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It is obvious that these toys are not merely meant to develop constructive abilities in children, since they are practically supporting kids in behaving violently.
One of the best examples of the degree to which advertisers are ready to extort money from the masses is the Pokemon chain of toys. Pokemon characters can be seen in numerous TV programs and even though most people relate to them as being nothing more than cartoons, the program can be considered to be primarily meant to advertise. "With a cast of 150 characters and new ones appearing monthly, Pokemon characters "star" in Gameboy and Nintendo 64 software, Warner' Pokemon: The First Movie (1999) and Pokemon the Movie 2000, comics, books and trading cards. Hasbro produces the Pokemon toy range. Pokemon 3ds have been used to sell Smith's crisps and Kraft Singles and Pokemon products are offered as prize incentives by Quaker's cereals and Welch's jellies" (Kenway & Bullen, 2001, p. 67-68). Children are typically crazy about collecting stuff, ranging from marbles to some of the most expensive toys on the market. Pokemon's advertising plan was more than ingenious (in spite of its simplicity), as given that advertisers knew how children were vulnerable to advertisements and collectibles, their decision to create 150 Pokemon characters could not have came at a better time. The consumer culture was quick to respond to the advertising campaign entitled "Gotta Catch 'Em All" and children came to be obsessed with collecting as much Pokemon toys as they could. Parents were virtually helpless in front of such a movement and could do little to stop their children from buying expensive toys that were obviously worth much less than the prices they were sold for (Media Awareness Network).
Toy commercials in the present are not only responsible for persuading children to think that the product advertised is good for them, but they also influence them in considering that it is natural for them to want more and more toys. In addition to that, because of the fact that advertisers are simply interested in producing effective commercials, particular advertisements put across a perfect environment, making children feel as if everything around them is improved if they get their hands on the toy advertised. Minorities are in most cases discriminated through such commercials, considering that most advertisements present the white middle-class urban family instead of involving members belonging to particular groups (Ramsey, 2006).
TV programs, films, and video games are presently responsible for influencing numerous children in forming a wrong image of society. Considering that advertisers are becoming smarter every day, older children and teenagers become less able to differentiate between the products that are good for them and those that are not. Investing large amounts of money in advertisements is extremely productive for companies, given that most find that their revenues increase significantly consequent to the issuing of effective commercials. In particular cases advertisers observe how toy advertising can be connected to other kinds of products. The McDonalds chain of restaurants, for example, has a special menu called a Happymeal and children are attracted to it because of the toy bonuses that accompany it. Kids are also attracted into buying this menu as often as possible because they see the opportunity of collecting toys (Calvert, 2008).
Even though young children do not have the material means to buy products they are influenced in buying, they can nonetheless convince their parents that it is perfectly normal for them to purchase certain toys. This "normal" standard is influenced by advertisements and by society in general, given that people are constantly inclined to do things they consider to be normal. Considering that most parents are determined to provide their children with what they think is the best education and the best living style they can afford, they come to buy a series of toys that are not actually appealing, but that are trendy. All things considered, a large number of toy advertisements have a negative effect on children and given that kids can influence their parents, billions of individuals are persuaded to become consumers for cheaply-made over-priced products.
Calvert, Sandra L. "Children as Consumers: Advertising and Marketing," the Future of Children 18.1 (2008)
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Jacobson, Lisa Raising Consumers: Children and the American Mass Market in the Early Twentieth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004)
Kenway, Jane and Bullen, Elizabeth Consuming Children: Education, Entertainment, Advertising (Philadelphia: Open University Press, 2001)
Moniek, Buijzen. "The impact of television advertising on children's Christmas wishes." Retrieved November 30, 2010, from the All Business Website: http://www.allbusiness.com/information/internet-publishing-broadcasting/722514-1.html
Ramsey, William a. "Rethinking Regulation of Advertising Aimed at Children," Federal Communications Law Journal…[continue]
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, Leung, R., Manios, Y., Monteiro, R., Pedley, C., Prell, H., Raine, K., Recine, E., Serra-Majem, L., Singh, S., & Summerbell, C.. (2010). Television Food Advertising to Children: A Global Perspective. American Journal of Public Health, 100(9), 1730-6. Li, L., Mei, T., & Hua, X.. (2010). GameSense: game-like in-image advertising. Multimedia Tools and Applications, 49(1), 145-166. McAlister, A., & Cornwell, T.. (2010). Children's brand symbolism understanding: Links to theory of mind and
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