Marketing to Teens: Gotta Have It! Lesson Plan

Level(s): Grades 8 - 12

Author: MediaSmarts

Length: 60 minutes, plus time for the assessment task

Reading icon from the digital media literacy framework.Consumer Awareness icon from the digital media literacy framework.Making and Remixing icon from the digital media literacy framework.

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.


In this lesson students identify how we associate social status with  brand name products, and how we believe others perceive us by what we wear. Students will also explore the notion of “brand identity” and how companies use social networks, and advertising strategies to create parasocial relationships with their consumers. To assess their learning, students then independently analyze the identity of a brand of their choice and create a mock ad that more openly communicates its implicit appeal. 

Learning Outcomes

Students demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the links between status, consumption and advertising
  • an awareness of our own feelings and perceptions regarding what advertisers tell us we ‘must have’.
  • an awareness of how brand identities are created and what effect they have on consumers 
  • an understanding of different advertising strategies used by brands to draw in a target audience

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