The Causes Of Childhood Advertising

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“Media is the most powerful entity on earth. It has the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent. Media has the power to control the minds of the masses” (Malcom 2013). Marketing to children is a major social problem that has been substantially growing each year. Children are the ultimate prize, they are the new powerful consumer demographic. Children have a large buying power totaling forty billion dollars a year as well have the ability to influence a seven hundred billion dollar adult spending market (Barbaro & Earp, 2008). This paper will explore the causes of childhood marketing as well the effects it has on society. I will argue that childhood marketing is manipulative causing major repercussions
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They have the power to influence interactions, values, beliefs and gender roles. Gender role socialization can be defined as “a set of cultural norms and behaviors considered appropriate for males and females” (Mitchell 2014 p. 54). Marketers group children into two distinct social group’s boys and girls (Barbaro & Earp, 2008). Marketers determine our gender socialization roles. Marketers influence girls by saying: “they need to be pretty, sexy and materialistic to fit in and be successful” (Barbaro & Earp, 2008). Marketers start influencing women from the age of four years old. They put seemingly perfect women on the cover of tween magazines. This influence’s young females by giving them someone to look up to: “Children from as early as four years old to buy cosmetics” (Barbaro & Earp, 2008). Marketers are making large amounts of money from creating the idea that cosmetics will help girls reach perfection, which, in turn, will make them successful in life.
Marketers flood the market with beautiful materialistic dolls. (Barbaro & Earp, 2008). This makes girls think they need to look and dress like the dolls. In fact: “Bratz, made a whole female fashion line based on the outfits on their dolls” (Baker, 2011, p. 93). This influences young girls to wear revealing clothing. This can negatively affect girls because they are constantly bombarded with the idea perfection is so
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Symbolic advertisements can be defined as “a product being pushed not on the basis of what it can do or how it tastes but on social meaning” (Barbaro & Earp, 2008). The market is run on the basis that humans need material possessions for happiness, or with material possessions we will be cool and fit in. Marketers have made countless advertisements based on this principle. Sketchers, a shoe company created an advertisement saying: “run cool, play cool, be cool” (Barbaro & Earp, 2008). This quote implies that to become and individual we need to buy the new product. The advertisement campaign does not mention what is new about the shoe instead, they used the word “cool” multiple times. This word implies that to be cool and fit in we need the product. Thus, proving that individuals will buy into the social meaning of the

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