Students investigate product information on toy and game packaging and explore how persuasive advertising techniques can sometimes be misleading. Note: During the lead-up to this module ask the parents to collect toy and game packaging to bring to school.

In this module students investigate product information on toy and game packaging and explore how persuasive advertising techniques can sometimes be misleading. During the lead-up to this module ask students to collect empty toy and game packaging and bring it to school.

Learning outcomes:

  • Students will examine and describe the factors that influence people’s purchasing decisions.
  • Students will describe how our choices as consumers affect our lives and the lives of others.
  • Students will recognise that there are laws and regulations that help to protect the consumer.

Key concepts:

  • Market
  • Choices
  • Goods and services
  • Financial decision-making
  • Laws and regulations
  • Consumer protection

Conceptual understandings:

  • People have rights and responsibilities as consumers.
  • The market provides a range of goods and services for people to choose from.

1. Toy and game packaging

Organise students into groups to examine the toy and game packaging they have collected. Have the students examine the packaging to answer the following questions:

  • What is attractive about the packaging? What words and images grab your attention first?
  • Who is the toy or game designed for? How does the packaging appeal to this audience?
  • What would you expect to find inside the package?
  • Do the text and the images have the same messages about what is inside the packaging?
  •  How old do you need to be to play with the packaged item?
  • What do you expect the toy or game to do?
  • Does the packaging explain how to use the toy or game?
  • Is there any safety information on the package? If no, do you think there should be?
  • What other information can you find on the packaging?
  • Is there anything on the packaging that could be misleading?
  • What questions do you have about the toy or game that is not answered on the packaging?
  • If you were the packaging designer, would you change or add anything to the packaging to make the toy or game more appealing?

Link to English

Have students demonstrate their understandings about advertising conventions by creating their own packaging for a toy or game.

2. Toy advertisements

Have the students search for toy advertisements on YouTube to explore the:

  • target audience – who is the advertisement trying to reach?
  • descriptive language – what words or phrases are used to describe the toy?
  • persuasive language – what on-screen words are enticing and attention grabbing?
  • special effects – does the advertisement use animation, lighting, or sound to make the toy more appealing?
  • deceptive content – does the advertisement mislead viewers or leave out important information?
  • personal response – do you want to buy the toy or game? Why or why not?

Link to English

Have students demonstrate their understandings about advertising conventions by writing a script and creating a storyboard(external link) for their own video advertisement for a toy or game. Toy advertisements are typically no longer than 30 seconds, so students needs to deliver their messages in an efficient and powerful way. Find a range of storyboard templates(external link) online.

3. Money maths

Have the students examine how the prices of goods are presented in a range of print and online advertisements. You might want to extend this lesson beyond the toy and game industry to examine supermarket and department store pricing strategies. These shopping websites share advertising specials through their web pages or online brochures:

Ask the students to identify ways that prices are presented to consumers. Discuss how phrases like “up to 50% off” and “prices from” are designed to draw consumers in. Have them examine a brochure or website to analyse the prices of goods.

  • What words or phrases are used to promote the prices of goods?
  • What information is written in a large font size?
  • What information is written in a small font size?
  • What special deals are on offer?
  • What do you think is the best deal advertised? Why?

The LEGO® decision

Introduce this exercise in calculating prices to your students.

Your three LEGO® mad cousins are coming to stay and your mum wants to buy them a small set of LEGO® each as a gift. The LEGO® sets have a recommended retail price of $18.00 each. Which of the different shopping deals below do you think will give you the best price for three sets of LEGO®? Calculate the total price for each offer to find out. Were you surprised by the result?

  • Buy one, get your next one half price.
  • Buy two, get the third free.
  • 20% off storewide.

Link to mathematics and statistics

Have students work through a range of math’s problems focused on money, including the application of percentage discounts to prices. This will equip them with the skills and confidence to calculate the costs of goods in real-life situations.

4. What a disappointment!

Distribute copies of the What a Disappointment Scenario (Appendix D) below to the class. Read it together as a class or in small groups.

Appendix D - What a Disappointment [PDF, 847 KB]

Have the students:

  • consider the consumer rights that apply to Joe’s story.
  •  record the events of the story in a timeline.
  • list the actions Joe took.
  • discuss the lessons that can be learnt from Joe’s experiences.

Have the students think of a time when they were misled through advertising. They can recount their stories to a partner. With their new understandings about consumer rights and advertising strategies, what steps would they take to deal with the situation if it happened now? How could they avoid the same situation happening again?

Note for teachers

Stories about faults with toys and games appear in the news regularly. You might want to use a more recent news story for module 4, activity 4 or ask students to find their own news stories about faulty toys to share with the class.

home learningLinks to home – Students can compile a list of tips to share with their families and whānau to help them become info-smart consumers.

Word wall

Vocabulary for module 4 includes:

  • advertising
  • appeal
  • target audience
  • special effects
  • persuasive language
  • discount
  • faulty goods
  • misleading advertising
  • deceptive content.