Media literacy: The beer bowl

Marin Institute, the self-described “alcohol industry watchdog,” is sponsoring a Free the Bowl contest which invites students aged 13-20 to submit their own anti-beer TV ads to bring attention to the overwhelming presence of alcohol advertising during the annual Super Bowl.

“Sound research and common sense tell us that the more often youth are exposed to alcohol advertising, the more likely they are to drink and drink to excess, says Marin executive director Bruce Livingston. According to Livingston, researchers estimate that 10.7 million underage youth drink alcohol and 7.2 million of them binge drink, at a cost of $60 billion annually. More than 30 million underaged youth will view the Super Bowl, says a Marin press release.

The Free the Bowl contest (rules here) offers prizes, including a 13″ MacBook with Final Cut editing software.It also offers opportunities to raise student awareness of media messages aimed at shaping their behavior. Frank Baker, a media literacy educator and consultant, has a page of ideas about Using Super Bowl Ads in the Classroom that will be updated throughout the Super Bowl season. Media literacy is also a 21st century skilland a curriculum standard in many states, and Baker’s Media Literacy Clearinghouse is an excellent resource.

The deadline for entries in the Free the Bowl contest is January 25, with winners announced on Super Bowl Sunday. Here’s a sample ad done by students, to help get your students’ ideas flowing.

Related categories: