It irks me to see advertisements indicating the necessity to maintain status by purchasing bigger and better products or certain brands. These procurements do not make a better person although we could be inclined to believe they do with the success of this type of marketing in past years.
The business ethics of many corporations are becoming meaner as they are allowed a rather free reign on their methods. A sad example is the advertising directed at kids which I view as a loathsome way to do business.
We may be 'lucky' enough to be living in an over-commercialized, over-consuming and somewhat artificial part of the world, but there is something very wrong here. The young are being programmed for life, for corporate profit and we seem to be accepting this as a standard way of living in today's society.
Our richer economies are based on corporate expansion and there is much promotional drive to attain it. The marketing which is very competitive is well near saturation as we acquire everything we realistically need, and more. New inroads to consumers are needed by hungry enterprise and they have targeted kids to keep the ball rolling.
From Media Scape:
An American marketer in the 1980s described children’s television as a business based on three simple ideas: Keep the audience up Keep the costs down Keep the regulators out. (Schneider, 1987, p5) Then television producers found they could get someone else to pay for children’s television: toy companies. They have never looked back. The ‘demographic’ of children has become the new marketing gold rush. In the two decades since the 1980s, little people’s fun has become big people’s profit! Children’s popular culture is commercialized whether we like it or not.
Read more . . .
A New Internationalist article discusses the targeting of kids as a way to greater profits.
Catch ’em young and brand ’em!
The ad biz bombards children and young people because the bottom line is cold hard cash. They’d rather chase urban trend surfers with brass in pocket, but their crossfire hits all kids. The children they’re gunning for not only have purchasing power but significantly influence their parents’ purchases. In the US, teens spend more than $300 billion a year and influence parental spending to the tune of $1.8 trillion. Between 1990 and 2000, the amount of money spent targeting children grew tenfold.
Much more here . . .
Government could fix this mean and greedy targeting of young minds but are slow about positive social changes, appearing to have a bias towards expanding commerce. If consuming families are upset with the trends in marketing they are also generally passive, being caught up in this web along with so many others.
As merchandising 'ingenuity' intensifies each year just where will another generation be taken?