Blog Entry 8: 2 Paragraphs on Advertising to Children

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Hi all:

As part of your preparation for paper 2, please write two or more full paragraphs giving your thoughts, reflections, response to the readings and discussion of advertising to children.

Also bring hard copy of these writings to class for purposes of discussion.

Thank you.


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I personally do not like the fact that advertisers are using sneaky techniques in order to persuade children to buy their products. They are paying “cool” children to wear their products around their peers so they see it as cool too and possibly go out and buy it. The idea of this is sad because the child wearing these clothes for money is not able to express himself through his clothes the way he really wants to and is simply being used as a walking advertisement.

Another way advertisers are being sneaky is that they are teaching children to nag their parents, also known as the nag factor. They finding out ways to make these children nag their parents for different products because they know parents will more than likely give in at some point. There are different reasons for the parent not getting something for their child, for example it may have to do with it not being suitable for them or maybe the parents simply don't have the income to pay for it. When either of these are the case, the parent has to say no to their child a billion times which can be frustrating and devastating to the parent. This can also cause tension between the child and parent which is something that should not be happening over a measly product.

What advertisers are also doing is putting up numerous ads on junk food and sugary products. They make them highly appeal to these children so they crave them, but the effects of it is awful. Children are increasingly becoming over weight or obese with the amount of obese children in America at fifteen percent (RD 93). The thing that bothers me the most about these scheming advertisers is the fact that they know exactly what they are doing the horrible effects it is having on these young children.

Children are now what every corporation is after to sell their products to. As Susan Linn states her article Consuming Kids, “…corporations are racing to stake their claim on the consumer group formerly known as children.” (63) As early as four years old children are being advertised to. Not only are they being advertised toys but they are also being advertised tons of unnecessary items. Some are items that children shouldn’t even be worrying about.

The advertisements children watch make them value items that do not deserve it. Growing up now children think that they will be judged on what possession they have instead of their personality. As Linn states “It aims to affect core values such as lifestyle choices: how we define happiness and how we measure our self worth.” (67) Children are being taught that is doesn’t matter how they act as long as they have material good to impress other people. Also they think that the material good will make them happy. Many commercials are aimed at making children happy. McDonalds has “happy meals” that attract children because aside from the fun commercials they also come with a toy. Some of the toys you can only find at McDonalds. This is not fair to parents who don’t want or cannot afford to pay for happy meals. This makes parents seem like the bad guys because they have to say no to their son/daughter.

Parents love their children. No parent wants to have to say “no” to their child on a daily basis. Corporations are actually teaching children how to nag their parents into buying them certain products. Advertisers have no problem with putting parents against their children the only issue they have is if this is an effective way to sell their products. “If advertising executives have any doubts about “pester power”, these seem to center on only whether it’s effective, not whether it’s ethical.”(81), states Linn. Corporations do have doubt but the only doubts are whether or not this will get their products off the shelves. Having kids nag their parents doesn’t bother them.

I think advertisements target the insecurity of everyone ranging from adults to children. Adults in society are full of fears developed from when they were just children, so there is no better tactic for advertisements than to begin an early grasp on those fears. This consumer society is only functional with actual consumers, so advertisements should not be entirely blamed for persuading children.

Parents should have the ultimate decision in their children’s exposure to convincing advertisements. When they chose to have children, they also chose the responsibility to nourish their children. It is their job to shelter their children from harming products because their been experienced those items before. The purpose of parents is to provide a brighter futures for the next generations and not to repeat history.

Advertisement surrounds kids everywhere they look now a days. From television, magazines and billboards. Walking down the street is almost impossible not to find some type of advertisement. Advertisement is now mostly aimed at children, knowing they will get the most business out of children. Children are the main target for advertisements mainly because children under the age of six cannot identify a commercial to a cartoon program, making them more vulnerable than adults. People blame parents for not taking care of their children's time viewing of television or educating them about advertisement and their intentions to seduce people to purchase their products even if they are not needed. I think parents could only do so much. Parents have busy lives, working long hours of a day, cleaning, taking care of the well being of their children, hardly gives them time to focus on the little things such as the television consumption of children. I personally blame advertisers. Besides bringing advertisers consumption by the nagging of the children who give their parents no other choice but to purchase the product, advertising also brings peer pressure to kids.

Since today's children are bombarded with advertisement everywhere they are, making it twice as hard for parents to control advertising in the lives of their children. Most advertisements are viewed by children through television. Since most parents spend their day at work or running errands, television is the cheapest source to keep their children out of trouble. Since many children in the United State have television set in their own room, they spend even more time viewing advertisement persuading them to buy a certain product bring a negative affect in a children's life."Advertising appeals to emotion, not to intellect, and it affects children even more profoundly than it does adults." Advertisements can affect a child's self esteem when they nag for a product and they do not get it. Making them feel "uncool" when other children have a certain product that makes them "cool".

"...legendary campaigns were aimed at adults, who presumably can bring a certain amount of information and judgement to their decisions about what's good for them. Because children are unable to employ such judgement, they are more vulnerable to marketing". Advertisement targets children rather than adults because they know children are more likely to bring more business to them because they do anything in their power to receive what they want, such as nagging their parents.

I feel total disagreement towards the way the media and the commercials advertise children. It's totally unethical and I believe the government is being hypocritical by allowing such injustice. I also feel disgust towards the fact that most of alcoholic beverages and tobacco commercials are aimed towards children. We all know that these are harmful substances, yet the government allows these companies to make profit out of the destruction of our future, our children.

Nagging, for example manipulates children's values and turns them into disrespectful individuals. By this means the companies, regardless of the damage, continue to sell products and expand their business to other areas. This is one of the reasons why the legal drinking age for the U.S is higher than other countries. I can't believe that our society has gone to this point in order to keep the capitalism going.

Advertisements should be regulated and the government should take into consideration that the makers these commercials are indifferent towards the viewer's health. It is also surprising how the parents from these children, being aware or ignoring the purpose of these advertisements allow their children to have a television in their room. about 60% of children have a television in their room nowadays.

It is interesting to see the effects of war on American society. What is shocking is the realization that human beings desire stimulation. Post World War I, Americans suffered from a withdrawal of excitement and climax provided by the involvement and level of sacrifice for the war. Coupled with the economy's recession and the prohibition of alcohol (another stimulant), no wonder American sunk into The Depression Era. Consequently, the creation of the new 1920s women promised "all the excitement you lacked in your daily life." Accompanying this image, are manipulative advertisements that legitimize individual's impulses for personal gratification. Here, you can see the shift in perspective from the selfless community to the self indulgent individual.

As Hollywood and other types of media increasingly advertised and promoted their ideals of beauty, the notion of social acceptability began to emerge as a social necessity. Among theses images is the "confident, sexually charged and irresistible women." Products were then promoted to make the women look "natural" according to ideals of beauty created by the media. In reality, we learn that these limited perceptions of beauty are in fact features of possessed by only a small percentage of people. Regardless, the development of social consciousness, awareness of the self and the other, is what feeds our hunger to be similar with our surroundings. Aiding and increasing our hunger to keep pace with our rising consumer culture is the manipulation of our low self-esteem and high anxiety of a socially constructed ideal appearance. As a result, our appearance becomes a fashion and personality statement.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Tingle published on April 28, 2011 8:43 AM.

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