chapter  33
8 Pages

Media, advertising, and consumerism: children and adolescents in a commercialized media environment

ByMoniek Buijzen, Esther Rozendaal, Eva A. van Reijmersdal

In the first decade of the newmillennium, children and adolescents’ commercial media environment has changed dramatically. Advertisers have rapidly adopted new advertising techniques including branded websites, brand placement in video games, and viral marketing in social media (Buijzen et al., 2010; Calvert, 2008). Those new practices are fundamentally different from traditional advertising. Notably, non-traditional advertising practices typically rely on affect-based mechanisms and are often embedded within program or editorial content (Calvert, 2008; Wright et al., 2005), which may have important consequences for young people’s understanding and processing of advertising. Importantly, the affect-based and integrated commercial media environment poses new

challenges for young people’s advertising literacy (currently conceptualized as advertising-related knowledge and understanding). For example, when a commercial message is embedded within an “advergame” – an advertiser-sponsored online game – children may be less ready to process the message critically, and to resist its persuasive appeal (Owen et al., 2013). In this chapter, we review the state of the art of the international research literature on young people and persuasion, focusing specifically on today’s commercial media environment. We focus on three important themes: (1) persuasion processes, (2) persuasion and resistance, and (3) advertising literacy.