How do you make your buying decisions?
Many factors probably go into the final decision about which car to purchase, what brand of spaghetti to grab from the store shelf, how many rolls of toilet paper to keep on hand in the closet. You might do research online when it comes to purchasing a car. You might ask a friend who has a reputation as a great cook which spaghetti she uses. You might figure out how much you will save if you buy the twenty-four roll pack as opposed to the four-roll pack.
One of the most influential factors in determining what we buy is corporate marketing.
Companies spend TRILLIONS of dollars to convince us to buy their products.
And, ever since the 1950’s, corporations have been marketing to children. However, their efforts have exploded in the last decade and I believe our children are at risk because of it.
- Corporate marketing is ONLY concerned with the bottom line…SELL MORE AT GREATER PROFITS AT ANY COST! Our children are bombarded with commercials on TV, radio, magazines and the internet for biggie-sized food and fast-food meals with toys. Companies donate computer equipment to schools and infiltrate the classrooms with their branding messages. Juvenile diabetes, obesity and many attention deficit and hyperactive disorders in children are rising at a staggering rate. Life expectancy of today’s children will be lower than that of their parents, even though our medical technology is at its highest level ever. Is there a correlation between corporate marketing and these problems?
- Corporate marketing is strongly GENDER DISCRIMINATING. If you watch commercials geared for young children, you will notice that boys are supposed to be strong, tough and ready to fight while girls are portrayed as pretty and sexy. Years ago there were many measures taken in the schools to educate teachers so they would respond to boys and girls on a fair and equal basis, encouraging girls to sign up for math and science classes and requiring boys to take home economics. Obviously, the companies that are looking to sell their products have other ideas in mind and they have reverted to the old ways.
- Corporate marketing is attempting to turn our young children into life-long super-consumers who are shallow and are only concerned about themselves and getting the things they want. Most parents don’t realize the effect that all this branding and marketing has on young children.
Do you agree that this is a problem?
Do you feel parents need to protect their children from corporate marketing?
And if you do, what can we do?
- Perhaps we can turn off the TV. That would be a start, but not the entire answer because the messages are on the internet, in the schools, in magazines…everywhere. If you are looking for ideas of what to do with your young children after the TV has been turned off, there are 100’s of fun-filled, educational, self-esteem building activities in Show Me How! This award-winning resource is available as a print book with lots of lined spaces for recording your child’s highlights or on Amazon’s Kindle.
- Perhaps we also need to say “no” when our children come to ask for a particular toy or food if we feel it is not good for them.
- Perhaps we can be good role models when it comes to not buying excess stuff or things that are not healthy for us.
- Perhaps we can encourage our children to reach out, helping and giving to others. If you are looking for ideas along those lines, you can check out www.kidsareheroes.org, an organization devoted to spotlighting and supporting children who help others.
Please share your thoughts.