Young vloggers make teens advertising literate

1024 577 Gerda Van Damme
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Within the framework of the AdLit project, ten Flemish teenage vloggers will make other teenagers aware of subtle advertising forms and messages.

About vloggers, followers and advertising

Every vlogger went to work with the concept of advertising literacy, which refers to the knowledge and skills consumers need to critically process advertising. This is especially important for new subtle forms of advertising. One example of subtle advertising is advertising made by vloggers, who are also referred to as influences.

Vlogs, spread via YouTube, are popular amongst teenagers. Around ten years old, teenagers start following popular vloggers, who are often just a little older than themselves. The close connection teenagers have with these vloggers, who are familiar with their own living environment, make them reliable brand endorsers.

Vloggers are contacted and paid to promote brands in their vlogs. This can be done by subtlety integrate a brand (e.g. while vlogging eating a chips from brand X) or even by explicitly reviewing the product. Popular vloggers with many followers can earn a significant amount of pocket money. The most popular minor vloggers in Flanders, Mojo on PC and Acid have approximately 1.000.000 followers and earn a nice allowance per brand integration. They are assisted by professional companies which manage minor vloggers.

Advertising and recognizing its effects

Followers do not always understand that vloggers are being paid for brand integration, and that subtle advertising can cause unconscious advertising effects. By sending the vlogs about advertising literacy, vloggers assist their followers to critically process this type of advertising. At the end of each clip, the teenagers are invited to go gaming to increase their advertising literacy (www.reclamewijs.ugent.be).

“The vlogs teach youngsters that there are subtle forms of advertising that influence unconsciously. In addition, these vlogs stimulate children to be critical about this type of advertising”, explain Prof. Liselot Hudders and Prof. Verolien Cauberghe from the University of Ghent. In the vlogs, both positive and negative aspects of advertising are discussed. For examples, the vloggers recognize that advertising can be useful, but often very subtle, disguising the commercial aspects.
In total, ten vloggers participate in this advertising literacy campaign, good for a range of 70.000 youngsters. Yo Ellen Hier, Live Like Floor, Bakuna Fatata, Kerelz, ItsWoutie, Just Ice TV, Yolan Mees, Gevas, Just Nicolas en Zaka give their own view on advertising literacy. This is done in their own typical style. The following two weeks, the vlogs, made by these teenage-“stars”, are send tot heir followers.
Live Like Floor and Bakuna Fatata are the first to launch their clip on YouTube.

Bakuna Fatata: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx7KnhWRrPs
Live Like Floor: www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2a6gj_XcKg

Info and article: Adlit – www.adlit.be

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Gerda Van Damme

All stories by: Gerda Van Damme

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