Why are companies targeting youngsters around the age of 8?
Before the last decade, television and other electronic media were not trying to target our youngsters. In fact advertisements were more targeted at adults because of common sense, money and power, but now our society confronting social change with different environment. The positions have been reversed. Children are now the decision makers and adults are the listeners. According to various researches, youngsters that are of 8 years or younger do not recognize various companies advertising strategies. Under this age, they are not conscious about various food (whether healthy or unhealthy), money and other products produced by various companies in order to get money from several innocent consumers. As we know that these children are not conscious about their money and time. Guardians have to implement various strategies related to social control and need to teach them to socialize. As we know all these companies are trying to get money from young innocent consumers without considering there life, time and money. For instance, through several movies, shows and games they are trying to market/showcase their company products without having any positive intention. These companies have materialistic intentions in order to get money from consumers pocket rather than focusing on logics or rational thinking like parents/guardians. Guardians have to focus their time on their offspring’s activities. Nevertheless the farther companies stay away from advertising to adults the more money they can make. In addition the amount of reasons as to why companies need to stop advertising there items towards children become larger.What methods are used to target these youngsters?
Producers (companies) have various platforms, for instance electronic media, jingles or paper media in order to tackle the consumers for money or to get money from their pocket. These companies are spending a lot of money in order to make more money and make the consumers (youngsters) fools. Many of these Companies use social media as a primary option to reach the young audiences exposed to such platforms. They will also use other media sources such as magazine pages, school buses, public transportation and billboards. In 2008, many youngsters were being exposed to over 3,000 advertisements per day. If you look further you can find that Youngsters in 2014 are viewing more than 25 600 ads per year on television alone. These jingles (McDonalds, Popeye’s, etc.) create obesity and other health-related issues amongst these innocent consumers. There are barely any restrictions that can stop a product from being promoted to a youngster. So guardians have to control them. Technology has positive and negative impacts on our society and as we know that society has various institutions. For instance political, social, economic, cultural, etc. All these institutions are inter-related and inter-connected. Sometimes these jingles also create social problems like racism, juvenile delinquency and other cultural issues. These companies take advantage of the issues in order to make money. If we look at today’s society, the bulk of youngsters are exposed to the internet and television at a very young age. It is across platforms such as social media that youngsters get caught amongst advertisements. Companies are using many different sites all over the internet. Some of the more popular sites are YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Most gaming websites for kids also have advertisements that make you watch a short clip before the game can begin. So whenever a youngster wants to play Fortnite they have to wait for the game to load. While it is loading there will be an advertisement wanting the player to buy a special package of coins or health. They want the player to spend more time on the game while spending more money on it as well. The restrictions for marketers/companies reaching children are getting smaller, and ultimately in the future there will be no restrictions.
Why would advertising to youngsters be an issue?
Children dream of becoming police officers, doctors, dentists, etc. They see the respective occupations on television all the time thinking “how cool would it be to own a gun or operate on someone”. They want to fight criminals and “bad guys”. However, more recently due to commercials advertising rich millionaires, children are slowly changing their minds. Advertising these commercials has caused children to stop using their imaginations. Now instead of becoming a police officer, the children want to become millionaires like Donald Trump. The commercials are teaching them to go chase money, instead of finding a profession. This is a product of the commercials teaching kids that money is the most important piece of life. As an adult you should “Just make money so you can go buy a brand new Audi”. Adding on to this point, an immense number of children also have diabetes and are overweight. I do not find it to be a coincidence that when advertising became more common, the amounts of children with obesity and diabetes multiplied by four times since 1960. To add on, the reason for the increase in obesity and diabetes is the advertising becoming more significant. These advertisements are persuading children to eat unhealthy foods without them knowing the consequences. “Obesity is now pandemic, affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world, especially in rich countries, where between 10 and 20 per cent of the population are obese”. For example, when McDonalds started to come out with the happy meal advertisements, children would be lined up and ready to order. Any children that had money from allowances would spend it on such items, rather than spending on something healthier. A mixture of unhealthy product marketing and the consumption of such products has resulted in high obesity and very bad diabetes. Marketing in the direction of children is a huge social issue that we face today, and if it is not stopped soon it will pose an even larger threat to society in the future.
Is there any way to solve this issue?
Companies will continue to make advertisements no matter what risk they pose. They will continue to hire companies instead of getting rid of them. Companies need all the help they can get in order to advertise their products towards children. However with that being said, it does not mean that there is no solution available. An easy solution for this problem is to stop advertising all together. However, as I mentioned beforehand this solution will never be a possibility. Instead what could be done is prohibiting the companies from putting out advertisements that solely target kids under a certain age. Children below a certain age, usually around 8-12 years old do not understand what advertising is selling to them. Companies should be banned from taking advantage. Youngsters will believe what they view on television is what they want, particularly if it involves someone that they know or look up to recommending the product. One major thing is that these children do not understand is that the person advertising the product is being paid to be in a commercial, for that reason they do not see any problem with the product. As an example if you see LeBron James in a commercial asking you “you want a sprite”, children will be intrigued by the advertisement. They would want to buy the same sugary drink being advertised. Why would want to buy any other one. If companies did not use the most prolific star to increase the interest of youngsters, it is very possible that there would not even be any interest in the product at all. Therefore if children lose interest, they will have no reason to bother their parents to buy the product, or even spend their own money. While it is doubtful, optimistically societies may once in the future be able to reside in an advertisement free setting.
In addition, our global community confronting era of science and technology (either positive or negative impacts on society) and guardians have to focus on their future building blocks (offspring’s).They need to socialize them and to implement various strategies related to social control. For instance, these companies trying to reach innocent children and trying to convince them to spend their precious money for negative purposes. Mostly all companies that reach out to children are all strangers. One of the main problems in this “technological world” is the social issues. These will always be present as the world keeps on growing. The social issues such as marketing toward youngsters can be stopped if dealt with correctly. Companies regularly misuse technology because they know that with the proper tools they can take advantage of the youngster’s minds. When I was an adolescent getting a cellphone and a computer was a huge moment of developing into a young adult, now almost everyone has a cellphone or some sort of electronic device. Having these devices, companies are able to abuse their power and market unhealthy products on all sorts of social media platforms. The problem can be easily solved if companies would just take a minute to look at what their schemes have done to the general public and realize they are doing the wrong thing. However, going back to the main idea, the company’s schemes are beginning and continuing to ruin the lives of youngsters. They are “consuming kids”. Hence, in a nutshell these innocent youngsters are our building blocks and backbone of our future society. So we have to protect them, secure them and literate them through various positive strategies in order to bring happy, healthy and positive futures in their lives.