Leap #2 Hooks in the Water- Social Media baits

“We don't know who discovered water, but we know it wasn't the fish.” ― Marshall McLuhan

In my LEAP #1, I referenced the McLuhan metaphor as a reminder of the methods, illusions, and ends of media messaging. As media literacy educators, we like to think about how we are more resilient against the forces of persuasion from traditional print and television advertising; however, this is not the current reality. The allocation of advertising money and resources into social media advertising has surpassed traditional spaces. Before we can teach these techniques, we must dive into the water and look at the bait chummed uniquely to us. In LEAP #2, Scott and I took the bait and scrutinized our social media feeds to better understand how the ads attempt to hook us so that we can better explain these methods to our students.

Baiting the Hooks

During our 1st phone call, Scott and I established some ideas about how to chum the water to see how the social media ads would come after us. The first idea was to search Disney through all of our normal social media interactions. It did not take long for us to realize that a casual search for a dog collar or using an Adobe product, that our social media had us carved up into unique consumer profiles.

Brian's Hooks

Scott's hooks

The LEAP #2 assignment turned out to be a little more-eye opening than I think either Brian or I had anticipated. Deciding what bait to use to or what SM sites to chum was the easy part. It was interpreting the results that was much more difficult. We both certainly got bites on the bait we set out,but it was more my reaction to the ads that had me concerned. Even though I intentionally chummed on SM expecting to get bites for Disney trips, European vacations, etc., the trips and deals started looking pretty good, and it was difficult to not fall for my own traps! The persuasive nature of the ads is very powerful and even more so when it is targeted to match your consumer profile.

Collaborate & Listen

Scott and I talked on the phone several, PM'd during Zoom, e-mailed, and shared an initial calendar of ideas to start our project. We had such a fun idea that collaboration came easy. The week extension really allowed the "research" to evolve and gave more space to reflect upon our on-line behavior and its advertising consequences. Had LEAP #2 be due last week, I think we would not have experimented with the aesthetic potentials of Spark and Powtoon.


Created with images by mirandableijenberg - "fishing rod hooks" • Malte Wingen - "The hands of a fisherman" • PatternPictures - "fish carp pattern"

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