Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Power of Advertising

It’s sobering to realize the power Madison Avenue holds over our children. My young daughter spends most of her television viewing time at PBS and The Disney Channel. It’s no surprise that she is in tune with every Disney Princess toy or product that saturates the airwaves and the marketplace.

But what I have found most alarming is how well she has been programmed by advertisers who are targeting consumers well beyond her six years.

A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that I needed to get up on the roof and check some shingles and she said, “You’ll need the Little Giant.” It took me a couple of days to realize she was referring to the multi-purpose ladder system featured on endless Infomercials.

Then as I was cleaning the bathroom she came in and watched me scrubbing the toilet for a few moments, then said with an incredulous air, “That would be easier if you used Kaboom! Never-Scrub.”

Cleaning products are regularly advertised on television, and she seems to know them all. On a recent trip to the supermarket I as I was retrieving a container of Dow Scrubbing Bubbles she looked at the can, shook her head and suggested, “You should try Purple Power.”

The final blow was when she patted me on the stomach recently and suggested, “Dad, don’t you think you should get the Ab-Lounge XL for Ultimate Results?”

Out of the mouths of babes. Or ad executives.

Or both.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

For my mom, grocery shopping with me was a nightmare, because I'd recite the jingles of different products as we went down the aisles.

I made her buy "All Temper-Cheer" because of the commercials and I once pitched a fit because she didn't want to buy Pam cooking spray. I argued that singer Carmelita Pope had said (on TV) that we HAD to buy Pam.

You're right about children getting the ads. That's why I laugh when people get so fired up about only those ads that target kids: the kids are getting the message no matter who the ads target.