An online portal gives students access to several interactive lessons on the five clues one needs to decipher advertisements. Each lesson builds on the previous, concluding with the student building their own counter-ad using the skills they learned throughout the program.
Media literacy education aims to empower children with the skills they need to draw their own conclusions about advertisements, particularly those with misleadingly positive messages about alcohol and tobacco. Media Detective participants have found the journey from being passive to active media consumer to be intellectually stimulating. To be sure, this is but one element in what must be a multi-faceted approach to the problem of youth substance abuse, but it is one that is designed to engage young people and spur them to action.