(Columbus, Ohio) While the big game itself is old news, the commercials are not: the impact of Super Bowl advertising is in full swing. And according to the more than 40,000 middle and high school students nationwide, who participated in the Drug-Free Action Alliance Super Bowl Survey; alcohol ads were widely remembered and did place in the top five favorites among youth, as in past surveys.
NATIONAL Middle School High School
#1 Doritos: Hands Off Doritos: Hands Off Doritos
#2 Doritos: Shock Collar Doritos: Shock Collar Doritos
#3 Doritos: Stole Tim’s Doritos: Stole Tim’s Doritos
#4 Bud Light: Stranded: Budweiser: Human Bridge
#5 Bud Light: Clydesdale: Snickers: Betty White
Results based on over 30,000 middle and high school students within 38 states.
"It is refreshing to see youth choosing commercials promoting a snack product for their top three favorites, however, there were plenty of alcohol ads, and based on the survey, kids definitely took note of it," said Patricia Harmon, executive director for Drug-Free Action Alliance.
Not only did alcohol ads show up in the top five favorites, but when middle and high school students were asked about the products they remembered being advertised, alcohol was the second highest item recalled by both age groups (following closely behind food items).
"The concern is the influence of alcohol advertising on young minds," said Harmon. "Considering youth, under the age of 21, make up about 18% of the Super Bowl viewing audience, we know there are a lot of underage people being exposed to alcohol advertising."
Research shows that the more youth are exposed to alcohol advertising, the more likely they are to drink, drink more often and drink to excess. The effects of alcohol on developing adolescent minds and bodies can be devastating and long lasting.
Each day, 8,000 kids (between the ages of 12-17) take their first drink of alcohol. Those who begin drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol problems later in life. Alcohol is associated with a variety of risky behaviors including teen violence, car crashes and sexual assaults (among many others) and can cause permanent damage to the still developing adolescent brain.
Though it is unrealistic to think parents could possibly shield their children from all alcohol advertising, there is something parents can do; talk to their children. Research reveals that kids whose parents talk to them often about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs are 50% less likely to use.
"The next time your children are watching TV, we encourage you (parents) to sit down with them, making it a teachable moment. Use the commercials as an opportunity to teach your children to read between the lines of advertisements, building their media literacy skills," said Harmon. "It’s an easy way to bring up the topic of underage drinking and to encourage your children to make healthy choices and avoid risky behaviors."
Drug-Free Action Alliance is a not-for-profit organization that provides leadership to promote safe and drug-free communities throughout Ohio. Programs and initiatives include Know!, Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking, the Ohio College Initiative to Reduce High-Risk Drinking and Drug-Free 24/7. For more information, please visit us online at www.DrugFreeActionAlliance.org.
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