AdAge reports on a Mediamark Research Inc. survey of the Television viewing habits of American children. The”good news”, most kids between 6 and 11 don’t skip commercials. Kid focussed marketers like McD’s, BK and the rest of the junk food producers, clothing & footwear brands, toy manufacturers et al must be excited by these results. Even “(m)arketers such as Westin Hotels, Budget Rent-a-Car and Ford Motor Co. were … interested in children’s media options.”
Advertisers are having a hard time getting through to an older audience – but they are excited to know that they can get to our kids. I can’t wait to see the beer ads where kids are “taught” which brands to convince Daddy to buy. Six year old Sarah, “Daddy, don’t you know that Bud Light tastes right!” They’d never do that…would they?
When our oldest was seven we began to severely restrict television access. Largely because the kids were becoming perfect little commercial parrots. (And this when the largest portion of our income came from TV networks.) Today all three of our kids (the oldest is almost 19) are avid readers and good writers. They have a breadth of knowledge that wouldn’t be there had they spent as much time in front of the tube as the average North American kid. And the side benefit has been that they are a little more immune to the antics of advertisers.
Parents, it’s time to TiVo train the kids – if you’re going to provide them with unrestricted access to the TV, teach them to record their favorite shows – and then teach them the importance of the skip button! Or perhaps you prefer perfect little promotion parrots.