Teaching children to resist adverts and apps

Since the advent of digital marketing, online ads and in-app purchases have been causing headaches for parents. Children are able to make in-app purchases and opt-in to marketing campaigns without their parents’ knowledge or permission.

SND14-wk1-Apps resistance 300x225Start-up company AdzJab aims to “immunize” children against ads and in-app purchases by teaching them to think before they click or tap. This platform is likely to be a welcome relief to parents, who are apprehensive about their kids playing on laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other computing devices.

Even educational apps and games include these in-app purchases and advertisements, which makes it easy for a child to unknowingly accumulate a large bill at their parents’ expense.

Many apps target children to spur business. In 2009, almost half of the top-selling apps targeted young children, and 80 per cent of top-selling educational apps in the iTunes store target children.

Recognising a need for a service that trains children to avoid upsells, in-app purchases, and opt-ins, AdzJab was founded to teach youth how to think before they click or tap on an opt-in or in-app purchases. The platform will also evolve to a service that can be embedded into any app aimed at young children ages three to seven years old. Then, AdzJab will release the code so that any developer will be able to use the code in their own apps.

Using a game-like format, AdzJab uses fake social media profiles and other environments to teach children not to engage ads. First, the child can upload a picture of his or her favourite toy. Using cutting-edge psychological methods devised by the project’s psychology expert, AdzJab conditions children to avoid certain elements. Thereby, certain behaviours can be learned. In this case, children learn how to avoid in-app purchases and advertising on a psychological level that creates a permanent effect.

Not only does this platform assist parents now, but AdzJab will help children learn how to how to deal with various marketing and selling strategies for the rest of their lives.

More information about AdzJab, including videos of the program’s prototypes, is available at 

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