Overview: Students will have an opportunity to be an "adbuster" and to speak back at companies who make products that are unhealthy for young people, or who might make a fine product, but use questionable messages to sell the product.

Materials: TV/VCR, magazines (students could bring magazines from home), paste, scratch or colored paper, scissors and crayons, pens or paints.

In Affluenza, "Adbusters" use the energy and the message of an advertiser to express a very different point of view. They do this by using parody--taking an advertisement that is intended to be serious--and altering it to make fun of the product or the message.

Start video at the Buy Nothing Day commercial: "...the Average North American consumes five times more than a Mexican, 10 times more than a Chinese person and 30 times more than a person from India..." (about 20:88 on the counter)

Stop video after this scene: "... I feel that we are at the early stages of a second American revolution to reconsider this consumption binge that we've been on for almost half a century now. It's going somewhere along the line even the economists will come on board."(about 22:12)

Ask students cut out advertisements of their own. (You may wish to limit the advertisements to products like alcohol or cigarettes.) Invite students to identify key messages in an advertisement, for example, that cool people drink beer, or that smoking makes a person more adventurous.

Ask students to consider the following common arguments of advertisers from the book, Consuming Passions by Ellen Mohr Catalano and Nina Sonenberg:

If you use this product you will...

1. Join a wonderful group of people.

2. Feel appreciated.

3. Be rewarded.

4. Be held in high esteem by others.

5. Will have more love or sexual gratification in your life.

6. Will enjoy the adventure or escape that you want.

7. Will be more like famous or wealthy people.

8. Will be associated with success, humor, tradition or modernity.

9. Will find deep satisfaction.

And, if you do not use this product you will ...

10. Face social isolation or career failure.

11. Face failing health or death.

Ask students to alter the advertisements so they say the opposite of what the advertiser intended. For example, an advertisement for "Cool Beer" could be made to say "Fool Beer," or pictures intended to make smoking look adventurous could be altered to show people looking bored.

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