The tobacco and alcohol industries are famous for their attempts to target teenagers, most of whom are too young to legally purchase their addictive products. By targeting young audiences, these industries hope to recruit a new generation of faithful customers, despite the potential harm that their products may cause. This video explores the phenomenon of targeting young consumers, and will surely be an eye-opener for students who may prefer to think that they’re not being manipulated by ads and media images. Whether they’re selling cigarettes or alco-pops, these industries are intent on convincing vulnerable teen consumers to risk their health and future by experimenting with these addictive and potentially deadly products. Targeted! unveils some of the most common “tricks of the trade” that tobacco and alcohol companies use to market their products. Follow-up activities in the Teacher’s Resource Book will lead students into a further exploration of the tricky realm of alcohol and tobacco marketing strategies.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
Columbus International Film & Video Festival: Bronze Award
This video explores how the tobacco and alcohol industries have targeted young people since the 1960s as consumers of their products, and how these industries use modern day advertising techniques to reach young people. The film goes over many of the advertising ploys of tobacco and alcohol companies, including advertisements in movies, convenience stores, and magazines that young people buy or visit, even though they are not supposed to be doing this after the legal upheavals of the 1998 legislation against tobacco and alcohol companies. The narrators, two young people, interview teenagers regarding how much they think these industries spend on advertising directed at them (4 billion dollars), and ask them to name three brands of alcohol (which all of them can do), and then name three U.S. vice-presidents (none of them can name even one). Research experts are interviewed as well, and show how these companies use unmeasured media (sponsored television events, cook-offs, musical festivals, and sporting events) to reach teenagers. Experts also indicate that alcohol and tobacco companies specifically target Hispanic and African-American youth as their most heavily-targeted groups.
This is an interesting video, and its appeal is that it is narrated and led by young people. This would be a good video to show to middle-school and high school students, to help them understand how tobacco and alcohol companies use media and psychology to make them life-long addicts to their products. The video comes with a number of teacher and student instruction sheets contained in a binder format, to assist teachers who use this video in the classroom.
- Brad Eden, Ph.D., Head, Web and Digitization Services, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)