Concept of Corporate sponsored children groups is becoming increasingly popular as a tool for increasing sales. Children groups give children a sense of belonging, which makes children groups an excellent tool for promoting brand loyalty. An executive of Burger King had stated that their sales of children meals increased by 80% after the launch of Burger King Kids Group in 1991. (Schlosser 2001) By the time children reach their early teens, they learn to think that material possessions are what matters and they are what identifies them.
This thought is primarily introduced in their minds through over exposure to advertisements which are designed to foster a liking for material possessions. Advertising has such a far reaching effect on teenagers that it determines how they interact with their peers and their adults. (Kirsting) James U McNeal, Americas leading authority on marketing for children; states that the purpose of most advertisements targeted at children is to create an overwhelming desire for a product so that children Nag their parents.
McNeal has identified seven forms of nags ranging from pleading nag to threat nag and he recommends that making children threat nag their parents is not a nice thing to do. (Schlosser) A study has shown that advertisements can influence a child’s behavior, increasing exposure to fast food commercials fosters bad habits such as over consumption of fast foods. In fact the rise in child obesity rates can be attributed to over exposure fast food commercials.
Moreover bad habits acquired as child will last an individual’s lifetime. (Dittmann) In order to attract public’s attention to the negative effects of children-oriented marketing, many organization such as APA, Academy of Pediatrics and Kaser Family Foundation are openly protesting against the trend of child-oriented marketing. In fact APA’s task force is actively conducting research to determine – how harmful child-oriented marketing is to young children.
(Dittmann 2004) With more research and increased public awareness it is expected that companies will gradually limit child-oriented marketing and advertisements will be designed with due consideration to psychological frailty of children.
Works Cited Dittmann, Melissa. Protecting Children from Advertising, (2004) Kirsting, Karen. Driving Teen Egos and Buying through Branding, (2004) Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of All American Meal, (2001)
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