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Advertising has had a powerful impact on today's children. From songs, to logos,

to characters, advertisers keep in mind their audiences. Competition is the force which

causes advertisers to target children. Children are targeted through the catch phrases,

animated characters, and toys in these competitive advertisements.

The textbook used in class (Huffman, 2002) describes that "advertising has numerous"

methods to hook the individual into "buying their products and services." The advertising

company surrounds a particular candidate such as a child and immediately sinks their teeth into

the child's mind to manipulate the child into desiring their products. Through TV, cartoons and

magazine ads, child are hit by one subliminal message after another. They are shown how this

product will either improve their status by making them they envy of all their friends. Whether it

be a food, a particular catch phrase, a child can be the easiest for advertisers to prey on.

Many types of foods targeted towards children have a catch phrase associated

towards them. Commercials use these catch phrases to implant their product into the

children's memory. One example, are the goldfish crackers. "I love the fishes 'cause their

so delicious..." This is the theme to a well-known commercial, which advertises

Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers. Children sing the catch phrase over and over

throughout the entirety of the commercial. By the time the commercial ends the line and

products are inevitably stuck in a child's mind. The commercial says"...and my mom says

that's okay," which implies to children that their parents will allow them to eat this snack.

Another example of a product with an addicting catch phrase is Oscar Meyer bologna.

"My bologna has a first name its O-S-C-A-R..." Instead of this song selling the product

itself, its aim is to sell the brand. The Oscar Meyer Company has auditions for the next

Oscar Meyer child. Again, their goal is to sell their brand. The company also has another

product with another catchy song, Oscar Meyer hotdogs. "I wish I were an Oscar Meyer

wiener..." The stress of this phrase is also the brand. Oscar Meyer commercials use

children to sing these songs and like the gold fish commercial, the song has been

imprinted into a child's memory by the ends of the commercial. Both companies goals is

to sell their product. By targeting children, whole families are then targeted. Competition

between companies with similar products, is the reason catch phrases are used. If one

company can create a catch phrase that everyone will know and remember, they are one

step closer to winning the race.

Animated characters are also a medium for ensnaring children. Animation has been the

way which companies from Disney to the Cartoon Network, capture the attention of children

everywhere. Tony the Tiger is the spokesman for Kellogg's frosted flakes. The image of this

tiger appears in all the commercials and on the boxes of cereal. "Their grrrreat!," is a catch

phrase used along with the animated character. Together these mediums imprint themselves into

a child's memory. When a child sees these commercials on television, the get placed in their

memory book. When a child goes shopping with their parents and sees the product on the shelf,

the memory resurfaces and the child asks for the product. Other animated characters associated

with food products, are the Trix Rabbit, the Flintstones, the leprechaun for Lucky Charms, and

the Quick Rabbit. The Flintstones is a well-known cartoon. Using these characters to advertise a

product takes something that children already love and gives it more meaning. Again, these

commercials get put into a child's memory bank, and the companies hope that the child will one

day ask for the product.

Toys are another way in which children are targeted. What kind of child does not like

toys? None. This is the answer that some companies keep in mind when advertising their

product. Cracker Jacks is just an average caramel popcorn snack until a toy is out inside the box

and advertised. The hope here is that the child will remember a particular brand has a toy in it

and will therefore ask for that particular product. Cereal companies are also famous for this type

of advertisement. The huge competition between the companies has caused a need for them to

somehow sell their products better. If they put toys in the boxes of cereal, children are more

likely to want



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