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How to Desensitize Kids Against Advertising

Posted 3/05/2008 2:36 pm by and

tvads.jpgAdvertising, believe it or not, is a huge business. So big, in fact, that they can range from $350,000 to $2.4 million to produce and air! It’s no surprise that marketers are finding ways to infiltrate your home and get inside the minds of children. Have you ever even sat down to watch TV on Nickelodeon? It’s crazy: they use more shapes, sounds and color than a Dr. Seuss book on steroids.

Some parents may not like the idea of their kids getting brainwashed by TV ads. After all, what kind of consumer would that make 15 or 20 years down the road when they have their own budgets to take care of? (A marketers dream consumer, for one.)

That’s where the inspiration for this post came in. Lisa Tiffin explains how she and her husband essentially inoculated their children against television ads. After seeing the power of advertising on kids, they tried a little experiment that seemed to work.

When they noticed one of their twins getting immersed in an ad, they explained the motive behind it. Making money, selling products, getting sales — they laid it out in “kid terms” so they wouldn’t be as susceptible to the message. Basically, they taught their children how to see past ads and look at them with an eye of criticism.

And it worked: the kids ended up soaking a particular brand of paper towels in water to test the company’s claim on being sturdy.

If only they could teach this kind of stuff in school!

Check out the full thing here.

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