The Super Bowl weekend is notorious for its gluttony and pervasive advertising, so I thought I’d post some counterprogramming for those of us who find this weekend’s fetishism of advertising and marketing to be, well, a bit obscene.
I’d like to present a series of videos culled from a documentary titled, Consuming Kids.
Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food and violent video games to bogus educational products and the family car. Drawing on the insights of health care professionals, children’s advocates, and industry insiders, the film focuses on the explosive growth of child marketing in the wake of deregulation, showing how youth marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world.
Consuming Kids pushes back against the wholesale commercialization of childhood, raising urgent questions about the ethics of children’s marketing and its impact on the health and well-being of kids.
Here’s the trailer:
As a parent of two toddlers, I see the pervasive marketing and advertising that is intended to influence my children and ultimately, my buying decisions. It’s everywhere, it’s immersive and it’s intended to insinuate brand awareness into every aspect of our lives. It’s the ultimate manifestation of a corporatist culture which demands that new consumers be introduced into the market at the earliest possible stage.
While we all ultimately have the final decision-making power with our dollars, the marketing stream stacks the deck against those of us who wish to delay our child’s entrance into the consumer culture.
Think Baby Einstein videos are helping your child learn? Think again. Think a barrage of sexualized messages about a market interpretation of beauty are having a negative effect on your daughter’s body image? You’re right.
We are the only industrialized nation with no standards or statutory guidelines on advertising to children. We used to have guidelines on this, but in 1980, the toy companies led a lobbying effort to repeal any limitations or standards which resulted into the bible of childhood marketing, the FTC Improvement Act of 1980. The documentary does a thorough job of demonstrating that “consumerizing” our children at such a young age results in serious financial and health risks for them.
Click through to watch the film…
I’m also breaking it into multiple parts to make it easier to watch in smaller chunks.