Sunday, September 9, 2007

Advertising to children

Today I went to the grocery store, and I saw the most appalling site. I was walking down the pasta aisle and I heard a little voice start yelling, "Scooby! Scooby momma!! Scoooooby!" I turned to see what all the fuss was about. A little girl, no older than 4 or 5, had a box of Scooby Doo macaroni and cheese in each hand. She was holding not one, but two boxes of the cartoon endorsed all-American meal. She threw the boxes into the cart against the pleadings of her mom. The mom, apparently, wasn't enticed by Scooby... This bothered me, not so much because of Scooby, but because the boxes were placed on the 2nd to last row from the bottom. I hadn't even noticed it, because I'm not 2 feet tall. The little girl, obviously, stood at the perfect height to see Scooby. I scanned the rest of the shelves and as you go up the products have a more adult appeal. The products advertised to kids are the bottom and about at the spot where a child sitting in a cart would see it. I was outraged. How had I never noticed it before? It was a stroke of marketing genius, that I'm sure many of you have already noticed, but I had never seen it before. How dare they market to kids (this isn't new, I understand, but my outrage is newly discovered)? I asked my mom if I did that sort of thing when I was little and she answered with a resounding "yes!" She had to resort to the rule that my sister and I could only pick out 1 thing to buy because we were so obnoxious. It's a wonder I never noticed before.

I think the reasons I was so oblivious were that a) I wasn't the one being targeted and b) I have only recently started studying up on this sort of thing. Now I wonder, what are they targeting at me?? I'm fairly certain that I am a marketer's golden child, because I truly am a product of advertisements. It makes me sick. I need to just start buying things I've never heard of with uninteresting boxes. That's the only way to be safe!

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