Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Protect The Kids

Namisha Rakheja

Advertisements; we love them, we hate them, we laugh at them and, mainly, we search for the quickest way to skip them.

The purpose of advertisements was originally to promote your company’s product and get people to buy it, simple. However, now the purpose of advertisements is to simultaneously manipulate, harass and intrigue the viewer to yearn for your product.

I’m not even going to lie, the other day I was watching T.V., minding my own business, until a Kit Kat commercial came on. The annoying, crunching, catchy tune was blasting from my television screen while kids in the commercial were trick-or-treating, enjoying their Kit Kats.  A few minutes later, I couldn’t focus on my show because I started craving Kit Kats. I was so upset because it was ten o’clock at night and there was no way I could’ve gotten a Kit Kat, even though I purchased a bar the next day. This is exactly what the issue is and I am ashamed to say that they got to me.

As delicious as Kit Kats are, they are bad for us, especially young children. In a nation that is known for its obesity, advertisers manipulating our children into wanting junk food are not what we need. This goes for many products. Advertisers know what they’re end goal is (to sell their product) and they will not stop until they get it.

Image from: Google

No matter how much you try to tune out commercials, they are everywhere! If you see something 17,000 times a day being promoted on your Facebook wall, your T.V. screen, your Google page, it is inevitable that it will sink into your subconscious.

Blogger, Matthew McPartland, wrote in his blog titled, Why We Could be Hurting Children’s Futures, All advertisers need to be evaluated on if their ad is ethical or severely detrimental to children’s well being”. Children pick up on anything quicker than adults so for a child to view about 40,000 ads on television alone (Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) is extremely injurious to their mindsets. 

It is no doubt that children urge to be adults and that is what advertisers capitalize of. “This entices them to believe that if they buy the product they will be more mature. Age compression can also be seen with items such as the iPhone and iPad. Kids are now asking for those instead of toys”  (McPartland). When I was six years old I was not asking for an iPad, or any device that my parents had.

This well-thought out plan advertisers perform is much like the checkout line at Kroger. There are a plethora of items that no one really needs but if a child sees it over and over again, they’re going to start to beg for it.

Writer of Marketing to Children, Sharon Beder, agrees that advertising companies’ biggest targets are children. “Young children are increasingly the target of advertising and marketing because of the amount of money they spend themselves [and] the influence they have on their parents spending” (Beder).

It is a sick, unethical, corrupt game advertisers play and children are whom they use as their goals. Whether its Kit Kats or cigarettes, it is important that we realize advertisers’’ intentions and protect our children from these vultures.

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