On Kid Kustomers

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In Eric Schlosser’s article, Kid Kustomers, he demonstrates how child advertising has developed by the tactics marketers use to get children to want and demand certain companies’ products. The big boom in child advertisement began in the 1980’s. Working class parents had to spend more time at work, so this meant less time at home with their children. They made up for for the loss of family time by spending more money on their children. According to Schlosser, many industries started to pick up on parents’ excessive money spending on their kids, so they decided to focus more of their advertising on children. Findings such as the above mentioned can be supported just by reading through endless numbers of marketing journals and articles that are dedicated to focusing advertising towards children.

The most compelling and concise evidence demonstrating the depths advertisers will go to market to children appears in “The Corporation”, a 2004 documentary by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbot. The film explores the world of big business through interviews with many corporate insiders, including VP of Initiative Media Worldwide; Lucy Hughes. Initiative Media Worldwide is a marketing firm who’s clients include some of the biggest corporations in the world. In addition to being the VP of the aforementioned company, Hughes is also the creator of The Nag Factor, a study conducted in 1998 to help corporations get children to nag for their products more effectively. The Nag Factor study found that between twenty and forty percent of the time a purchase would not have occurred if the child didn’t nag. In her interview, Hughes goes on to explain,” They (children) are tomorrow’s consumers. Start talking to them now and you’ll have them as adults.” The importance of children as targets of marketing is also evident as Hughes describes tactics including the use of child psychologists,” The more insight you have about the consumer the more creative you’ll be in your communication...
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