The other day in my advertising class we were discussing effective ads that have been imprinted into our minds. The conversation instantly focused around the amazingly obnoxious 90s commercial ads and jingles from our childhood. The class erupted into regaling every detail of the Goldfish slogan, fruit-by-the-foot tune, 1-800-safe auto commercials, etc. To this day, I still can never get the Baby Bottle Pop song out of my head.
When I think about all the commercials and ads that my friends and I remember from our youth, I cannot help but be amazed by the amount advertisements we were (and still are) exposed to. Even more so, as we enter into a digitally-obsessed and consumed society, the amount of advertisements in which today’s youth is exposed. From commercials, websites, radio ads, billboards, cereal boxes, and even toys, children are being slapped across the face by advertisements and they don’t even know it.
Take a look at this Infographic designed by Carlos Montiero:
(Click the picture for link of larger view)
It’s crazy to think that children ages 2-11 see on average 25,600 ads a year! No wonder we are such a materialistic society. Though these advertisements can relay both healthy and harmful messages, this amount of exposure is worrisome. By being so exposed to the market world, children are at incredibly high risk of social conditioning–brainwashed to think, feel, and act in specific ways and to purchase certain products. I worry about such overexposure while these children are in their integral years of cognitive development. Children are such easy targets, easily swayed and manipulated, which is great for marketers; however I think it’s important to take a step and think about the psychological and social impact advertisers are making on today’s youth.
What do you think? Are children overexposed? Should advertisers scale back and target children less?
Lucia Moses. (2014, March 11). A look at kids’ exposure to ads children see a lot of marketing messages, regardless of platform. ADWeek, Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/look-kids-exposure-ads-156191