Water: Articles and Activities for Middle School Students
Exercise II. Creating a Better Boating Commercial
You're a natural resources specialist at your local environmental agency. One of your jobs is to spread the word about environmentally responsible boating behaviors. With your production team, you create a television commercial that encourages boaters to behave in environmentally responsible ways.
Preparing Your Message
1. Message Content
List the environmentally responsible behaviors mentioned in the article that you want to include in your commercial.
2. Setting Up the Commercial
Discuss the setup of your commercial. How can you get the information out in a way that it is both interesting and informative? What setting are you going to use in your commercial? Who will your spokespeople be? (TV news people, boating enthusiasts, environmental agency personnel, or possibly a mascot you create to speak for your cause).
3. Planning the Media Campaign
Where will you show this video so that it will be most effective? At whom is the commercial aimed? What age group of people would be the best target?
4. Writing the Script
Now that you have thought through the message you want to get across, the setting of your commercial, and your targeted audience, you're ready to write your script. Be sure to include the behaviors you listed in question 1 and write so your targeted audience (determined in question 3) will find the message interesting and understandable.
How effective do you think commercials like this are? To support your conclusion, give examples of other effective or ineffective commercials designed to change people's behaviors. (For examples, Smokey the Bear, anti-drug commercials, anti-smoking commercials, etc.) Are there more effective ways to get boaters to be friendlier to the environment?
Practice your commercial and perform it before your class. Or if you have a video camera available, videotape your commercial. Use props, costumes, and interesting settings to make your commercial appealing. As a class, vote on the most persuasive commercial.