Lesson 1

National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Active Involvement in Creating High School Substance Use Prevention Messages

How Persuasive Strategies Work

  • The YMD curriculum begins with an introduction of media and advertising.
  • By introducing advertising costs during a popular event, the curriculum includes examples to engage students in a brief discussion about the cost of a 30 second Super Bowl ad including recall of ads that students remember from the recent Super Bowl.
  • These discussions are designed to engage students and encourage participation early in the workshop.
  • Next, the curriculum moves into the first goal, to identify claims used by advertisers to promote their product. This goal emphasized increased awareness of persuasion strategies utilized by advertisers, and encourages students to identify how advertisers adapt to target audiences.
  • Before beginning the lesson, the students are organized into small groups (4-5 students) and are asked to choose a leader and an ad coordinator.
  • The section introduces target audience and persuasion strategies used to frame the advertised product.
  • Four commonly used persuasion strategies discussed (with particular emphasis on alcohol and tobacco advertising) included: endorsement, glamour/sex appeal, having fun as one of the group, and humor/unexpected.
  • Each strategy is introduced, explained through illustration, and students discuss potential challenges with using these strategies.