The Advertising Industry: Targeting Youth

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Our culture is plagued by rampant consumerism. Today’s view of the ultimate reason for human existence is the purchasing and owning of stuff. The idea is that whoever has the most stuff is the best, and from that we form our base of what it means to be an American. As corporations are placing greater emphasis on brands and icons, children and teens are the easiest prey to target. The average American child spends more than five hours in a single day sitting in front of either the computer or television screen while being constantly bombarded with advertising. Promotional campaigns and commercial messages permeate most waking hours of a child’s or teenager’s life. The overwhelming underlying message that advertising sends to children and teens is that material things make a person, and it is not about whom you are but what you own. This is the message that children are being sent almost every second of everyday in America. This message will be the message that they will believe in when they reach adulthood and the affect of this will be grave. Kids are bombarded with advertisements from every possible source: billboards, posters, TV commercials, websites, movies, radio, and more. Today children are able to distinguish brands as young as preschool age. Studies have shown that six-month old babies can visualize corporate logos and mascots while the average three year old can recognize over one hundred different brand logos (Underhill 158). Toys have even begun to carry product placements; for example, Barbie dolls carrying Coca Cola sodas or Lay’s Chips in their hands. Marketers spend at least fifteen billion dollars a year targeting children alone (Underhill 157). Although children have no income they play a vital role in the marke... ... middle of paper ... ...he advertising world I will have to stoop rather low. Soon enough I will be using the above strategies to target young consumers. The only difference is that I will find other options to target them that will not have the same negative effects that today’s advertising strategies do. Even though I will be surrounded by corrupt advertising strategies I will refuse to be corrupted. Works Cited Ives, Nat. "Text Messaging Makes Magazine Ads Interactive." Advertising Age 79.23 (09 June 2008): 10-10. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. 28 Sep. 2009. Ozmete, Emine. "PARENT AND ADOLESCENT INTERACTION IN TELEVISION ADVERTISEMENTS AS CONSUMER SOCIALIZATION AGENTS." Education 129.3 (Spring2009 2009): 372-381. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. 29 Sep. 2009. Underhill, Paco. "Kids." Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1999. 151-64. Print.

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