Most children have their first encounter with advertising messages while they are watching television. It is common for children to begin television viewing by the time that they are two years of age, long before they have developed the reading ability that is required to make advertising in print media accessible. Because children at this age lack the cognitive skills and abilities of older children or adults, they do not understand commercial messages in the same way as do more mature audiences, and hence they are more susceptible to the influence of advertising. A substantial body of research evidence documents age-related differences in how children understand and are affected by television advertising. Introduction
Although advertisements help us to become aware of the products in the market, they have their negative effects also. Children today are exposed to all types of advertisements on the various media like the television, print media and internet as well. In fact, everyone is bombarded by advertisements everywhere nowadays. Children in general are more susceptible and get easily influenced by advertisements. It is estimated that the average child views more than forty thousand television commercials each year, most of which are fifteen to thirty seconds in length.
Television impacts children the most as far as advertising goes. Many children as young as three years old recognize brand named products and clothing. When these children spend time watching so much television they cannot help but be influenced by it, and want what they see. These children become so obsessed with having what they see on television that they continue to hassle their parents until they get it. Some parents may even have trouble keeping up with the amount of money their child thinks that they need so they may have the newest products out there. These children that are watching more television, are going to want more toys seen in advertisements and eat more advertised food than children who do not watch as much television.
Advertising is meant to influence the minds of the target group that should ultimately result in a sale for the client.
Children are innocent and not so mature. When a marketer advertises a product on television, they do not understand that it is a business and their main aim is to sell. They do not understand that advertisers try to push their products and market in such a way that children want to buy it. Children take everything at face value and believe without a doubt the messages in the advertisements. Advertisements are made in such a way as to attract the attention of children. Advertisements encourage the children to persuade their parents to purchase the products shown in the commercials, whether useful or not. The little ones tend to get adamant, if they are not bought the product.
Research has shown that junk food advertisements influence children greatly leading to an increased demand for junk food by children. When children watch young adults in good shape eating junk foods in the advertisements they assume that it is good for the health. They do not know that junk food is not good for health. They are unaware of the fact that junk food does not contain nutritional value. They may even think that by eating these junk foods they might become like the thin and fit models in the advertisements. The research has shown that children increased their consumption of junk foods after seeing these advertisements. They are seen to be so influenced by these ads that they almost doubled their consumption of these unhealthy snacks and foods. Junk foods, such as pizzas, burgers and soft drinks, are heavily promoted during children's TV viewing time. This develops a craving for fatty, sugary and fast foods in kids, thereby affecting their health adversely.
Children may pester their parents for the products advertised. They may insist on a particular pair of branded jeans only and be against the...