Pigtail Pals Ballcap Buddies' facebook page linked some things I'd like to think about. One was a link to the Media Education Foundation, which made a documentary called Consuming Kids: the Commercialization of Childhood. The documentary is an hour long. I'm not sure if this is available online, but I'd like to see if I can get it on Netflix. It was discussed in a blog post (eats shoots 'n leaves) that compares corporate grooming of chidren to be consumers to that of pedophiles. The blog points out that the U.S. is the only nation that has deregulated advertising to children (ah, yes we can thank our Republican golden boy Ronald Reagan for that one, too.) That post refers to previous post of the same blog discussing a loss of empathy among college students over the past 30 years. The latter post says that questions regarding the loss of empathy issue are basically answered in the documentary. The loss of empathy study is discussed in Scientific American, as well. Finally, PPBB links a news video about what marketers call "KGOY," or Kids Getting Older Younger. It is from 2004, in the height of the midriff-baring tank-top fashion phase. I'm really happy that long shirts and layers have come back into fashion.
In the past couple of weeks, my daughter has made the movie character/product marketing connection. We were in the store looking at Band-aids, and she saw some with Cars on them. But to her they weren't Cars, she didn't know about the movie, to her they were just cars. We got them because she liked them. Later that weekend, we decided to watch a movie, and we thought, hey, since we got the Band-aids we can watch the movie. Her brain instantly made the connection. She's big on both bandages and TV (meaning DVDs or Netflix, mind you) right now. Since then she has gotten a Woody drinking cup and become famililar with Toy Story. Yesterday in the grocery store, she stopped cold in front of a display of Disney-themed coloring books, enamored by the Cars book. I thought to myself, when she becomes familiar with all of the characters on display in that rack, we are going to be in trouble. The marketing machine is amazing and it catches you when you least expect it.