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Media Exposure Calculator for Students

digital marketing

TechnoKids recently released TechnoAd, in which students became digital marketers. In this project, high school students develop media literacy and video production skills as they plan, film, and edit footage to produce a video ad. To start, we wanted to create awareness of how much media exposure they experience.

Here is an extract from an assignment in Session 1 of TechnoAd called “You Are a Target!” The focus of this activity is for students to understand how media influences them. We want to teach them to become media savvy. As they become critical and analytic thinkers, they will recognize how advertisements are everywhere in their daily lives.

Advertising Is Everywhere

Today’s younger generation encounters more media content than ever before. Advertising appears in both in obvious and in hidden forms. Here is just a sampling:

Traditional Places for AdsBrand Logo on ObjectsDigital Channels
bus shelter
park bench
shopping bag
water bottle
key chain
USB stick
business vehicle
social media feed
search engine result
mobile apps
news story or blog
online game

How Many Ads Might You See in a Lifetime?

Students first reflect on all forms of mass media. They tally which types of media they encounter each day from this list:

  • network television
  • movie or show streaming service
  • radio station
  • music streaming service
  • website
  • social media
  • email
  • podcast
  • mobile app
  • video game
  • newspaper
  • magazine
  • blog
  • video channel

Then they add up the total number of media types experienced daily.

Media Exposure Calculator

Next, students use the total calculated above and insert it into the table below – types of media used daily. Since most types of media have ads, they multiply the media viewed per day by two, assuming that they see only two ads in each of those types of media each day. This is a conservative estimate! Likely there are many more ads than just two on any website, social media post, newspaper, or any of the others.

Then they complete the calculations to estimate how many ads they are exposed to in a lifetime! Although this may only be a rough guess, the purpose is to consider the massive amount of media that we consume.

media exposure calculator

Reflect and Conclude

As a final reflection on media exposure, have students consider:

Why is the number of ads you see in a day likely higher?

media exposure

The calculation and conclusions lead to the rest of Assignment 1 in TechnoAd. Students learn how they are a target audience, how digital channels track user information, and how advertisers attract their targets. This information is put to practical use when students create a video ad of their own in the project.

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