 3
companies or industries and ask the students to think about their advertisements.
Have the students describe some of the advertisements they thought of as well as
the type of appeal that was used by the company or industry.

2. Explain the significant impact of television commercials on consumers, and then
show a videotape of television commercials. After each commercial, stop the tape
and ask the students to verbally identify the type of appeal that was used. Play at
least 5 commercials, but if time allows more than 5 may be shown.


3. Divide the class into groups of 3 to 5 people. Provide each group with 3 to 5
advertisements from magazines. The exact number of advertisements should be
based on time constraints and resource availability. For each of the
advertisements, the group should identify the primary advertising appeal used.

C. Conclusion [10 minutes]

1. Each group should select one advertisement to share with the class. A
representative from each group will show an advertisement to the class and
state the appeal that the group thought was used.

2. After each group representative speaks, facilitate discussion by asking if the
other groups agree or disagree with the selected appeal. If the other students
disagree with the appeal that was chosen by the group, ask them to explain
their reasoning and to say what they believe is the correct appeal.

3. Explain that advertisers will utilize more than one appeal in a single
advertisement in order to reach a larger audience.

4. Culminate the lesson, by asking the students why it is important to recognize the
advertising appeals, and how this knowledge will influence their future
purchasing decisions.

Evaluation Opportunities

A. Distribute the advertising identification quiz (Appendix C). Display five magazine advertisements. Have the students identify the advertising appeal used in each advertisement.

B. Administer the true/false exam on general consumer health topics. (Appendix D).

Materials & Resources

Magazine advertisements
Handout on advertising appeals
Transparency of advertising appeals
Video of television commercials
Advertising Identification quiz
True/false examination




Anticipated Problems and Solutions

A. Prior to the lesson, the instructor needs to examine the room to ensure that a television and VCR can be accommodated. If there is not a television and VCR already in the room, the instructor needs to make arrangements for them to be provided. If for some reason, a television and VCR can not be used, the instructor should select common television commercials and describe them to the class.

B. Confusion and difficulty can be caused when advertisements use more than one appeal. For this reason, the instructor needs to be flexible and allow for more than
one correct answer for advertisements when appropriate.

C. The instructor may have problems with the magazine advertisements not being big enough to be seen throughout the room. If this happens during the group activity, have the group representative pass the selected advertisement around the room or have the student walk around to the other groups to show the advertisement. If this
occurs during the advertising identification quiz, display the advertisements in different
locations around the room and have the students walk around the room to identify the
advertising appeals.

Bibliography

Akins, C., & Wallack, L. (1990). Mass communication and public health: Complexities and conflicts. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

Barrett, S. (January 4, 1997). Quackwatch. [On-line document] Available http://www.quackwatch.com/index.html

Breckon, D., Harvey, J., & Lancaster, R. (1994). Community health education: Settings, roles, and skills for the 21st century (3rd ed.). Gaithersburg: Aspen Publishers.

Cornacchia, H., & Barrett, S. (1993). Consumer health: A guide to intelligent decisions (5th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.

Meeks, L & Heit, P. (1992). Comprehensive school health education: Totally awesome strategies for teaching health. Blacklick, OH: Meeks Heit Publishing Company.

Wallack, L., Dorfman, L., Jernigan, D., & Themba, M. (1993). Media advocacy and public health: Power for prevention. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

Adapted from:

Meeks, L & Heit, P. (1992). Comprehensive school health education: Totally awesome strategies for teaching health. Blacklick, OH: Meeks Heit Publishing Company.



Appendix A

Advertising Appeals


Bandwagon Appeal
Tries to convince consumers that everyone else wants a product and they should too.

Brand Loyalty Appeal
Tells consumers that a brand is better than the rest.

False Image Appeal
Convinces consumers that people who use the product give off a certain image.

Scientific Appeal
Gives consumers evidence of a survey or test that proves the product is effective or
reliable.

Snob Appeal
Tells consumers that they are worthy of the best products or services.

