Marketing to Children?

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Thu, May 28 - 11:44 pm EDT | 9 years ago by
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Do you sell a product that is targeted at young children? I’ve been hearing some parents complain recently about marketing to children. From Bratz dolls to Sponge Bob and Burger King, parents are sick of their children getting directly marketed to. And so I wanted to start a discussion on this topic and see what you all think.

child's toyI’ve been watching a lot of PBS and Disney programming. I’m trying to get a feel for what’s out there and what might be appropriate for my son. I’ve noticed that during the young children’s shows there aren’t really any commercials. You’ll see promotions for the upcoming shows, little short animated bits, and an occasional quick blurb about a sponsor. But no true commercials.

And during other hours, on other channels, I haven’t seen any commercials pushing kids’ toys or games or the like. I think that’s good. My child isn’t old enough to start the “I want” refrain after seeing a commercial. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw a commercial for a kid’s toy or product. But I know there are many other ways to target kids.

So here’s my question:

What do you think about marketing to children? Do you do it? Would you, if you had a product that was for them? Or would you prefer to concentrate on the parents?

There’s a group called Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood that wants to save childhood from marketing efforts. Things like targeting cartoon character meals and toys directly to kids in the grocery store or movie tie-ins for action figures and the like. Or making overly-sexualized toys and clothing for small children.

And you parents out there – what do you think about the marketing that is targeted to your kids? Do you teach them to ignore it or other ways to handle it? Does it bother you?

image: morgueFile

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  • Deborah Anderson

    I am definitely not a marketing expert, but if you don’t market to kids, how do you sell children’s toys? I can remember from childhood, discussions about what toys we wanted and how does a child know about a toy they want other than from a commercial.

    I don’t believe that kids should be bombarded with commercials, but how do they know what they want for their birthday or for Christmas unless there are commercials telling them what is out there.

    It just doesn’t make sense to me. It seems that some parents just don’t have anything to do and just wanted to create another cause to be a part of.

  • Becky Scott

    I think some people think that marketing is a bit aggressive at times when it comes to children. My son is still small, so I haven’t fully formed my opinion on that.

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