After reading the advertising article -“Non-alcoholic beer instead of juice boxes”- about advertisements targeted at children, my interest was sparked. I instantly had to look up this so-called kid beer and see how it was being marketed to children…and with the slogan, “Even kids can’t stand life unless they have a drink,”.... I knew it couldn’t be good.
Here is a commercial for this Japanese beer; check it out.
Before I continue on, let me put out a disclaimer. Not all advertisements targeted at children are bad, but there are some like this one that just cross the line.
The fact that this looks like a Bud Light commercial is a problem. Targeting kids with a commercial of partying and drinking is sending the wrong message to our kids. Now this was obviously not aired in the U.S. but it is still scary to think one day it maybe could.
And although this is an extreme example, the increasing number of advertisements treating children like little adults is not. One of my closest friends is a elementary teacher. We just recently had a conversation about how she often has to remind herself of the maturity of her 2nd grade students. Sometimes they seem so grown-up but in reality they are still developing mentally and don’t see and reason things the way we do.
Advertisers should take that same consideration. Over the past few years there are have been tighter guidelines for ads revised by the Children's Advertising Review Unit but still some are saying it is not enough. And the amount of money companies are spending each year on advertising for children continues to grows at an enormous rate. Take a look at this CBS article for more details.
Part of this increased advertising is not just coming from the commercials children are watching, it is ads on the internet too. The explosion of this medium is opening big doors for advertisers to reach a younger audience even quicker. It will be interesting to see how advertising on the internet evolves and affects children.
I’ll leave you with this article that demonstrates the many outlets advertising is using to reach children.