Commercials in Video Modeling

Whenever I speak at a conference, I always try to make it to other professional presentations when I am there.  I adore this indulgence to my social skills training interests.  There are so many wonderful therapists and educators who have found great ideas and are willing to share with others!

At the ASHA conference in November, I was thrilled to go to a session that promoted many things about video modeling and social skills (which of course I love), but also talked about using television commercials.  The speaker specifically addressed Super Bowl commercials, which really sparked my interest.  As a less than enthusiastic football fan, I (for years) have LOVED watching the inventive, comical and sometimes outlandish commercials that cost millions to air on Super Bowl Night.  I am the one is shushing everyone when the commercials are coming next!

SO this wonderful speaker’s suggestions of their use in therapy spoke to me.  One example she gave was the Doritos Flying Baby commercial:

Besides the obvious social interaction of bullying, the non-verbal language cues in this commercial are outstanding to dissect with my students who have difficulty deciphering those cues.  The body language and facial expressions truly show the emotions of the characters who wear them.  We also can use this short clip to predict what would happen next, which really has the student using their critical thinking skills.

It also reminds me of the teasing videos in Social Skill Builder’s CD My School Day.  The same bullying theme persists, but this interaction also highlights the bystanders and their role in supporting the bully by laughing and pointing. Click on this link and select My School Day from the products list to watch this interaction:

In the program, the students are asked to not only identify what is going on, but also to figure out how to stop this.  By taking the viewpoint of the victim, the student can problem solve (without the emotional stress of being there) what is the best solution in this circumstance.

Other great videos that this speaker recommended were commercials from Sonic.  Here is an example of one that highlights “play on words:”

The misunderstanding between the two characters is comical, but also illustrates the necessity of understanding common idioms or sayings.  This is a great introduction to looking at those different kinds of words and what they mean in our language today.

Wherever we can find videos that highlight critical social interaction – whether it is in the award winning Social Skill Builder software or in commercials – we have the opportunity to illustrate key social concepts to our students.  With their gained familiarity and understanding to these, often common, situations we can offer assistance in preparing them for future social interactions.

Jennifer Jacobs



This entry was posted in Social Skill Builder on February 27, 2013 by