Testimony Appeal
Uses a well-known personality to say that a product or service is the best.

Glittering Generality Appeal
Greatly exaggerates the benefits of the product.

Humor Appeal
Uses a slogan, jingle, or cartoon to keep consumers’ attention.

Progress Appeal
Tells consumers that a product is new and improved compared to other versions.

Reward Appeal
Tells consumers that they will get a prize or gift if they buy the product.








Appendix B

Advertising Appeals

Bandwagon Appeal: Tries to convince you everyone wants this product and you should too.

Brand Loyalty Appeal: Tells you a specific brand is better than the rest.

False Image Appeal: Tells you that you will be a certain way if you use the product even though you really won’t.

Scientific Evidence Appeal: Provides the results of survey or laboratory test to give you confidence in the product.

Snob Appeal: Tells you that you are worthy of this product because it is the best.

Testimony Appeal: Uses an endorsement by a well-known person who says a product is the best one for you.

Glittering Generality Appeal: Makes statements which greatly exaggerate the benefits of a product.

Humor Appeal: The use of a slogan, jingle, or cartoon to catch and keep you attention.

Product Appeal: Tells you that a product is a new and better product than one previously advertised.

Reward Appeal: Tells you that you will receive a special prize or gift if you buy the product.
Appendix C

Advertising Identification Quiz

Directions: Choosing from the list of advertising appeals on the right, write the letter of
the best response in the space next to the number which corresponds to the
picture with the same number.



Advertisement 1. __________




Advertisement 2. __________




Advertisement 3. __________




Advertisement 4. __________




Advertisement 5. __________







A. Bandwagon Appeal


B. Brand Loyalty Appeal


C. False Image Appeal


D. Glittering Generality Appeal


E. Humor Appeal


F. Progress Appeal


G. Reward Appeal


H. Scientific Evidence Appeal


I. Snob Appeal


J. Testimony Appeal







Appendix D

Are You an Easy Target?

Answer the following questions to the best of you ability. Do not put your name on this form. No grade will be assigned.

Circle the “T” if you think the statement is true. Circle the “F” if you think the statement is False. Circle the “DK” if you don’t know if the statement is true or false.


1. Quackery is easy to spot. T F DK
2. Personal experience is the best way to tell if something works. T F DK

3. “Alternative” medicine/methods have moved toward the T F DK
scientific mainstream.

4. Government agencies are the first line of defense against quackery. T F DK

5. Claims made by companies in TV and newspaper T F DK
advertisements must be accurate.

6. Consumers have a three day period in which to cancel T F DK
any purchase.

7. Consumers have a right to a full refund for any product T F DK
that is defective.

8. Money cannot be withdrawn from a bank account without T F DK
written authorization form the account owner.

9. A persons credit history is private unless permission is given T F DK
to make it public.

10. Generic products are always a better buy than name brand T F DK
products.

11. Buying items in bulk or quantity always saves money. T F DK

12. Advertised sales are not required to reduce the cost of an item. T F DK

13. Additional costs such as delivery fees, installation charges, T F DK
service fees, warranties, and shipping and handling should
be considered part of the total cost of an item.

14. The manner in which you use, service, and care for an item T F DK
may affect your warranty rights.

15. A company may issue an exchange or credit instead of a T F DK
refund for returned merchandise.


Are You an Easy Target?
(Continued)






16. Most Americans need more vitamins than the T F DK
Federal government recommends.

17. Vitamin and herb supplements are strictly T F DK
regulated for content and efficacy by the
Federal government.

18. Nutrition labels on food or diet products can not T F DK
be trusted because there is little similarity in
serving size or the use of words like “low fat”.

19. Commercial weight loss programs must meet T F DK
strict safety regulations.

20. Bottled water is certified by the government to T F DK
be pure and fresh if used by the expiration date.


Answer Key

1. F 6. F 11. F 16. F

2. F 7. F 12. T 17. F

3. F 8. F 13. T 18. F

4. F 9. F 14. T 19. F

5. F 10. F 15. T 20. F

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