Kids, Alcohol and Advertising - Lesson 4: Interpreting Media Messages Lesson Plan

Level(s): Grades 4 to 8

Author: MediaSmarts

Production of this lesson has been made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.


In this lesson, students investigate the importance of branding and messaging, especially as they relate to parity products such as beer and alcohol. Students explore the "3Ps" of brand messaging – personality, position and promise – by seeing how they apply to top selling brands of beer in the United States. Students study how consumers interpret and decide whether or not to act on media messages by applying the Media Message Interpretation Process Model to an advertisement for rum. And for homework, they conduct a "3P" analysis of three ads for alcohol.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate

An awareness of:

  • how alcohol companies use branding and messaging to attract consumers
  • the factors – including media messages – that may influence an individual's behaviour choices

An understanding of:

  • the differences between merit-based advertising and image advertising
  • how consumers interpret media messages

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) is available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.