The ever expanding markets for goods and their unchallenged assault through advertisements are flooding the society with information and ideas, attitudes and imagery which is difficult to control and assimilate.
This is affecting the young minds to a great extent especially when entertainment is interspersed with commercial messages. Adults may be able to develop a rational resistance to this onslaught, but children may not.
The children of non-TV age did not take advertisements seriously. They heard commercials on radio, read advertisements in comic books, children's magazines and outdoor posters. On the whole, adults as well as children cared little for advertisements.
Television changed people/Es perception of advertisements.
For the TV advertiser, children are a very attractive target group to be cultivated. They become a pressure group on parents and parents often succumb to children's demands. Sometimes it takes a form of emotional blackmail.
They are not buyers. According to Wadwalkar (1990)," children are parasite consumers." But, children are potential buyers. They will grow up watching certain brands and kinds of products on television.
Long repetitive exposure causes familiarity. In mass communication, familiarity is rightly considered a prerequisite for persuasion and control, and repetition a principle of persuasion.
TV advertising for children is an investment for the future too. When they turn into buyers they are already oriented towards buying certain brands and kinds of products.
Wadwalkar says, that by taking messages to children, the TV advertiser, at one stroke, has widened the decision making base in the family. No more could adults entirely dictate the purchase of all the different kinds and brands of products. Children cannot be kept entirely out of such decision making.
This concerns not so much the quantum of planned purchase, but the occasional, repeat and impulsive purchases.
Children are fascinated by TV advertisements. They react to these glamorous, fast paced visuals on TV with their exciting music and their determined sales pitch. TV advertising has entered into daily life- of children.
It colors their conversation and play as they speak to one another using slogans, jingles etc. of advertisements. Almost every advertisement that appears on TV contributes to their vocabulary.
Advertisements, being short are ideally suited to the concentration, span of even young children. TV advertisements get repeated with such regularity that children learn them. They are in this respect perfectly tied to early learning process.
Advertisements put together a series of rapidly changing exciting, visuals to highlight a product. They may not be able to grasp the full meaning of the scene but the focus on the product leaves enough impact on them.
In an article on 'Children and Advertising, Dr.Yadava, Director, IIMC (1989) described how advertising influences behavioural patterns:
"Television advertising familiarises the young ones with the world outside and helps them to pick up its mode of expression, its mannerisms and ways of facing it when they grow up. Stimulated feelings of needs and desire tend to occur in the form of powerful imperatives.
The intensity with which children experience desire and their inability to assign priorities and accept delays in satisfying them is the common experience of most parents. When these urges remain unfulfilled, such children may grow up with lots of resentment against their parents and the existing social set up.
Advertising aimed at children in India is not quite so precise yet, but it's getting there. According to Nabankar Gupta the director of sales and marketing, Videocon, "The under 16 age group is extremely important for the consumer durable business as they are major influencers in deciding on the product as well as the brand."
Children of this age group are more knowledgeable about product benefits than the...
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