Advertising That Targets Children
No generation has faced it as badly as this generation has – the assault on young minds by advertising. Children no longer want to be doctors and engineers when they grow up. The universal answer these days seems to be, “I want to make lots of money.” There is a reason why advertising targets children. For one, the child of today is the man of tomorrow. Also, once you have “branded” a child, you have a customer for life; ‘from the cradle to the grave’ so to speak.
Advertising is an enormous, multi-million-dollar project that has a huge impact on child psychology. Advertising makes children think they are inferior if they don’t have the latest toys or the latest gimmick. Advertising targets children because it’s a well-known fact that even if the purchasing power lies in the hands of the parents, it is the children that influence their decisions. Teenagers are plagued with issues like body image, peer acceptance, coolness, and the need to show that they are powerful. Being smart, savvy, and in fashion is important to a teenager. Advertising cashes in on these issues and feeds the teenagers a diet of what they crave- the things that will make them acceptable – branded shoes, branded tees, hanging out at a happening joint.
This generation of kids is growing up in a materialistic society, constantly surrounded by images of excess, and the idea that only material things can gratify is sold at every turn. It is this kind of advertising (that targets our children) that needs to be done away with. Legislative bodies that review advertisements should be put in place so that our children are assured of reaching adulthood without any emotional baggage. We don’t need advertising that undermines us and lowers our self-esteem.