The FTC Gives Tweens an “Ad-ucation”

May 12, 2010

By Cara Brooke Schultz

Can a video game be used as an educational tool? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would like to think so. They recently developed a new campaign—an educational video game—to educate kids about marketing and advertising. The FTC launched this campaign for three main reasons: to raise awareness of advertising messages among children ages 8 to 12; teach critical thinking skills that will allow tweens to analyze and interpret advertisements; and demonstrate the benefits of being an informed consumer.

The FTC is hoping that not only will this video game help “ad-ucate” young consumers, but that it will help to enhance critical thinking skills.  The campaign’s website gives teachers educational tools to help raise advertising awareness among students. For example, teachers can download a lesson that invites students to explore what advertising is, what ads do, and who’s responsible for the messages being projected in the ads.

The video game isn’t the most graphically enhanced, and with all the video-entertainment out there for tweens, I’m not sure how this will effectively hold their attention (although I’m sure they will find this video game more enjoyable then any old lesson plan).  However, I think it’s a great concept, tweens should understand advertising and anything that helps to generate critical thinking skills is a plus! Test out your ad-skills at admongo.

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