Advertising is the primary tool used by businesses to tell consumers about the goods and services they sell in the marketplace. Businesses also use advertising to try to convince consumers to buy what they are selling. Advertisements do this by pointing out how consumers will benefit if they buy a product. These benefits are called incentives. In this lesson, these two basic functions of advertising are introduced. Various techniques used to achieve these objectives are also explained. During the assessment activity, students view television commercials directed at them. They identify the various advertising techniques used to grab their attention and convince them to buy.
Marketplace, a daily economics news program heard on National Public Radio, featured a story on January 8, 2002, titled "Microsoft Invades the Kitchen." In this segment, reporter Aaron Schachter describes consumers' enthusiasm, or lack thereof, for two new Microsoft products and explores the concept that the process of innovation and consumer response has in ongoing market development.
To get started, the students will read Lyddie, a novel by Katherine Paterson. The novel is set mainly in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s. In Lowell the main character, 13-year-old Lyddie Worthen, works six days a week, from dawn until dusk, running weaving looms in a murky dust-and lintfilled factory, trying to save enough money to reunite her family. In reading and discussing this fine novel, the students examine basic economic concepts and explore the growth of labor unions and the role of government in a market economy. Lyddie is published by Puffin Books and is available at Amazon.com. It is also available in DVD video format and may be purchased on line at Circuit City, DVD Empire.com and Overstock.com.
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Created as a supplement to existing middle school world geography and world history courses, the 5 units in this guide introduce students to the basics of global trade.
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