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Co-creating advertising literacy awareness campaigns for minors

Kristien Daems (Marketing Department, Faculty of Applied Economics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium)
Ingrid Moons (Marketing Department, Faculty of Applied Economics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium)
Patrick De Pelsmacker (Marketing Department, Faculty of Applied Economics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 18 April 2017




This study aims to explore which media 9- and 10-year-old children and 12- and 13-year-old teenagers encounter and which campaign elements (media, spokesperson, appeal and message) are most appreciated by these target groups in awareness campaigns to raise their advertising literacy.


The study applies a methodology that is commonly used in design sciences to the field of advertising. Co-creation workshops with minors and professionals are used for the development of awareness campaign stimuli. In the first study, four co-creation workshops with 19 children (11 girls and 8 boys) of the fourth grade and four co-creation workshops with 16 teenagers (10 girls and 6 boys) of the seventh grade were organised. In the second study, nine professionals who work for and/or with minors or have experience in product design or marketing participated in a co-creation workshop.


Children are best approached though traditional media, whereas social media are used best to reach teenagers. Children prefer cartoons, whereas the results for the most appealing spokesperson in teenagers are mixed. Humoristic campaigns with a short message are preferred by both target groups.

Research limitations/implications

The results offer implications for practice and public policy with respect to awareness campaign building and social media marketing campaigns targeted at children and teenagers. To further corroborate the findings of this study, more pupils from different schools and different age groups should be studied. Moreover, the method used in this study can be applied in future research on awareness campaigns aimed at minors for other causes.


The methodological contribution of the study is the application of co-creation tools and techniques on the development of advertising campaigns for minors.



This study was conducted as a part of the AdLit interdisciplinary research project and funded by Vlaio (Flemish agency for innovation and entrepreneurship). We would like to thank the participating school and the students of the Faculty of Product Design Sciences of the University of Antwerp for their help.


Daems, K., Moons, I. and De Pelsmacker, P. (2017), "Co-creating advertising literacy awareness campaigns for minors", Young Consumers, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 54-69.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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