Childhood For Sale Ver.1.2
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Childhood For Sale Ver.1.2

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PSYC2328: CHILDHOOD FOR SALE

PSYC2328: CHILDHOOD FOR SALE
by A.Palencia & D.Sumner

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    Childhood For Sale Ver.1.2 Childhood For Sale Ver.1.2 Presentation Transcript

    • Michele Stockwell’s
      Childhoodfor$ale
    • Discussion Question:
      In what ways have people in the class been targeted in advertising or marketing? Do people have examples of memorable slogans, jingles, or images that affected them or children they know?
    • Terms:
      Advergame – neologism of ADVERtising in a GAME; (e.g. McDonald’s on a street in game)
      Alpha kids – the highest ranked in the pecking order of the playground that everyone follows and listens to, a.k.a., The Cool Kids
      Blanket restriction – a restriction that covers everything at all times
    • More Terms:
      Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) – applies to the online collection of personal information from children under 13. The rules spell out what a Web site operator must include in a privacy policy, when and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children's privacy and safety
      Consumer culture – a culture in which the marketing and consumption of goods and services has a dominant influence and personal happiness is equated with purchasing of material possessions
      Correlational Research – a correlation is a measure of a linear relationship between two variables
    • Some More Terms:
      Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – traditionally had the regulatory authority to uphold U.S. laws that prohibit “unfair or deceptive” commercial practices
      Focus group – a form of qualitative research in which a group of people are asked about their attitude towards a product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging. Questions are asked in an interactive group setting where participants are free to talk with other group members
      Gatekeeper parents – in the context of the article, parents that filter what their children receive, see, watch, and hear
    • Even More Terms (almost there…):
      “Hybrid” advergames – online games that are specifically designed to promote certain products and brands
      Pouring rights – a Pouring Rights contract is an agreement between a beverage distributor and an organization that allows the distributor exclusive rights to sell packaged beverages (carbonated and non-carbonated)
      Subliminal product placement – subliminal advertising is when an advertisement is flashed in the background, but not really seen by the viewer (e.g. an advertisement to flash as one frame out of the 20 or so that are shown for every second of a movie) the viewer doesn't realize that they see it, so it is subliminal
    • The end of Terms (finally!):
      Viral marketing – spreading information from person to person, like a virus (e.g. sites with links that say something like "email this to a friend")
      V-chip – electronic filtering technology built into newer television sets to give parents, guardians, and caregivers a greater degree of control over programming access by children
      Word-of-mouth campaigns – interpersonal advertising
    • Main Idea #1:
      Consumer culture has turn pervasive and invasive, enticing children to spend their pocket money.
    • Supporting Facts:
      People spend more than $200 billion per year and become lifelong customers.
      (Other supporting facts are the following main ideas and their supporting facts.)
    • Main Idea #2:
      With the help of psychologists and child development experts, marketers use strategies to take advantage of children’s deeply impressionable nature, which include:
    • Supporting Facts:
      Word-of-mouth campaigns;
      “Advergames” in video and computer games;
      Surveys online, through chat rooms, interactive sites, gaming sites, etc.;
      And using cell phones to bypass gatekeeper parents.
    • Main Idea #3:
      Commercialising childhood has cumulative, long, lasting, and damaging effects.
    • Supporting Facts:
      Children who are more exposed and involved in consumer culture are more apt to physical and emotional problems, inter- and intrapersonal problems.
      Research has specifically shown that children’s exposure to food advertising and marketing may be influencing their food choices.
      Children’s frequent exposure to ads for violent entertainment enhances the chances of childhood displays of violent and aggressive behaviour.
      Sexual imagery in marketing campaigns and consumer products is hyper-charging children’s sexuality before they may be cognitively or emotionally ready.
      Hillary Clinton acknowledged parents’ worries over their children not growing up with the same values they have and want to pass on because of the media conveying messages filled with explicit sex content and violence.
    • Main Idea #4:
      The article offers suggestions for the U.S. government policy makers to prevent possible effects of advertising and marketing campaigns aimed at children and actions to be taken by the Congress and the Federal Trade Commission.
    • Supporting Facts:
      Ensure that marketing practices aimed at children are fair.
      Ensure that advertising is appropriate for media in which it appears.
      Require toys and other products based on movies and TV shows to carry consistent age ratings.
