Advertising, Television Programming and Children

By: William

Advertisement as a whole has become too overdramatic and in your face, but remains the surest traditional form of information that we as a society understand.  Growing up through the 90s and the digital revolution I feel like an overloaded power grid waiting to shut down.  As a child you never note why something catches your eye or why not all commercials are on every channel, but closer analysis allows for more of a scholarly discovery.

Using the 90s as the spring board for current advertisement opens the avenue for what we see every day at every moment.  I was born in 1990 so I witnessed the Cultural Revolution from enjoying television to instead living it; Nickelodeon, Disney and Cartoon Network all became the beacon for children everywhere.  With programming like Angry Beavers and CatDog on Nickelodeon, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid on Disney and then all the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons on Cartoon Network and having those shows followed by fast paced commercial advertising selected and appealed to the specific age group and whoever happened to be watching, you couldn’t help but learn to adapt.

With those action packed cartoons there were always those commercials advertising the latest or most popular toy on the market and tied along with the commercials was always some catchy jingle or some crazy example of the product.  I can remember so clearly all the Lego ads that made them seem so impressive and you could watch as the boy playing with them built an entire set in the span of thirty seconds.  Who wouldn’t find that awesome?

What I am trying to get at is the fact that as we grew up the total immersion into commercial controlled television has molded our generation into a sort of buffer between our parents and the younger generations.  I only now realize this because of my younger brother who just started the fifth grade and his actions are controlled by what he watches on TV and uses that to glorify himself in front of others.  He has committed to memory more commercial jingles and most SpongeBob SquarePants episode dialogue than is healthy.

Of course he spends time doing other things besides watching TV but that is wasted in front of the WII playing games the rest of the time.  He gets these ideas from well watching said TV; being in fifth grade he has a lot of peer pressure to try and fit in, he is really shy, but by playing the video games that he sees on the boob tube direct him to the all cool of modern virtual living.

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