Advertising is the most common and significant way of transporting messages to people and particularly to children in hopes of affecting their intent to buy. Marketing to children in any medium is filled with ethical challenges; numerous studies have shown that children under a certain age rarely understand the real intent of an advertisement. Children are easily misguided by advertising because many ads exaggerate the product functions. Children’s ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality in a product is interfered. The fast food industry, without a doubt, has contributed to growing obesity in children. The government should push to mandate the number of minutes spent on advertising on children’s television programs. The issues surround the impact of commercial culture and children’s well-being usually generates plumes of steam and everyone gets excited about it. However there seem to be two very hostile sides that are digging themselves in. On one side there are the evil corporations vs. the helpless children; on the other side there are the marketers that claim television is good for children. Overall this shows that children are entirely helpless and open to manipulation in such a wholesale way. So who is right? Is commercialism bad for children, or is commercial simply a part of modern democratic or capitalistic system which children are okay with. Nevertheless, the basic rule of advertising is to be truthful and not mislead the consumer.
In today’s world of technology overload, younger and younger children are being exposed to product branding and marketing. Advertisers are notorious for exaggerating the benefits of their products. Human are predictable whenever it comes to generating sprouts of response from stimulation, advertisers are aware of this and uses it to their advantages Toy companies, learning companies, and restaurants are all vying for a spot in children and adults mind. Toy companies may make toys that are developmentally great for children but that should be different from selling directly to children. These advertisements are made to be entertaining so that younger children pay more attention to them and also remember them. Young children are targeted not just to sell products to, but to generate interest or hype in the product whereby, eventually capturing brand loyalty at a young age. This action is also important for adults too; however advertisers know that adults have already accepted their brand preference and purchasing habits.
Children spend numerous amount of time watching television, playing videogames, and using computers. For businesses, these children represent the ultimate prize, an unprecedented, powerful, and elusive new demographic to profit from. Their goals now are to insinuate their brands into these children’s lives and marketers have begun to place products directly into children entertainment by subtle “product placement”. Product placement which is the significant placement of product within movies or television programs (O'Quinn, Thomas C; Allen, Chris D; Semenik, Richard J, 2009). According to the text, advertiser love the exposure that product placement provides because many consumers have turned to solutions that avoids traditional advertising, with technology like the TiVo, the consumer can skip commercials. Competition can be intense and businesses go to ethically questionable extreme ways of pushing goods, services, and beliefs.
Whenever a child sees a movie and then tries to replicate the script with the aid of toys, that message they are getting is; whenever they play, they should play like the movie. Since they have the movie toys that keeps them focused on that narrow plot that does not allow them to evolve. Now these children totally unable to distinguish between movie and reality because children are vulnerable, less experience, less mature, and simply cannot evaluate message as adults can.