Advertising has had a powerful impact on today’s children. From songs, to logos,
to characters, advertisers keep in mind their audiences. Competition is the force which
causes advertisers to target children. Children are targeted through the catch phrases,
animated characters, and toys in these competitive advertisements.
The textbook used in class (Huffman, 2002) describes that “advertising has numerous”
methods to hook the individual into “buying their products and services.” The advertising
company surrounds a particular candidate such as a child and immediately sinks their teeth into
the child’s mind to manipulate the child into desiring their products. Through TV, cartoons and
magazine ads, child are hit by one subliminal message after another. They are shown how this
product will either improve their status by making them they envy of all their friends. Whether it
be a food, a particular catch phrase, a child can be the easiest for advertisers to prey on.
Many types of foods targeted towards children have a catch phrase associated
towards them. Commercials use these catch phrases to implant their product into the
children’s memory. One example, are the goldfish crackers. “I love the fishes ‘cause their
so delicious…” This is the theme to a well-known commercial, which advertises
Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers. Children sing the catch phrase over and over
throughout the entirety of the commercial. By the time the commercial ends the line and
products are inevitably stuck in a child’s mind. The commercial says”…and my mom says
that’s okay,” which implies to children that their parents will allow them to eat this snack.
Another example of a product with an addicting catch phrase is Oscar Meyer bologna.
“My bologna has a first name its O-S-C-A-R…” Instead of this song selling the product
itself, its aim is to sell the brand. The Oscar Meyer Company has auditions for the next
Oscar Meyer child. Again, their goal is to sell their brand. The company also has another
product with another catchy song, Oscar Meyer hotdogs. “I wish I were an Oscar Meyer
wiener…” The stress of this phrase is also the brand. Oscar Meyer commercials use
children to sing these songs and like the gold fish commercial, the song has been
imprinted into a child’s memory by the ends of the commercial. Both companies goals is
to sell their product. By targeting children, whole families are then targeted. Competition
between companies with similar products, is the reason catch phrases are used. If one
company can create a catch phrase that everyone will know and remember, they are one
step closer to winning the race.
Animated characters are also a medium for ensnaring children. Animation has been the
way which companies from Disney to the Cartoon Network, capture the attention of children
everywhere. Tony the Tiger is the...