Marketing Effects On Children
Marketers used many different themes and techniques to make sure that children remember and ask for their products. During two hours of Saturday morning programming for children over forty ads are shown for different commodity type products. Various techniques are used to advertise these products and each ad have an underlying message.
Different commodity type products are advertised to children. The ads that we observed fall into the categories of food, health and beauty products, movies and public service announcements. In the category of food items such as, cereal, candies, fruit punch, potato chips, frozen threats, hamburgers, French fries and chicken nuggets are marketed in intriguing and appetizing ways. Barbie dolls and other animated toys from the movie Tarzan were frequently advertised. Hair shampoo was also marketed to children. Most of Disney’s movies were advertised during this time and public service announcements to stay off drugs and sign up for volunteer work were also feature in the two hours that we watched.
The ad for each of these products used various techniques. Marketers realized that their target audience are less likely to pay attention to their ads yet alone remember them so they were pretty creative with the techniques they used. Most of the advertisement used very intense colors such as, bright red, orange, blue, and neon colors. Loud music was also frequently used among the ads. Some animation was used; however, real kids were most frequently used. For example, the ad for Barbie shows Barbie as a real person playing soccer with one of the players from the US Women’s Soccer Team. Chucky Cheese ad incorporated kids with loud music and neon colors to portray children having fun at Chucky Cheese. CapriSun drink used special effects to market their products to the kids. Oreo cereal used a news setting to show the importance of their cereal by showing an anchor woman asking a kid, who is so much engage in eating his cereal, his opinion regarding the taste of the cereal and then turning to the cow to ask her opinion. Humor was the intent in this commercial because a cow cannot talk. Most ads over state the size of their products. For example, an ad for Popsicle shows the Popsicle being so big that it goes through the roof of the house. The techniques used were geared towards making a lasting impression on the kids so that they will in turn influence their parents into buying these products for them.
All of the products have an underlying message or theme. Through these ad kids are encouraged to pursue an education, clean their rooms, and expect rewards for good actions. Most of the advertisements also promote socialization and glamour. Chucky Cheese ads start off with a jingle to do your math and clean your room, advocating cleanliness, education, and reward for doing those things because if you do those things then you will get to go to Chucky Cheese where you can have a real good time. The shampoo ad shows children having fun at a park. Some of them were on swings with their beautiful hair (which supposedly resulted from using the shampoo) swaying in the breeze while others were washing their hair with the shampoo and others were roller skating in the air. The underlying message seems to indicate that this is a highly sociable product, which is used by all these different kids. McDonalds ad showed a mom picking up her son from school, who told all his friends that he was going to so they too wanted to go as well. Indicating a sense of sharing and unselfishness. The themes in all of the ads seems to appeal to what will be of most importance to the kids not just as kids but also, as adults.
We have observed that although more than forty ads were shown each was of a different product and except for cereal there were no other products for competing against each other. More of the ads had a lot of repetition for example you would see the same ad every other commercial break during the program. This indicates that the theory of frequent exposure was applied.
The prime time broadcasting network that we