Mar 21, 2010

Children and Advertising

vintage cereal ad

For the longest time my son use to ignore commercials on TV. Mainly because I didn't let him watch channels with a lot of them. Now that he is older and we are watching more documentaries, nature shows and such, he is seeing ads for all kinds of things.
It is somewhat surprising to me just what catches his attention, and I mean really catches it. So much so that if he hears one from another room, he comes running. I now get regular updates from him of just what new things we "need" right away!
  • I need to get better organized.
  • I need to lower my cholesterol (this may or may not be true, if I can ever afford health insurance, I may get that checked).
  • I need to get more sleep (don't we all).
  • We need a new car.
  • We need a vacation (maybe when I retire).
  • He needs a toy puppy that swims in the pool with him (he has a real dog that can do that).
  • I need to be a - insert big name store here - shopper.

As amusing as this sometimes can be, I also find it disturbing how fast he is sucked into the ads. Even though I have explained to him what TV ads are for and he gets the fact that they are just trying to sell something, anything to anyone that will buy it, he is still captivated by them.

Thank goodness they no longer have ads for cigarettes, but I also wish a few more categories were eliminated or at least not shown until after 8pm.

I'm sure I'll be having discussions about why I don't need to "regrow my own hair" or be ready anytime "the mood is right", with my five year old son any day now. I don't want him to grow up thinking there is a pill to fix everything.

We already have too many adults with that problem and based on the increasing numbers of "accidental" drug overdose deaths, clearly there is not a pill to fix everything.

*vintage art from Karen's Whimsy.com

3 comments:

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Oh, boy. I'm sure this time is coming soon for us too. I remember another blogger writing about how she was puzzled her son told she "needed to feel good about being a woman." And then she realized he had seen a Summer's Eve (or similar company) commercial on TV!

Lin said...

Oh, gees, all the ads these days are so crazy--I can't imagine having a little one watching!! Between the scary clips from TV shows and little blue pill ads, I don't think I'd ever let them watch TV after 5:00 p.m.!!

f4 network said...

kids are so susceptible to that kind of marketing. every year about 3 weeks from christmas it's always "i need that" at every commercial. and it only gets worse when they get older and "need" to be cool. breaks my heart.

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