2012 BIG BOWL VOTE

America's Youth Have Voted!

Number of sixth through twelfth grade students across the nation participating in this year’s Big Bowl Vote: 40,000 (and counting)

Number of participating states: 42

Top 10 FAVORITE Commercials

Middle School Students (6th-8th grade)

1. M&M’s: Just My Shell

2. Doritos: Dog Buries Cat

3. Doritos: Sling Shot Baby

4. Bud Light: Rescue Dog Wego

5. Skechers: Dog Race

6. Coca-Cola: Fingers Crossed

8. Chevy: Apocolypse

9. VW: Dog Strikes Back

10. Dannon: John Stamos

High School Students (9th-12th grade)

1. M&M’s: Just My Shell

2. Doritos: Dog Buries Cat

3. Doritos: Sling Shot Baby

4. Bud Light: Rescue Dog Wego

5. Skechers: Dog Race

6. Chevy: Apocolypse

7. VW: Dog Strikes Back

8. Dannon: John Stamos

9. E*Trade: Fatherhood

10. Coca-Cola: Nice Catch

Top 10 Most RECALLED Commercials

Middle School Students (6th-8th grade)

1. Doritos

2. M&M’s

3. Bud Light

4. Coca-Cola

5. Pepsi

6. Chevy

7. NFL

8. Movie Trailers

9. GoDaddy

10. E*Trade

High School Students (9th-12th grade)

1. Doritos

2. Bud Light

3. M&M’s

4. Coca-Cola

5. Chevy

6. Pepsi

7. Skechers

8. E*Trade

9. VW

10. GoDaddy

Neilsen reports that a record-breaking 111.3 million viewers watched this year’s Super Bowl. Also, according to Neilsen, about half of those viewers likely tuned in more for the high-priced commercials ($3.5 million per 30 second slot) than the game itself.

While snacks beat out beverages and a candy treat took top spot, alcohol once again surfaced as a Big Bowl Vote favorite; appealing to both middle and high school students.

What does this mean? Research reveals that young people are drawn to advertising that features animal and people characters, tells a story and makes them laugh. If the target demographic for M&M’s is middle and high school aged youth, the advertiser was right on mark. What tween/teen wouldn’t appreciate a comedic chocolate character, who breaks into dance to, “I’m sexy and I know it,” a song that is all the rage among youth right now?

But what about the cute little rescue pup who fetches beer for his owner’s pool party guests? Wouldn’t the obviously savvy advertisers surely realize this too would be appealing to underage Americans?  Of course they did.

Does this mean more kids will now start drinking alcohol because they liked the ad? Maybe. According to a study where researchers investigated alcohol advertising to learn what makes it attractive to youth; the alcohol ads that young people found to be appealing were more likely to elicit responses from them saying they wanted to purchase the brand and products advertised.We also know that the more youth are exposed to alcohol advertising, the more likely they are to drink (drink to excess and drink more often). Research clearly indicates that while parents and peers have significant influence on a child’s decision to drink, so too does alcohol advertising and marketing.

“Though the Super Bowl itself is likely gone from most young people’s thoughts, the commercials will linger on, as they continue to pop up on our televisions and computers for months to come,” says Marcie Seidel, Drug Free Action Alliance Executive Director. “While we cannot possibly shield our children from every alcohol advertisement, we can make it a Teachable Moment, by helping them to decode the message through Media Literacy.”

Whether they are tuning in to their favorite TV show, listening to their iPod or socializing online, youth are flooded with a mix of media messages every day. Simply put, Media Literacy is the ability to read between the lines to recognize the influence of media messages. Children who are media literate can look and listen with a critical eye and ear, helping them to make healthier lifestyle choices and avoid the pressures fueled by media messages to drink, smoke or use other drugs.

PARENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO TRY THIS: Watch any TV show with your tween/teen. When the commercials come on, ask your child to pay close attention, then pose these questions to help decode the message:

·         Who do you think created this commercial?

·         What techniques did they use to get your attention?

·         What do they want you to do after seeing their message?

·         Would this be a healthy choice for you?

·         Do you think your health and safety are important to the ad sponsor?

·         How do you feel about it now?

Another great opportunity for a similar conversation is in the car with a captive audience. When an advertisement comes on the radio, listen together and then break it down to figure out the real message.

It doesn’t have to be an alcohol advertisement to be a learning experience. The key is to teach your child that no matter the product being promoted, there is an advertiser with an intended message. It is up to your child to think critically to interpret that message and apply it to his/her life appropriately.

For additional information and resources, please visit Drug Free Action Alliance atwww.DrugFreeActionAlliance.org.

Sources: DFAA Big Bowl Vote, Neilsen Company, Center for Media Literacy. M.J. Chen, J.W. Grube, M. Bersamin, E. Waiters, and D.B. Keefe, "Alcohol Advertising: What Makes It Attractive to Youth?," Journal of Health Communication, 2005.

Big Bowl Vote Contact: Michelle Morse mmorse@DrugFreeActionAlliance.orgwww.DrugFreeActionAlliance.org (614) 540-9985 x14

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