Advertisements can tell consumers about prices and other information that may help them in the decisions they make about what to buy. But students also should know that ads are slanted by sellers to show a product in the best light. This lesson reveals to students how advertisers use words and images to make goods and services look their best. To protect consumers and make sure that competition among sellers is fair in the marketplace, the federal government requires that factual claims in ads be backed up with proof. Still, it is usually okay for sellers to talk only about the positives and ignore the negatives of what they are selling. Another common trick is to use exaggerated claims called “puffery.” It is up to the consumers to separate factual claims from opinions and exaggerations. This lesson challenges students to create a set of tips that could help consumers to make this distinction. Being able to tell the difference between factual claims and puffery or opinions can help consumers to make smart choices and avoid market disappointments.
The role of government is to provide for the common defense, define and protect property rights, and enforce contractual arrangements. Throughout the 20th and early 21st century, government has increased its role in economic life. The role of government has expanded to address so-called market failures and externalities by expanding their regulatory reach to address environmental concerns, monopolistic competition and provide public goods. Governments have also introduced various social programs to provide a social safety net for low-income individuals and senior citizens.
Advertising is the primary tool used by businesses to tell consumers about the goods and services they sell in the marketplace. Businesses also use advertising to try to convince consumers to buy what they are selling. Advertisements do this by pointing out how consumers will benefit if they buy a product. These benefits are called incentives. In this lesson, these two basic functions of advertising are introduced. Various techniques used to achieve these objectives are also explained. During the assessment activity, students view television commercials directed at them. They identify the various advertising techniques used to grab their attention and convince them to buy.
The following lessons come from the Council for Economic Education's library of publications. Clicking the publication title or image will take you to the Council for Economic Education Store for more detailed information.
This publication contains fourteen lessons that use a unique blend of games, simulations, and role playing to illustrate economics in a way elementary students will enjoy.
3 out of 16 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
Designed primarily for elementary and middle school students, each of the 15 lessons in this guide introduces an economics concept through activities with modeling clay.
3 out of 17 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
This publication helps elementary students analyze energy and environment issues from an economics perspective.
3 out of 10 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.