A week ago, I bought my first new car. The whole experience resonated with me as I read Funes (2008). What advertising initially drove me to purchase this vehicle?
As Funes (2008) notes, "consumer goods provide us with quality of life, security, personality, and independence" (p. 161). These characteristics are presented in the car ads, brochures, and posters that I had seen prior to purchasing the car. The car dealership and manufacturer seek to make the most profit out of my deal. Fuenes (2008) refers to this as control and manipulation (p. 161). This made me think about how much of a consumer’s decision making is influenced by large corporations who are seeking to take financial advantage.
In the classroom, such an experience can offer valuable insights to students. For one, presenting them with a car buy situation allows them to view ads and determine what features they find appealing. Furthermore, a study of advertising methods and teaching students to be critical of messaging can help them become more aware of the ideas that are being presented to them. In my own grade four class, I would invite students to bring in magazine or flyer advertisements related to products they wanted. Then together, we would analyze and evaluate what the company was doing to try and get people to buy their products. Such learning opportunities allow students to develop the skills they may need in order to help them with their own large purchase – like a car.
Funes, V. S. (2008). Advertising and Consumerism: A Space for Pedagogical Practice. In D. Silberman-
Keller, Mirror Images (pp. 159-177). Peter Lang AG.