      Protect children’s privacy.
      Curtail marketing activities inside public schools.
    • More Supporting Facts:
      End the practice of using children’s friendship for marketing purposes.
      Protect children involved in product research.
      Ask more from broadcasters.
      Ask more from cable and satellite TV providers.
    • Criticisms:
      There is a lack of accountability in the article. This was proven by the lack of specific resources provided; there are ambiguously alluded to, with the exception of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which, by the way, is also missing its reference information.
      She herself has no relevant credentials; she works for an education and research corporation (Progressive Policy Institute) that may or may not be biased with their research.
      The journal she has written for is not a psychology journal but a political magazine sponsored by the Democratic Leadership Council.
      The article is full of grammatical errors and/or confusing word choices
    • More Criticisms:
      The journal she has written for is not a psychology journal but a political magazine sponsored by the Democratic Leadership Council.
      The research, studies, and everything that she mentions as sources are extremely vague.
      The article targets parents, who can’t do anything but rely on policymakers, and policy makers themselves. In addition, there is no mention of actually HOW these suggested policies are to be formatted, put into context, taken up to Congress, etc.
      This is an opinion paper that is all about what the Congress SHOULD do and nothing about direct actions that parents may take.
    • Theoretical Perspectives:
      Social Learning Theory (Bandura)
      Sociocultural Theory (Vygotsky)
      Ecological Systems Theory (Bronfenbrenner)
    • Discussion:
      Marketers hire psychologists and child development experts to help them devise strategies that take advantage of children’s deeply impressionable nature. Is this unethical? Why or why not?
      One of the recommendations in the article it to eliminate marketing in elementary schools, where many children don’t yet understand what advertising is. Do you agree with this? Why or why not? Should advertising be allowed in school at all?
      Do you agree that the primary responsibility for shielding children from the damaging effects of rampant commercial culture lies with parents?
    • And Now, for Our Feature Presentation:
      Video: In Brands We Trust
    • Teachable Moment: Born To Buy
    • Terms:
      Anomie – a condition in which society provides little moral guidelines to individuals.
      Enculturation – learning one’s culture through informal observation (vicarious learning) and formal instruction.
      Cool hunters – companies deploy young “professionals” orresearchers into schools or other popular youth hangouts to seek out and anticipate trends before they congeal into fads in order to capitalize and profit from it
    • More Terms:
      Corporate graffiti – covering school bus stops, park benches, and other public areas with ads
      Interpellation – the process by which an individual is addressed, or “called on,” by ideology to assume a certain identity
      Marketing juggernaut – an overwhelming, advancing marketing force that seems to crush everything in its way, and is characterised by growing reach, effectiveness, and audacity
      Sign wars – corporate competition centred on images
      Tweens – pre-teens (8-12 years old)
    • The Commercialisation of Childhood:
      Contemporary American tweens and teens have emerged as the most brand-oriented, consumer-involved, and materialistic generations in history.
      More children in America than anywhere else believe that their clothes and brands describe who they are and define their social status.
      American kids display more brand affinity than their counterparts; indeed, experts describe then as increasingly “bonded to brands”
    • At the same time, evidence of distress among children has been mounting:
      Rates of obesity are at epidemic levels
      Diagnoses of attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have risen dramatically
      Record numbers of kids are taking drugs to help them achieve self-control and focus
      Anecdotal reports of electronic addictions have begun to surface
      Teasing and bullying is rampant in schools, and includes a new protagonist, the “alpha girl,” a mean-spirited social enforcer
    • According to studies done, 9-17s would have been psych patients in 1957.
      Many young people have reported they are drawn to working for gangs because they want to have more money and material possessions (promised by gang lords)
      Today’s average young person between the ages of nine and seventeen scores as high on anxiety scales as children who were admitted to clinics for psychiatric disorders in 1957.
      “Fear and pressure are the two most common elements characterizing the daily lives of tweens” and the exploitation of anxiety in ads has steadily increased in the past few years.
