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A Kid's Guide To How Internet Ads Work

This animated lesson is meant to keep kids scam-free while online.

A Kid's Guide To How Internet Ads Work

It’s pretty easy these days to spot, and ignore, a targeted Internet ad. I know those snow boots are only being offered up to me because I did a search for them yesterday. Not subtle, Internet.

Even still, online advertising is a wildly complex system that even an adult user struggles to process without this handy interactive. So what about the millions of kids who plug in to the Internet every day? How can an eight-year-old—who may only be online for the games—resist the temptation of that pop-up ad announcing his mega-millions win?

This two-and-a-half minute animation, by illustrator Dominic Owen and animator Will Samuel and commissioned by the Internet Advertising Bureau in the U.K., is designed to teach kids about the perils of Internet ads. "When you do spot an ad, think about what you're seeing, why you're seeing it, and if it's true," says the narrator. (Hint to kids: probably not). The whole video is quick, playfully juvenile, and even mentions cats on skateboards—in short, everything a lecture from a concerned parent should be.