Serious Gaming: science communication about current advertising practices and technologies aimed at young people and the general public

Serious Gaming
01 January 2014 → 31 August 2017
Ghent University funding
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Communications
    • Communications technology
Project description

Advertising aimed at young people is everywhere. It is estimated that as many young people are exposed to 25,000 commercials per year (The Pelsmacker, Geuens & Van den Bergh, 2010). These advertisements can help young people to make informed choices, but young people need to have the capacity and the ability to process these messages critically. The persuasion knowledge model (Friestad & Wright, 1994) indicates that for that advertising literacy is required. Advertising Wisdom refers to the knowledge that individuals with regard to the use advertising techniques and strategies. However, this advertising wisdom is low for many of the new forms of advertising (eg. advergames, product placement, viral campaigns). These types of advertising are often integrated into the media content, interactive and therefore very popular, so, certainly inexperienced consumers, as young people struggle to recognize them as such. Due to their low advertising literacy, young people these advertisements are then consequently noncritical process and find unconscious influence instead of possible adverse effects (eg. Increasing materialism, dissatisfaction ...). To counter these negative effects unconscious, this project aims to inform young people about the scientific findings on contemporary advertising strategies, and this through a serious game. This game will be distributed both through schools and social media, surrounded by an effective PR strategy.