Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Effect Of Advertisements On Children In Public Schools

Do advertisements in public schools affect student learning? In most schools there is some form of advertisement, even if we do no notice it everyday, it is there. From pop machines, to lunch room signs, to sporting equipment and posters. Advertisements in public schools have the potential to entice children to buy these particular products, or as is mainly the case, to entice their parents to purchase the products.

Placing advertisements in public schools in carefully chosen positions around the school can greatly influence how, when, where and for how long a student will view a particular advertisement. For example, putting advertisements in public schools on the wall of the lunch room will get a slight amount of attention from children; however it will not get as much attention as placing an advertisement inside the classroom. This is because children are often bored and "daydreaming" in class and their eyes may wander around the room. If there are advertisements in public schools around the room, the children often become distracted, and may train themselves into thinking they need that product that is being portrayed in the advertisement.

Advertisements in public schools can greatly influence the brands and products that students ask their parents to buy from them. A tactic that someone food companies take is to place advertisements in public schools in select spots around the school. When a student sees an ad for a particular brand of food, they are more likely to purchase that brand for lunch, rather than a brand that they are not familiar with or have not been exposed to advertisements in public schools for.

An example of this tactic is ice cream brands. One ice cream company may have advertisements children in public schools placed all around the school in tactical positions. These children eventually become aware of this brand of ice cream, and naturally they will choose this brand when purchasing an ice cream at lunch time. Even though there might be three or four other ice cream brands available, 9/10 kids will automatically and instinctively choose the ice cream brand that they are familiar with, simply because it rings a bell in their brain.

It is all about familiarity and brand awareness, and the big companies know this. If they can place advertisements in public schools at an early stage of a child's schooling life, the child will eventually become accustomed to this brand, making it a big win for the food companies.

Many parents are not happy about advertisements in public schools, however there is little they can do. Companies often pay schools to advertise within the grounds, and this is, money most schools vitally need to stay alive.