Apr 08 2012

Born to Buy

Published by at 9:45 pm under Uncategorized

I wouldn’t call Born to Buy an eye opener, or say that I was shocked by anything I read in this book. Consumer culture is all around us, and maybe I’m much more aware of that because we’ve been studying so much and realizing more about marketing this semester or because I’ve always known, as most 8-14 year old children know, that there is an over abundance of marketing focused on kids. This was a problem when I was in middle school, and the school cafeteria went from having plain walls to being overrun with advertising, but of course only for approved products – like the military and healthy foods – but still, they were ads. I was a little surprised mostly by all of the facts thrown at us in the beginning of the book, how kids ask for products by brand name by age 2, and know over 300 brands by the time they go to kindergarten! I was surprised at the numbers but not surprised when I thought about kids I know, and how much they know about DISNEY princesses, or GI JOEs, or BARBIES, or LITTLEST PET SHOP, or HELLO KITTY, etc. They don’t just have princesses, dolls, action figures, and stuffed animals, they all have names that come in the package; they all have a brand. Even when Parker was playing during our class last Friday, he didn’t just have a tractor or a truck; he knew he had a BOBCAT. I don’t really see anything wrong with this, even after reading Schor’s book, which seems to be trying really hard to make me see something wrong with it. On a side note, I do wonder if the lack of commercials that people watch now due to DVRs is impacting the way advertisers market their products in kids’ shows, because I see in the sitcoms that I watch that there is more and more product placement in the actual show, because people realize that the public isn’t watching the commercials anymore. The way America is today, there’s really no way to stay completely away from advertising, but I don’t think that people are incapable of making the right decisions for their children and for themselves.

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