The Influence of Advertising

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What is the Influence of Advertising on our children today? The influence of advertising on our lives, for both our children and us, for many years the influence of advertising has changed. Some people may remember when the advertisements of toy companies were directed at the adults instead of the kids, hoping that the adults might buy the products. Today’s advertisements have changed. Advertisements are more pervasive, sophisticated, and are now aimed directly at getting kids addicted to “products” at a very young age (Marconi, JM.). This goes to show that advertisers have realized that it is better to go right for the person who the product is for and not for the person that will be buying it for someone else. So how has advertising changed over the years; the target, the messages, its prevalence, and pervasiveness? Lets find out about the influence of advertising on children and what you can do to counteract or avoid it. What is the prevalence of advertising in our children’s lives, there have always been advertisers who market to children. Clearly products such as toys and treats have been around since before our grandparents were kids. Just as today, those who made such products developed advertisements to promote them to an interested audience (Beder p101-111). Many years ago however, it was a bit easier to recognize what was an advertisement and what advertisements were limited to displays in a store, a newspaper ad, or a brief spot on TV or radio. Today however, half of the clothing that kids wear includes an advertisement of one sort or another. The influence of advertising is increasingly far reaching. Today, ads are much more pervasive and less recognizable as a sales pitch. For instance, while eating at a favorite child’s fast food restaurant, a child may receive a toy. That toy may also be tied to a movie, a cartoon, a video game, or to a website that offers additional games, toys, or related products. Books, clothing, cars, and more are all tied to the same theme. There are a limitless number of products that are then presented to the children these ads for children, just as those targeted toward adults, create a need where none existed before. They also hook children, and their parents, into an endless loop of buying more and more products. Advertising is no longer limited to store displays, radio and TV commercials, and newspaper ads. Some children’s books are developed for the primary purpose of marketing. Movies, cartoons, video games and more are also developed for the purpose of marketing additional products. As we are bombarded with ads from every direction, even as adults these games, movies, children’s meals, websites etc. are some what recognized as the mere marketing methods that they are. With increased prevalence, the influence of advertising has grown enormously (Effects of advertising directed towards children 2010). So what other factors increase the influence of advertising on our children. Children today watch far more television than children did in the early days of TV. They are online now to where advertising is prevalent as well. The influence of advertising has permeated much of what our children do and see. The media family page indicates that the average American child views over 40,000 television commercials each year. This doesn’t even cover some of the more subtle advertising such as the use of specific products in the shows that kids watch (Walsh, D.W 2010). More and more children spend time online as well. The marketing to children paper that I found discusses the fact that marketers are targeting children as young as four years old via the Internet, often with the parents being unaware. Clearly, many parents have concerns about the amount of marketing and the pervasiveness of advertising messages directed toward children. However, there is another disturbing trend that has emerged in recent years; the promotion of “adult type” products to children. Vehicle manufacturers...
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