Deconstructing Cigarette Ads in a Counter Advertising Workshop

Frank Baker,
media educator


Preferred Length: 45-90 minutes; reading plus activity may require more than one class period

McRel National Standards:  Advertising   Language Arts/Media   Viewing   Health

English Standard Correlation: identify the persuasive techniques used; analyze advertising and determine fact vs. opinion;

Social Studies: The role of tobacco in South Carolina’s history

Health Standard Correlation: analyze advertising and marketing techniques as it relates to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Additional Lesson Plan: Tobacco Advertising In Canada

Target Grades: 5th-12th grades

Objective/Purpose: Introduce students to cigarette advertising as a form of persuasion; identify how ads target them; what techniques are utilized; learn how to ‘deconstruct’; introduce concept of counter advertising; working in teams to create their own anti-ad or parody; creates awareness of persuasion/manipulative techniques

Vocabulary:   deconstruct   media    persuasion   manipulation  “product placement”   parody   “target audience”   “counter advertising”

Materials required: magazines (Glamour, US News, Newsweek, Time, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, Bow Hunter, Ladies Home Journal, Hunter, Outdoor Life, Popular Mechanics, and Sports Illustrated) which contain cigarette ads (or download posted ads below) scissors, glue stick, Scotch tape, crayons, markers, 8 X 11  paper

NOTE: Best Practice: Counter Advertising (Tobacco Specific)
This research says: “Advertising links tobacco use with peer acceptance, success, and good times. Media messages that promote negative images about tobacco use, reveal the number of teens who actually use tobacco, and address the unacceptableness of tobacco use should help change these perceived norms.”

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