There’s More to the Super Bowl Than Just Football: Talking to Your Kids About Beer Ads


The Super Bowl is known for its commercials almost as much as it is for the game itself.  Yet the type of products being advertised and the audience viewing those advertisements are a cause of concern. Results from the Drug-Free Action Alliance Super Bowl Survey 2011 revealed that beer commercials were the second “most memorable”, according to middle and high school students. This falls in line with the studies that suggest alcohol companies are targeting youth in their 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.


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.


During the Super Bowl, use the commercials as an opportunity to teach children to read between the lines of advertisements, building their media literacy skills. 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.  Here are some conversation starters.


“What is this ad trying to sell you?”

“Is this product healthy for you?”

“How is this ad trying to get you to purchase their product?”

“How do you feel about the product now?”


Invite your middle or high school student to participate in this year’s Get In The Game survey.  Through a simple, two-question, student questionnaire given Monday morning following the Super Bowl, middle and high school students from across the U.S. share their impressions on what advertisements they remember seeing and which commercial was their favorite. The DrugFree Action Alliance will collect and summarize the data, and you’ll receive the results just days after the Super Bowl. For details, a toolkit, and the survey, visit



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Community Coalition for Healthy Youth

c/o Tompkins County Youth Services Dept.

320 W. ML King Jr./State St., Ithaca