    • Those who are more involved in consumer culture fare far worse in psychological and social terms:
    • The APA believe that aggressive marketing cultivates “a materialistic value system in young people” a sentiment that Hillary Clinton also shares
    • Juliet Schor also found that:
      Children spend more time each week shopping than reading, going to church, participating in youth groups, playing outdoors, or talking with family members
      44% of 4th through 8th graders report daydreaming “a lot” about being rich
      ⅓ of kids ages 9-14 would rather shop than do anything else, and an equal share say they “really like kids that have very special games or clothes”
    • Historical Perspective:
      In the past, consuming was modest in comparison to other activities, such as work, play, school, and religious involvement.
      Now, marketed leisure has replaced unstructured socializing, and most of what kids do revolves around commodities
      Children’s purchasing power and influence have exploded as they spend their days shopping and watching more television
    • The Disappearance of Childhood:
      Today’s youth have earlier exposure to and more involvement with adult worlds. Evidence of the blurred boundaries between children and adults include:
      The advent of internet technology
      The decline in children’s games
      The disappearance of special clothing styles for children
      Early sexual exposure and activity
      Drug and alcohol use
      And the widespread eroticisation of children though
    • The Changing World of Children’s Consumption:
      The typical American child is now immersed in the consumer marketplace to a degree the dwarfs all historical experience:
      Age 1: They are watching Teletubbies and eating the food of its “promo partners” Burger King and McDonald’s.
      Age 3-3 ½: Children start to believe that brands communicate their personal qualities (i.e. cool, smart, strong).
      Age 6-7: A typical first grader can evoke 200 brands; they have already accumulated an unprecedented number of possessions, beginning with an average of seventy new toys a year.
      Age 8: Boys are enjoying Budweiser commercials (the consistent favourite ad for this age group), World Wrestling Entertainment, and graphically violent video games.
    • Teens: As they age, they turn to teen culture, which is saturated with violence, alcohol, drugs, and guns.
      Adolescents are subjected to unremitting pressure to conform to the market’s definition of cool.
      Teen culture has migrated down to younger children.
      Marketers are deliberately investing children’s culture with the themes and sensibilities that have worked with teens.
      Betsy Frank (head of research for MTV Networks): “If something works for MTV, it will also work for Nickelodeon.” This is a widespread process known as tweening.
    • “Bonded to Brands”:
      The average 10 year old has memorised 300-400 brands (Nickelodeon, 2001).
      Among 8-14 year olds, 92 % of requests are brand-specific, and 89% agree that “when [they] find a brand [they] like, [they] tend to stick with it.”
      Kids have clear brand preferences, they know which brands are cool, they covet them, and they pay attention to the ads for them.
      Today’s tweens are the most brand-conscious generation in history.
    • The increase of importance of brands is a predictable outcome of kids’ greater exposure to ads.
      Companies spend billions to create positive brand associations for their products, attempting to connect them with culturally valued images, feelings, and sensibilities.
      Companies have to work overtime to establish brand identity and loyalty
      They turn brands into “signs,” pure symbolic entities, detached from specific products and functional characteristics.
      The intensification of the “sign wars” has led to an ever-accelerating spiral of changing symbolism and brand vulnerability; and that vulnerability fuels marketing innovation and sometimes desperation.
    • Eventually, brand kids start to crave designer duds and luxury items that children’s lines have become available in fashion houses:
      Designers have started to advertise heavily on them by the mid-1990s, even if they claimed, “the kids are driving the trend.”
      Marianne Szymanski reported, “kids are starting to want more expensive toys like computer software, cell phones, bedroom microwaves, consoles, etc. And guess what? Parents are buying all [of them].”
    • What Do Kids Know About Ads?
      At around age 5, children see ads as mainly entertaining and unbiased.
      Deeper understanding of the persuasive intent of ads doesn’t occur until the age of 8.
      As they age, children become less trusting of ads.
    • Middle schoolers (Boush, Friestad, and Rose, 1994) gave statements such as:
      “Advertisers care more about getting you to buy things than what is god for you.”
      “TV commercials tell only the good things about a product; they don’t tell you the bad things.”
    • Advertisers, in turn, use the cynicism of children towards ads; they satirise advertising, warn them against celebrity endorsers, and impart a gritty realism to spots.
    • Do ads lead to purchases?
      Children whose television viewing time decline made 70% fewer toy requests than those in the control group whose media habits were unchanged. (Robinson, 2001)
    • Opinions:
      Ours
      Yours
      Questions
    • Brought to you by:
      Alex Palencia & Darren Sumner